There are many different kinds of client-consultant/agency partnerships. Buying the right one is critical: it means you don’t overpay for what you don’t want. More importantly, it means you and your agency partner understand each other from the start.
The only problem is, most people don’t realise there are 4 different types of relationship.
Time for a graph:
At Verbal Identity, sometimes people think we’re ‘just’ writers. We are writers – we understand how writing something with insight and creativity can make a difference to the reader, to our clients. But that’s not really the reason people hire us. Brand owners hire us because we have a range of services. We use language to provide insights (after all, people’s choice of words reveals their deepest beliefs), we use language to create and disseminate brand strategy, and we train in-house writers.
For large organisations with a lot of writing staff, we have a role in helping them manage their writing resource. Which means that we’re often trusted to be advisors on writing, as we were recently with an international software firm. Solid Q4 stuff on the graph above.
We know that as well as language revealing people’s most deeply held beliefs, it also has the power to shape people’s thinking. We’re storytellers. And we use language to shape consumers’ relationship with brands, wherever brands touch consumers’ lives. So even when we’re ‘just writing’, we’re writing a lot of different things: brand guidelines, tone of voice guidelines, hero copy, mission statements, deep copy for websites, and constructing creative guidelines and content strategies.
That’s why we usually start off almost all of our client relationships in Q1 and as our relationships with our clients progress, we find that we start to move into Q3. We don’t spend much time in Q2 for each project.
It’s what separates us from the writing agencies in the room that have a bit of strategy. Or even the design agencies who have a bit of writing. We are in this for the long-term transformation of the client’s business.
It’s for this reason that we were able to use strategy and experience to advise the launch team at Hunter Boot on the values and positioning of the brand, and do the same for Belstaff 2 years later, and the same for Fred Perry.
It’s one of the reasons why the average length of engagement with any of our clients is more than the magic 12-month mark.
If you’d like to find out more about our range of services or our approach, just send Chris an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
He’ll send you a well-written, strategically-timed response.