You know the popular saying – the bigger, the better? Well, it’s not always true…
Especially when it comes to digital and creative agencies.
Brands have started to shun large agencies in favour of smaller ones.
At first glance, it might seem counterintuitive. After all, big agencies usually have more assets, awards and accolades
But if you dig a bit deeper, is it really so surprising?
Small agencies prioritise the following: Personal relationships, accountability, adaptability, talent and price.
And these are key attributes that brands look for when choosing who to collaborate with.
Let’s explore each a little further…
Clients want a personal relationship with their agencies.
It’s pretty simple – when you can put a face to a name, there’s a stronger sense of trust.
It’s important for clients to know:
Large agencies find it harder to answer these questions because work is split between departments and it’s more difficult to pin down a point of contact.
Also, there are usually several campaigns running at once. Teams can’t show favouritism or invest their energy into just one.
Arguably, it’s much easier to deal with a small agency because teams are intimate.
Designers, developers and directors are equally involved in campaigns and ideas aren’t misinterpreted by middle-men. The process is more straightforward!
Sometimes, there are too many cooks in the kitchen.
When too many people get involved in a project, it’s easy for individuals to lose that sense of personal responsibility.
This is a problem because work can only be excellent when it’s really nurtured. Someone must be answerable for its results.
In a large team, problems that arise can be passed to (or blamed on) others. Also, all the success is shared.
While shared success is a beautiful thing, generally a person is more motivated when they have more to lose and more to prove!
Big agencies suffer from bureaucracy. Which, unfortunately, is the enemy of creativity.
Projects can take a long time to get approved and clients find themselves frustrated and shouldering extra fees.
Without the pain of box-ticking, small agencies work faster and smarter.
They’re able to experiment with different approaches and adapt their way of working to suit each project. Plus, if there’s a problem, they can respond swiftly without having to consult a crowd of people.
Large agencies have loads of designers, writers and developers, so skills are spread between people. This reduces the need to hire based on personal talent.
At small agencies, there’s no hiding. There’s not always a team to rely on which means employees must keep up with personal and professional development.
There also tends to be a specific type of person who wants to work for smaller agencies.
These individuals want to stand out and make a difference to the company they’re joining. They usually want more responsibility and opportunities to prove themselves.
Small agencies aren’t cheap but they tend to be more affordable because they have fewer outgoings.
Large agencies are expensive because you’re paying for the privilege of working with them, not necessarily for better quality work.
At Rubber Cheese, we believe great things come in small packages.
Why wouldn’t we? We’re living proof small agencies work and have completed projects for esteemed brands including Plymouth Gin, EUREKA!, Malt Whisky Distilleries and Jo Jingles.