Fred thoughts
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Why you shouldn't be afraid to push the boundaries of a client brief.
Nov 2018

We’ve seen it time and time again – a client or potential client gives you a creative brief to follow, but you don’t agree that this is the right way for them to go to achieve their objective. Do you carry on regardless and deliver what it is they think they want, even though your instinct tells you that it’s not necessarily the best solution to their objective? Or do you challenge it, using your own experience and industry knowledge to throw in a curveball and offer them something different?

Answer – you do both. The reality is that you need to be able to show the client that you have listened and accurately interpreted their brief. But as an agency, we absolutely shouldn’t be afraid to be bold or try something different. Particularly when we are confident that the end result and ultimate impact is likely to be much better.

Invariably, our clients know what they don’t want, more than what they actually want. But over the years we’ve learnt that challenging the client’s thinking can actually help to achieve something far greater than they ever expected. More importantly, it helps gain their trust, builds that client relationship and gives us the creative freedom we require.

When we’re asked to produce a new piece of work we take a look at the design brief and spend time digesting it as a team. Where possible we will then try to meet with the client or at the very least have a phone call to talk through exactly what it is they are hoping to achieve. We spend a lot of time understanding the business problem they are asking us to solve. We also give consideration as to how the brief relates to their specific brand, the sector they work in, their challenges and crucially, their target audience.

Once we have a better understanding of this we can start the design process. This starts with the research phase, looking for inspiration and ideas that we have pulled from the brief before we then brainstorm as a team and put concepts together.

We then submit our ideas to the client, providing a plethora of diverse concepts, from safe bets to wild cards, we always provide the client with something fitting their brief completely, then we start to challenge. Using our many years of industry knowledge and in-depth market research, we give the client an idea they weren’t expecting and more times than not, they love it.

Between us, the We Are Fred team has over 50 years of experience. We’ve worked for iconic brands to small start-ups across every industry. Designed for companies with a UK presence as well as a widespread global reach. There isn’t much that we haven’t done and therefore our experience in the market means we know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to design and marketing. Our clients come to us because they are trying to achieve an objective, be it new customers, recruitment, brand awareness or sales, they trust us to be able to provide a solution that helps pull that strategy together.

So while we are always happy to come up with a concept that fully meets the brief, we want to give our clients the benefit of our experience and expertise in the industry, this sometimes means going against the grain. Our clients instruct us to add value to their business, many think of us as an extension of their team and we didn’t build our trustworthy reputation of being ‘yes men’, we are forward thinkers and will always share our client’s passion for their business and get the results they need.

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