We do not trade with pencils. If it were so, building trust between us would be much simpler. You as a potential client could see, even inspect exactly what it is or would be that you would purchase and we could tell you precisely what it would cost. This would be particularly beneficial the first time you wish to hire us. A pencil, 1,1mm graphite HB inside, encased in wood, 27,8cm in length, sharpened to 12mm at an angle of 58°. Design and cost choices, such as beech wood, acacia or FSC-tropical wood, lacquered, imprinted or natural, and options for bulk prices plus shipping. A little time with a calculator and within a few moments we could discuss various options and possibilities of delivery. Even before ordering you could check and assess a model pencil and discern its quality for yourself. The key aspect here is that you would know exactly what you would get for your money. You would have a catalogue with our entire range of pencils anyway. So you decide on the beech wood pencil and then we negotiate on the bulk discount. In the end we meet at a price that is a little lower than that of our competition, and we are in business. Everybody is satisfied.
Unfortunately it is not that simple. Unfortunately we do not trade in pencils.
We would like nothing more than to count you amongst our clients. That said, we earn our bread and butter through the provision of individual consultation and creative services. As such, you are ordering a product or service, which at the time of purchase does not and cannot yet exist. At conception a project can be considered to be something like “a cat in a bag, which may turn out to be a rabbit that barks and then yields milk”. Essentially this is to say, that we develop future products and services, which will provide essential and existential benefits. These could be entire worlds (brands, companies, etc.) created and made to come alive, convincing decision-makers, selling products, attracting employees and partners, understandably transporting vital messages, improving revenue, securing existences, establishing networks, overcoming crises and much, much more. The finished “product” you ordered, is only found right at the end of an extensive creative development process, which will also cause some work on your side and may in fact look quite different to what you originally had in mind. It could have a different price. But it must look as it does and cost what it does, so that it can perform and do as it is meant to do – to figure this all out, the process is an absolute necessity. Our mission is to achieve positive results. This can however only be achieved by taking on the responsibility together, taking you products, target groups, networks and the market itself into account. The dasign process configuration and cooperation is included in the ordered product and part of the added value. This invisible and untouchable process of creation may require much more input than the actual finalization and creation of the end product such as the brand, media, texts, visuals and promotions.
The decision to purchase, your commissioning of dasign so to speak requires that you trust that dasign is able to do what you need, that we set your success as our goal and represent your interests. You should believe that we are farsighted, experienced consultants, creative at heart, practical project managers and above all fair business people. Of course it is not really possible to prove this beforehand. dasign has however been active in the industry for many years, worked with many corporations in various fields and has always developed great solutions and maintained its partnerships and relationships with customers, which does say quite a lot. But it does not say all – every project and solution is completely unique after all. (Sound like a pitch from behind? Well, even a pitch does not resolve the question of trust or confidence, sorry.)
Such concerns go both ways though. We too need to trust you, our customer: We need to be able to rely on being incorporated and involved in all the relevant aspects and processes, so that we are able to come up with the correct solution. Dasign needs you to do your homework as well and incorporate your leadership and vision into the project. It is paramount for great cooperation, that you do your part well and diligently, as our work at dasign is dependent thereon. Therefore your fairness and appreciation towards the services we provide and value we create need be given – under those circumstances we at dasign will reach peak performance, which is in everyone’s interest. Otherwise the agency is to blame once again, not something we feel like, especially since this results in absolutely nothing useful.
A comprehensive and honest conversation is thus always the best starting point; mutual respect a requirement. A reciprocal advance of trust should contribute greatly, as it generally does in life. So we will go ahead and bring a good portion of our trust along already.