Clients who are involved in the client agency relationship do not realize that they have a direct impact on the creative their agency produces. We hear so much about agencies and their creative prowess and how ‘the creative’ talent establishes its reputation. But there’s hardly any mention of the trust factor and how that directly impacts the creative output. The creative process, whether it’s for personal endeavours or professional ones is always based on the ability of the creative mind to be at ease. To feel comfortable in the exploration of the obvious and not so obvious.

There are so many articles and blogs written on brainstorming practices… in group settings or solo ones, but very few tap into the premise of the brainstorming. In order to brainstorm you need a mandate ­– again, it could be a personal mandate or a professional one, brought forth from a client. If the client fosters the creative team with not only information, but with a sense of team and with a sense of knowledge that the outcome will be nothing short of awesome, then that is a setting for success, for all parties. I have the pleasure of working with clients whom have fostered that environment within our creative team. After the creative process, it’s a delight when we present and the client gets excited and says, “Wow, I wasn’t expecting that”.

Developing creative is an exciting and passionate business to be in. Fostering trust in a business relationship, is the cornerstone of creating creative that wins.

As with any relationship, creating and building on trust is a two-way street. Here’s a few points from both perspectives for the professional relationships:

The Creative Agency Built on Trust:

Know the brief. Ask questions. In order to evolve a brief into a sparkling, unique, rare but concise creative, you need to get involved… and that means that you need to admit that you don’t know. Clients will respect that and this will showcase the intelligence driving the creative outcome.

Empower your client. Never assume that the client doesn’t have a creative bone in their body. Clients know their business better than anyone else, including you. Within their brief, they will articulate gems of creative ideas… and they don’t even realize it. Take those gems and work them into creative that expresses their ideas. They will recognize them as such, and realize that, yes, you really do listen.

Always deliver and more. If a client has asked you to be at the table and provided you with a brief, it’s not only to fulfill the order, it’s to add value to the creative process in order to provide a creative outcome that sings. The damage of over promising and under delivering will break all trust and will start eroding the credibility that has been established. Just because you’re in the business of creating doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to be flighty and irresponsible.

The Client Built on Trust:

Share the knowledge. The more the creative agency knows, the better they are at creating and developing creative that is thought provoking and on target. Understanding the market and the intricate details of the industry is key to creating creative that will push the envelope.

Advocacy is key. Give credit where credit is due… and not to the creative agency, but to the management team. It’s important for the upper layer of management to know that the partner at the table is an instrumental element to the team.

Garner stability. There’s nothing more hurtful to a relationship based on trust than asking the creative agency to continuously fight for the business, especially if they have met 100% of your expectations. Asking a creative agency to continuously have to prove their right to be at the table, is a short term vision of what should be a long term relationship.