PART 3: TRUST
In an increasingly analytical world, companies are looking to test, tweak and optimize every aspect of their business. As well they should! Operating a business in a digital world based on a gut feeling is no longer an option.
That said, sometimes you need to trust your gut. Rarely does a branding agency present a layout, a headline, a photo or a campaign without having spent many hours internally debating the merits. If you could be a fly on the wall of our studio, you’d be shocked by how many comps we put on the wall, how many iterations we put a logo through, and how passionate we are about details. Everything is done for a reason; instead of spending your time debating specific design choices, trust that the designer did their job and focus on the idea.
When your agency brings work to you, it’s decision time, not opinion time. Making a decision about something as important as your brand is scary. It’s natural to want to show boards of pretty work around the office and ask your partners, your receptionist, Ted in accounting, the cleaning staff, your spouse and your nephew who studied marketing in college what they think. This is a good way to get a bad idea. Asking people with little background into the brand or marketing problem is a sure way to get well-intentioned but wrongheaded advice. By asking, “What do you think of this ad?” you’re really saying, “Tell me what I should think about this ad.” Your impromptu focus group will naturally list all the things they don’t like, without telling you the one thing you really want to know: does the ad solve the problem? As the person most invested in your company’s marketing, you’re the only one who can answer that.
Buying creative work is hard. We totally understand the desire to get the “right answer” when trying to choose a concept. Acting as our own client when we recently redesigned our website, we agonized over choosing a design much the same way we see our clients do. But almost every brief can be solved many different ways. There is no right answer. The best rule of thumb is to choose the work that makes you feel a little uncomfortable, as that’s the work that will stand out in a crowded marketplace. And, of course, to trust the people you hired to do what they do best.