For the love of it…

In a week where poor old Yaya Touré felt his club wasn’t appreciating him, we offer our thoughts on how agencies and clients rub along together. We’re glad for his sake Yaya doesn’t work in this industry…

Much was made this week of Man City midfielder Yaya Touré and his assertion (well, his agent’s assertion) that he didn’t feel sufficiently appreciated by his employers. The story quickly descended into farce (even by City’s standards) with deleted contradictory tweets, mentions of players receiving Bugatti supercars and our Yaya not even getting a cake. Even though he did.

Putting all that to one side, what was mentioned was the fact that in comparison to the other top players at City, he apparently felt undervalued, even mentioning that his image wasn’t used in their marketing as much as the likes of David Silva, Sergio Agüero, Joe Hart, et al.  Sensitive souls, these footballers…

It’s easy to say ‘for that kind of money every week, why would you care?’ And, yes, Mr. Touré is no doubt very well rewarded financially for his midfield exploits, but putting the fact he’s a well paid footballer to one side, if that’s how he feels, then who are we to say ‘just get on with it?’. The way it was communicated, via a combination of Twitter and a slightly manic Russian agent on Sky Sports, could perhaps have been handled a bit better, but that’s a subject for another blog…

Let’s apply the same scenario to our industry. It can be very easy for clients to (unwittingly) upset or disappoint creative types by daring to comment on the beautiful piece of work they’ve worked on late into the previous night. Using the analogy above, a client could argue they are paying for the work, so why should the designer care if they change it? But, like Yaya and his football, as designers, we are very emotionally invested in the work we do.

We quickly (if we’ve got any sense) grow a thicker skin, learn to filter out the less relevant observations and basically not take it personally. It’s always a good thing to remember that when we design we’re being paid to create something for someone, not creating something for ourselves that we hope someone will pay for.

Away from the studio, client services go through similar challenges. Our intrepid ‘suits’ are faced with an inbox of assorted ‘can you just?’ type requests – send these images there, put this logo in that format and send it to them – you know the sort of thing. Again, it’s part of the industry and we do it as it’s what we’re there for. Until we allow for it on a quote…

Here at Ingenious, we are fortunate indeed to work with a great bunch of clients. And no, we’re not just saying that! The overwhelming majority appreciates and understands the lengths we go to on their behalf. Equally, we try to underpromise, overdeliver, and do it with a smile. It’s an approach that seems to work, and we like to think we have a good working relationship with them all. Occasionally, inevitably, things go less well, but unlike Yaya, we don’t take to Twitter to have a moan! Instead, those instances are quickly discussed and resolved, which again is testament to the strength of those working relationships we have worked so hard to build.

In conclusion, we think it’s nice to have a bit of client ‘love’ now and again (does that sound a bit wrong???) but nobody should expect it. After all, it’s first and foremost a business relationship.

Oh, and in the unlikely event Yaya Touré is reading this blog, and fancies a change of career, we’ll give you a placement. We’ll put a picture of you on the wall, we promise not to forget your birthday (it’s the same date as our MD’s son) and you can have whatever cake you like. No guarantee you’d get in our five-a-side team though. Some things you have to earn…


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