How to Not Lose a Client Over Good Design

“Working for an ad agency would be great, if it weren’t for the clients”. If you, too, work for an ad agency, you might as well admit to having said something like this (or at least thought it). If you are a client reading this, maybe even one of mine, brace yourself for some insights into your agency’s dark side. Where creatives and project managers aren’t smiling and are reluctant to do your bidding.

My inspiration for this post comes from a current project, one that fills me and my colleagues with particular pride. Because we did everything right and the result is one of the best creative executions I have ever been part of. Yet, it will never see the light of day. The client killed it. 3 weeks before launch and 3 months after the kick-off.

This is what happened: We were chosen to re-launch a website. We did our due diligence: market research, customer research, client workshops. Creative brief and re-brief. We developed a creative idea, which was approved by the client. Based on that we offered three different creative approaches from which the client picked one, telling us how much they liked the idea and the unique approach. Everyone was happy.

ScribblesWith the creative idea and several examples for image/copy combinations that the client had seen as a solid base, we continued to create more of those combinations. They were going to be placed on the homepage stage and several other key pages of the website. It was teamwork at its best. Creative director and copywriter in synch, with a 3rd, challenging, set of eyes from another colleague. We were in love with our work. Read more