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Hire your design firm from the inside out.

I was asked recently, “why do top firms hire you and what makes them stay? I quickly thought, “is it our portfolio, our reputation, specific experience, or maybe a strong referral?” I am happy to say that all of those have played a role in securing new clients and building success –for them and for our firm. However, the one approach that clients comment on repeatedly is our desire to start from the inside/out. We ask questions. Probe. Connect with the target audience and answer “why should they care?”

In a multiple agency RFP search ten years ago, we were able to secure Prudential Mortgage Capital Company to our roster with a simple request to speak with their nationwide broker teams first. We felt that if a company of their stature should consider hiring our firm, they should expect the work at the end of the line to be exceptional. And we had the portfolio to support it. Let’s first make the work meaningful.

Before we spoke about creative design approaches or printing techniques or display samples, we first wanted to hear from the target audience what they wanted, what no longer worked, what messages resonated and which ones fell on deaf ears. This learning proved valuable to top management, marketing leaders, and to our firm. It informed our creative work and ultimately made all of the work “on point” and relevant. It also led to a very successful beginning to what is now a ten year relationship.