All businesses try to differentiate themselves from their competition in order to attract new business. Riordon included. No matter the category – Design, Finance, Entertainment, Technology, Pharmaceutical, we all try to promote our value proposition and why we should be chosen over another to do business with. “Why Us?” In this attempt to do the same “but different”, we tend to rehash and rewrap “done to death” approaches and messages, so after all is said – not so different.
There are things that are expected of each of us as professionals and as a business. Often times expectations and strengths are confused. I’ve heard of candidates applying for a job answer the “What are your strengths?” question with: “I’m a hard worker,” “I show up on time,” “I’m proficient at X,Y & Z software.” These are not strengths. These are expectations that any candidate would need to perform by default. The same goes with our business of Brand Development and Communications. We are expected to lead a client through a process. We are expected to partner with them to develop a strategy. We are expected to come up with and execute great creative. We are expected to wear many hats and jump through hoops. So how is that different from other firms in our chosen business? It’s not! Yes, a design firm’s model may differ from another’s, but essentially the goal is the same. Simply put, get from Point A to Point B successfully and painlessly… then, repeat. This applies to building client partnerships, fostering those relationships, working on any given project(s) and sharing insights and opinions. So if this is what is expected, how are we different?
Here are three things we have nurtured in our studio culture, partly because of who we are, but also as an intentional way of distinguishing the Riordon brand experience.
1. Grace Under Pressure
In the ever-changing world of business, we can have tunnel vision and forget one important, if not, fundamental thing. We’re human. We are naturally inclined to be relational. Even as technology continues to advance at a ridiculous pace and we contend to keep up, we need to remind ourselves of what really drives us and our business – it’s relationships. These relationships are built by one’s personality and the culture they build. On a number of occasions, our clients have commented how they admire our calm demeanour through even the most tense of times… “You guys are Grace Under Pressure!“. Tight deadlines, “too many cooks in the kitchen” on a project and shifting budget realities can be difficult to manage. That said, getting upset, puffing your chest and stomping your foot only fuels the fire. Whether it be our individual or collective personalities, we’ve found that calmly working through whatever obstacles are in front of us and solving them with a positive attitude helps smooth the ride to the end destination… and encourages the opportunity for another road trip.
2. Saving Your Bacon
All businesses have high-stress moments where mistakes are costly. Circumstances that are beyond our control tend to put us in positions where everything feels like it’s going to fall apart. We’ve all been in those situations… “Big presentation on Monday, it’s the Friday before and it’s 5:00pm. You realize it’s not where it needs to be and you don’t have the means to make it right”… What to do? While we try not to make a practice of it, we’ve had those calls come in and if it’s “do-able”, we’ll do it. Sometimes, extending goodwill beyond what is in the project brief or scope is also part of a good bottom line.
3. Pain-Free Process
Earlier we mentioned a common goal… get from Point A to Point B as painlessly as possible. How do we do it? An inclusive approach. While Riordon does have a process, we do not have a formula, and by that we mean, nothing is set in stone. Every client, project or idea is different and therefore needs a customized approach. A message we repeatedly promote is that we’ll never know a client’s business as well as they do, because we’re not in their business. This resonates well because it acknowledges a client’s role in the process and truly encourages their input in a partnering approach and relationship. What we do know is how to develop a sound strategy that guides the process to create effective and appropriate communications – whatever they may be. We are as large or small as you need us to be – from a monthly retainer model, to working on a per project basis. Sometimes, we are the brand consultants on a specific initiative – or a full agency developing a new brand platform and all related communications. So far, this flexibility and process has proven to be as painless as it gets.
So back to the question… Why Us? The answer: Why Not? You have to date before you get married, right? So why not go out on a date with us? If you’re looking for a team who can handle pressure, has your back, and values your opinion in the process, get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you.