We were interested in the article on Russia (News Analysis, DW 8 January) as we have been working there since 1998 and have more than 50 clients in retail, banking and real estate.
We saw the effect of the rouble crash in 1998 and the current situation is a bit déjà vu for us. It’s a test of commitment – we stayed loyal to our clients and supportive when money wasn’t available. It certainly paid off as Russians, like most people, like to deal with committed companies they can trust, and not those that only appear to stick around when big fees are available.
The good news is that cosmetic design makeovers without a clear commercial strategy will be very low priority for business. This should weed out clients that still see design and branding as just visual packaging. Exercise and focus interest on strategic design that can help leverage available resources to best advantage.
We have developments that are moving forward, particularly in the real estate sector, but the next six months will be difficult and clients will be having to demand more for less from consultancies.
Certainly, the gold rush is over for the time being – maybe for ever – and only those really committed to this challenging market will find it profitable.
Clive Woodger, Managing director, SCG London, London SW6