As marketing teams reopen budgets post lockdown, there are a whole host of design agencies and freelance designers to choose from.
At the best of times, clients can be quickly become overwhelmed when it comes to choosing a creative agency – but now more than ever, the industry faces the additional issue of creative price wars.
While low cost may seem tempting in times of uncertainty, clients really should avoid placing their projects with the lowest bidders – for a whole host of reasons.
After all, your creative is a business asset, as essential as your staff or your technology and should be given the credit it deserves.
Here, we show you why buying cheap doesn’t always pay.
Commissioning a cheap portrait
may well result in a caricature
Many people have had too many beers on holiday and paid a few euros for a local artist to paint their picture. The results can be questionable, and nothing like you had visualised – but when you’re on holiday you, can simply embrace it as a dodgy souvenir.
It’s the same with creative. Take an idea of something that you like to a less experienced creative agency, and it’s unlikely that they will produce what you have in mind. It might be similar. The theme might be there. But the reality is likely to be very, very different from your vision.
Fix it and botch it usually
results in a large handyman bill
How many of us have tried to save cash by carrying out home “improvements” with the assistance of a mate? It’s not unusual to make a complete hash of it and then have to pay a professional to pick up the pieces.
Again, the same theory can be applied to creativity. Anyone can rattle off their own logo today can’t they? It’s a few hours of a job. Right?
Well … not strictly speaking.
It’s true that the likes of Canva and Logomkr can give you something, cheap as chips. It’s also true that there will also be someone out there willing to design you something in return for a few beers. When you are starting out, this may seem ideal – however further down the line you will start to see the pitfalls.
What these cheaper options are missing is the knowledge and expertise that comes from years of experience. The generic nature of these “DIY” logos means they’re not designed to meet specific needs, and there is likely to be any grasp of your wider brand strategy.
The worst thing a business can do is start out with a cheap logo, put it out there and as it grows, have to call in the experts to start again from scratch. Just get them in to start with!
Would you buy a Ferrari
from a car supermarket?
So, while we’re talking “experts”, let’s be clear on what that actually means. Far beyond creating something that looks great, an expert will understand the wider picture. It’s pretty essential that your agency not only understands your business – but the industry in which you operate, and the challenges you face in standing out from the competition. Even more important is that they “get” your target audience, and how to effectively communicate with them.
The Ferrari salesperson makes it their life’s mission to learn everything about the brand, it’s inner workings and how to talk to would be customers. While your car supermarket sales-person could probably give an overview, the detailed knowledge just won’t be there.
Effective design and hitting the target audience with the right messages that result in the desired response should be key. At Awesome, we talk a lot about producing work that works for the client as a business as well as us as creatives – and that means delving deep into their business.
If you have been quoted a super cheap price, it’s unlikely that the agency will have factored in the time and consideration your business deserves.
A knock-off handbag
isn’t built to last
While most of us love a bargain, your creative shouldn’t come in to this category. Cheap, replica products can serve a purpose – until the handle breaks of the “leather” finish peels off.
Replica creativity is similar. It can look great to start with, but that cheaper website may do the job – but try it on a mobile device and the wheels will start to come off. The online print job that seemed like a huge saving can often seem garish and flimsy once it arrives.
It’s not rocket science but it’s true – you really do get what you pay for.