Why the traditional way of briefing your agency doesn’t give you the results you want.
So here is how most briefings work: Client collects all the information she/he thinks an agency might need and sends it over. Agency takes all the information and comes up with a solution it hopes the client might like. Then follows a ping pong game of to-ing and fro-ing, amending, adjusting, re-briefing and sometimes even starting all over… More often than not, the process involves some frustrating moments on both sides culminating in: “They just don’t get it!“.
After many years of playing this guessing game I have often thought to myself, “there has to be a better way of working together, a way that could save time and headaches”. Well, there is. At Zibert + Friends consulting we like to call it collaborative briefing.
Our principle: take time to save time. In a collaborative briefing session we work together with our clients applying proven methods to determine their communication goals. We then define a clear purpose based on the needs of their audience. Part of our process is to use the energy of the group to bounce off initial ideas and approaches. The sessions are structured, yet flexible enough to allow for a natural flow. Everyone present can get first hand information, ask all the necessary questions and exchange thoughts in a creative and productive environment. The results give us a perfect springboard for all the following steps of the project.
Trust. Nothing beats the satisfaction of creating something together – building on everyone’s strengths and expertise. Our clients are the guardians of their products and services, whilst we are the objective sparing partners and communication specialists that can help build the bridge between what moves an audience and what a brand has to offer. The most successful projects and campaigns I have worked on were those led by trust. Everyone involved was allowed to take on the reins of their part for a common goal. We believe that our collaborative briefing sessions are the best way to establish this trust right from the start.
Letting go. Our sessions work best if all participants are ready to leave their own and the brand’s comfort zones, to challenge assumptions and the status quo. It’s not always easy, but healthy, constructive dialogue is the best way to explore innovative solutions that will help a brand grow sustainably.
Speaking the same language. In the past, it seamed like clients and agencies spoke a completely different language. This could explain why many messages got lost in translation. But keeping this separation between “them” and “us” is completely unproductive and dated. The aim is to find a common ground that everyone can identify with and build upon. Coming together helps close this gap and broaden everyone’s perspective.
Focus. With all the input collected by participants we have all the necessary information that we need to create a clear and focused brief. We are on the same page with the client and the creative team can steer the project in the right direction.
There has been a big change for the better in our relationship with our clients since we started working this way. Briefs are clearer, ideas are stronger and we have reduced the number of amends necessary during our projects. All in all, everyone is much happier. And that is what it’s really all about!
If you’re interested in booking a collaborative briefing session for your next project or communication strategy drop us a line or give us a call.