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  • Gina Michnowicz

Agency-Client Collaboration: How to Get a Better Work Product

Ideas are at the core of marketing. We come up with a lot of great ideas at our creative shop. But how do you get the best ideas that will win in the market? Through collaboration.

At The Craftsman Agency, we see the client–agency relationship as a partnership. We’re idea generators. We’re marketing experts. We’re creative specialists. But we also understand that our clients know their brand and target audience. They know their company’s internal dynamics. And above all, they’re people—and we’re marketing to people. So if they’ve got feedback on an idea, we’re listening.

Some of our all-time favorite projects are the results of collaborations.

For example, we worked with the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton for a few really fun activations at SXSW a couple of years ago. One of them was custom T-shirt printing on site during the Startup Crawl.

After coming up with the initial T-shirt printing concept, we needed to create the print designs. That’s when the Booz Allen team and The Craftsman creative team put our heads together. We decided to aim for six designs. They asked us to include:

  • One option related to “Keep Austin Weird”

  • One simple Austin landscape

  • One simple one-color design that incorporated the Booz Allen logo or its event tagline, “Well, Hello Future”

  • Two options that connected to SXSW tech topics

We developed creative concepts to share with the Booz Allen team and they provided their feedback on which ones to continue to explore. Through this process, we plussed up each other’s ideas.

One of the final design ideas actually came from one of the Booz Allen team members. (True collaboration happens when you leave your ego at the door and don’t worry about who came up with the idea.) She suggested including a llama, which was really on trend, and we got more insight into what she was thinking. Our team decided to have the llama wear a VR headset so it tied into another activation connected to one of their key capabilities, the Beat Saber competition. It was an extremely popular design, and we saw many SXSW attendees wearing it throughout the weekend.

Here it is!

To see all the designs, check out our Booz Allen case study. This T-shirt activation is just one example of how a great client-agency collaboration can pay off. We have many others, including our showstopper Instagram artist campaign for The Greatest Showman and our Godiva chocolate train for Murder on the Orient Express. (We’re also excited to be working with Booz Allen on another project right now. We’ll be sharing that at a later date!)

We know a collaborative creative process with clients creates the best results. Want to team up? Get in touch. We’d love to explore how we can work together to make something amazing.

Looking for specific collaboration tips? Check out this blog post, How to Get the Best Results from Your Creative Collaborations.

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