Brand-agency relationships thrive when both parties are ready to push each other towards a mutually agreed-upon outcome.
When built well, these relationships can flourish into truly meaningful work that both the brand and the agency are proud of.
Easy in principle. Hard to do in practice.
If you’ve been on the agency or brand side for any notable amount of time, you probably have a story about relationships eroding and unraveling quickly. Objectives get murky or completely lost. The agency can’t follow through or meet the expectations they sold their capabilities on. The client can’t follow through or meet the expectations they agreed to when the work began. Outside factors like current events, competitors, and technology dictate changes that neither party could foresee.
At Portent, when we dissect our strongest client engagements, we find a handful of shared principles that seem to be ever-present. When we look back at relationships that went sour (yes, it happens here too from time to time), we find that those same cornerstones are waning or absent.
Successful brand-agency engagements happen when:
- Both parties share a mutually agreed-upon desired outcome
- The client can hold the agency accountable to the work sold
- The agency can hold the client accountable to the work dependencies
I’ll detail how to approach all three of these principles, so whether you are on the agency or brand side, you’ll be armed with how to set yourself up for success in your next engagement.