When going over the plans and aims of a project with new clients, there are two things that are vital to keep in mind. The first is the opportunity at stake. The second is the opportunity cost of letting that slip through their fingers.

To really understand both of those elements, we work to forensically diagnose the problems our client is facing, and how we can make them stronger. The landing point of those diagnostic sessions varies between client needs and styles — but whether a collectively crafted single diagnostic statement or something more detailed, everyone involved leaves the discussions focused and ready.

Clarity from the start

When kicking off a project, there needs to be total clarity for all involved. In this industry, work can so often come to you with broad stroke ideas of what needs to be done, but little clear ambition of what a business actually wants to achieve, nor how they want to achieve it. Without making these aspects clear from the very start, it’s easy to find yourselves alarmingly far apart very quickly.

That’s why it’s so important to us to start as we mean to go on. Getting right to the heart of the goals early on is what keeps the processes smooth and flexible to change, and keeps those aims firmly at the core of the work. We build our projects with a focus on what it takes to achieve those goals based on that understanding we’ve crafted together.

This starting point means we can be fully confident that the team of independent specialists we draw together for the challenge is the right one. Plus, that razor sharp clarity from the very start of a project serves as a rudder throughout. It sets the precedent for a direct, open communication, while ensuring we keep focused on what we’re trying to solve at every turn.

Our model at work

The need to diagnose, align and focus in the earliest stages was particularly important to our work with EQUITONE. From the start of the project, the overarching aim was to build and bolster their premium positioning in the market by strengthening their brand.

During the course of the work, the collective world price increases saw a rise in their cost of materials. As this forced them to raise prices, it naturally risked damage to that premium. But in the midst of that storm, rather than stop the work and turn their marketing team’s attentions to pushing sales, they stayed firmly focused on the reason we had gathered in the first place, even though the task had become tougher.

We ran a coaching programme with that marketing team to support them in building stronger brand-led communications. The clarity we had formed in those early stages meant our work together stayed firmly on course. Rather than pushing the marketing team’s focus towards the bottom of the sales funnel activity, they kept a necessary proportion of their attention on what was needed to cement a strong, resilient brand.

Firm but flexible

Those project aims remaining the focal point throughout also means we can shape the project as we go, staying firmly in control of any twists and turns. Skills and processes can be moulded and altered as is necessary as long as that remains most in sight — the flexibility built into our model makes that possible, and our determined diagnostic strategy means we can be adaptable en route to the fixed goal at the end.

Together, this puts everyone firmly on the same track, and we make sure everyone stays there. Coming together to forensically diagnose the problems faced by a client is our foundation for building upwards, and means everyone knows what they’re there to do and how.

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