All Hands on Deck

December 14, 2016 • Posted in Branding

A day in the life of an account manager outside of my own to-do list includes really guiding the plane and supporting the designers by giving them everything they need. Call it my air traffic control component of some days. When building a new brand, the discovery process is absolutely essential. It sets the path for the life of the project. If done well, ample information is gathered to guide a brand to be everything the client wanted and more. If done poorly, the results can be worlds away from what they should be.

One thing I have found very helpful is having a designer at the kick off meeting. This is something that makes Red Thinking different; we don’t hide our designers from our clients as these mysterious miracle workers they never see or talk to. I feel that the most successful accounts are those that a team is created with members from both Red Thinking and the client. I like having the designer be an active member of that team.

During a kick off meeting with a client, we do a deep dive Q&A session to get a true sense of what they are looking for, what they like, what they don’t like, what they didn’t think they needed but now realize is a must have. Sometimes the conversations digress to some hilarious opinions and why the color orange reminds them of their Aunt Betty’s carrot cake. We gain a lot of insight and that’s what matters.

Having the designer that will be working on the project at this meeting allows for further discovery. They ask different questions, draw unique interpretations, and are able to take what they learn from getting to know the client and incorporate that into their creative process. It’s far better than my then putting together a what I (Melanie) heard you say. It’s what WE heard you say. It’s team effort. How I hear an answer may be greatly different from one of our designers. We’re simply built differently. And our clients see this as collaborative, quite immediately.

Having all hands on deck at this vital point in a project is crucial. It seems like a total no brainer, yet as I said this is something that sets Red Thinking apart from other agencies. Believe me. Typically account managers and designers live on different planets and then we’re supposed to bring one thought or idea together. We work together, from the beginning. It makes my life easier, our designers lives easier and I feel certain our clients see the difference even if they don’t know that not all firms do it this way. Collaboration? A strange word to you? Not at Red Thinking.

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