Try This!

One of the most precarious relationships in the business world is that between an ad agency and its clients. For this reason, agencies are notoriously cautious with these relationships.

Midt Marketing, a very progressive agency in Herning, Denmark, tried something unconventional yesterday. They gathered together representatives from three client companies, along with their respective agency account managers, for an all day Brand Harmony workshop with me. I was confident it would work well, but something special and unexpected happened.

I had assumed the client companies would work on exercises separately and in parallel, but from the very start, as we noticed common issues that each was facing, there was an energetic and electric interaction between the clients. They shared ideas and offered each other insights, giving us a new, surprising dimension to the experience. They continually remarked how interesting it was to have the chance to learn from each others' situations.

If you either work in an ad agency or are a client of one, I encourage you to try something like this. Sure, it's got risks. An agency's biggest fears: Clients learn about special treatment—or big mistakes—with other clients. Would your organization be afraid of it?

Steve Yastrow posted this on October 21, 2004, in Branding.
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