Earlier this month Piers Schmidt urged the smaller independent groups to rally against the might of the global conglomerates (Design Business, DW 8 November). Do you think there is a case for this and, if so, what might it achieve?

‘In a business that is about best thinking, there will always be a place for fantastic individuals and tailormade groupings of experts. Our own project to build Enterprise IG as a seamless and global business, though, was the direct result of researching what clients were asking for – global perspective, genuinely global capability, the ability to operate seamlessly and the security of dealing with a stable organisation.’

Sam Sampson, Chairman, The Brand Union

‘Independence and smallness are very different things. However, the growing demand for more flexible working will play into the hands of smaller consultancies – right across the marcoms mix – that foster links with their peers. Ultimately, the ability to build virtual consultancies in response to clients’ requirements increases the likelihood of a perfect match.’

Chris Grannell, Director, Grannell Marketing

‘Whatever the industry, there will always be a Big Five. However, it’s up to the smaller, more cultural creative groups who have real vision, to successfully project this vision to potential clients. Forums such as the Design Business Association and Design Unity are an ideal vehicle for them to present a united front and start earning the respect (and business) they deserve.’

Annabelle Rhiando, Ex-director, Deepgroup

‘Size doesn’t always have its advantages. Its main benefit is in providing breadth and depth of services. However, today’s clients are confident enough to cherry-pick the skills they need from a variety of sources if required. Creation of an unholy alliance of warthogs misses the point. The only law of this jungle is to deliver intellectual and creative excellence irrespective of size.’

Peter Knapp, Executive creative director,

Landor Associates

‘We best compete with the conglomerates by staying flexible and building genuinely collaborative networks of specialists (whether that be designers, or strategic consultants). That way we offer cost-efficient, tailored services using the most appropriate resources – but with the creative edge independents bring.’

Steve Gibbons, Joint managing and creative director,

Dew Gibbons

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