Please remember: the client is not a moron

Judging from the number of requests we have had for a copy of the research undertaken for the Pan European Brand Design Association there is a lot of interest in the issue of “what clients want from their design consultancies”. No doubt your editorial will stimulate a healthy debate (News, DW 19 February).

We constantly speak to clients of all shapes and sizes and a consistent pattern is emerging: clients have become more demanding and they are not prepared to accept what’s given them.

They are dictating the agenda.

The macho 1980s days of telling clients what they must have are gone forever. Successful consultancies these days are those that listen first and create afterwards; with the client’s input not in spite of it.

To paraphrase David Ogilvy, “The client’s not a moron he (or she) is your colleague/ friend/ mate.” (delete as appropriate).

Clients want better “service”. Don’t we all! But the smart consultancies have woken up to the fact that client service is more of an attitude than a discipline.

Those design consultancies that do embrace the service culture will strengthen their client relationships.

And, finally, let’s not forget that while UK consultancies are accused of being “aggressive”, they have penetrated European markets to a far greater extent than their European equivalents have done in the UK.

Carey Evans

Partner

The Tutt Consultancy

London W1

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