There was a time when giant advertising agencies, marketing and design firms roamed the earth consuming everything in their path. Pumping out campaign after campaign, turning unknown brands into household words, providing extra income to actors and athletes whom they chose as spokespersons, spending millions on commercials and ads and millions more on media to plaster their clients’ messages everywhere.
It was a time of plenty, with big budgets, consumers and clients who spent lavishly and agency personnel who were breaking new ground every day. Those were the days indeed, when a big part of a client’s status was measured by the size of firm they could afford to give their business to.
But alas, all good things must come to an end. And while a few big companies still feel the need of big agency status, and can actually pay enough to get senior talent on their accounts, those agencies are going out kicking and screaming–the age of the behemoth ad agency/studio/marketing firm is slowly showing signs of shrinkage.
Back in the late 1980s and early 90s, big changes took place in the big agency world. Many people who had made these companies rich and famous were being jettisoned for younger, less costly staff. The jettisoned creative people didn’t really mind because their training didn’t just equip them for independence, it also gave them the confidence that they could pull it off.
But the one mistake that many of them vowed never to repeat was that of growing so large they lost the ability to be hands-on on their clients’ businesses. Or the ability to cut through the bureaucracy and really make a difference. Because the clients themselves were changing too–becoming more entrepreneurial and bottom line conscious and appreciative of the ability to get bigger results from a smaller firm for less money.
At our small firm, we all started in the independent sector on our own terms and this is very much the environment in which we were formed. I suppose you could call us a boutique strategic design and communications firm, but we are decidedly much more than that. The combination of strategic, creative and production skills that each of our principals possesses means that we can offer anything those big firms can–but in a smaller, more efficient, more experienced and most importantly, more value-added, results-oriented package.
Our other advantages are that we’ve been around for 29 years and we’re all under one roof. That’s a plus because in this economy, many firms are justifiably skeptical of individuals or loose groups–a direction many of those jettisoned creative and marketing types have taken. Clients never know if the team players will be around for the whole campaign, or the next one. These days, stability and continuity are as important as talent and experience.
Small Can Be a Big Advantage
Regardless of what service industry you’re in, big firms will always have their place. However most businesses today, particularly SMEs, are better served by an agile firm who can and do:
a) Develop smart strategies and put their plans into action;
b) Provide sound, senior-only advice and real conversations without being constantly on the clock;
c) Deliver powerful ideas and world class execution;
d) Recognize that relationships matter.
Ink Tank clients tend to think a lot like us. The could be small startup businesses, or bigger businesses wishing to rebrand themselves or get a new initiative off the ground without mortgaging their future to do so. Or they could be big companies who need well thought out strategies and outstanding execution of their initiatives and communication tools at greater speeds and more cost effectively than bigger firms can deliver. And maybe with just a little more creativity.
Our client base includes many start up, big and really big firms like these, as well as business and management consultants who trust us to build on and faithfully execute the plans they have devised for their clients.
Regardless of how big your firm is, getting to know a small firm like ours could end up being the key to people getting to know you and your clients.
Ink Tank® is a ‘boutique’ design and communications firm without extravagance, politics or ego, but there is nothing ‘small’ about our talent levels, discipline and experience. We offer senior- level only participation, deep experience and proven successes across an extremely wide range of b2b, b2c, government and not-for-profit categories. Ink Tank is the ideal partner to launch a new product or service, brand or re-focus an existing brand, or get communications tools, advertising, packaging, promotions, displays and other marketing efforts working the way they should.