I was working on a pitch recently and for the first time in a while (must have been somehow lockdown related!), was soul searching as to why Launch would be right for the prospect, what specific value we’d add - and also, why the potential client might be a match for us. Maybe it was also just because it was around Valentine’s Day.
I know it might sound obvious and you may be reading this thinking ‘doh, of course that’s what you do in new business!’, but all too often, how many of us actually stop and question why we’re chasing a prospect, if we’d be suited to them, what specific value we could add - and how the relationship could be mutually beneficial (beyond just the financial)?
In recent times, Uncommon Creative Studio seem very good at questioning their agency fit with a client – and then if successful, producing work that is completely reflective of that already thought through dynamic. Kudos to Nils Leonard and co, and brave clients like Abba Newbery at Habito. Check out their work if you’ve not seen it.
In my experience, the general pattern goes something like this (and I’m being self-critical here); we reckon we’re pretty great, they look pretty great, let’s go and try and see them - and we’ll retro fit all our pretty great experience. That’s ill-thought through.
You shouldn’t ever want to work with ‘just anyone’ of course, and equally, clients should only work with you if they really buy in to what you do - and your agency philosophy. In that way, there’s a good fit – culturally and executionally, which will hopefully lead to incredible creative work and a long term relationship.
This got me once again thinking about our own purpose at Launch. And well, our reason for being, after nearly 20 years. We’ll hit that illustrious milestone in September this year, hopefully when we’ll all be leading more normal lives. Heaven forbid that 20 years is marked by a 40 minute Zoom.
Despite advising over 500 clients on their own strategic positioning, I’ve had this slight itch in the last year that as an agency our shop window is different to what goes on behind. We’ve talked about it a lot together as a team, too. We say one thing, but it doesn’t single mindedly focus on what we specialize in.
And at Launch we talk specifically about ‘Territory Define’ (giving clients creative ownership of a comms space), but then describe ourselves generically as a ‘creative comms agency’. There’s a disconnect there and our proposition doesn’t burn a hole through our sales stuff. Which it should.
In business, your purpose must pull right through the organization and be owned by everyone internally – and of course be understood externally. And if it can be captured in a neat soundbite, hey, brilliant!
So, if you distill Launch’s reason for being, what we do is encourage clients to be bold, to take a position, and own the creative space we’re proposing – whether consumer or corporate. We then unwrap that territory over time and squeeze every drop out of it. Our long term creative work for the likes of BP, Hyundai, Siemens, Disney World, Butlins, Coors, Pernod Ricard and eBay is testament to that.
So, it’s a joy to see the new Launch positioning come to life today in two simple words that define what we encourage clients to do. Namely; Own It. And also what we encourage every Launcher internally to do.
Ownership all round, that seems like a good thing for everyone. Especially right now.