A Case for Long-term Agency Relationships

When a brand needs to innovate, test or validate new concepts, or simply needs to step outside the existing process of approval, agencies become that testing ground.

When we look at the launch of engaged brands in social in ’06, ’07 & ’08, 90% of the time the success is a result of an agency team paired with a risk taker in a brand focused on succeeding where others have failed. Once successful, the brand brings it in-house.

As a former agency employee and playing a rather vague strategy role, I had the opportunity to do just this and provide that vision, that image and that approach.

In the best client relationships we maintained our clients treated us as simply an extension of their team, and we the same.

As I look at the products that are in my household – LG, HTC, Microsoft, Saab, Samsung and multiple spirits brands – often that client relationship prompted me to prioritize evaluating and testing those products.

I’m not sure if other vendors for brands maintain that relationship but this is something that I have constantly seen working with agencies.

The majority of senior leads proudly rock their clients’ brands and will be living brand ambassadors.


The Deadline

One thing that defines the dynamic relationship between the agency and the brand is that it’s forged like steel from deadlines, late hours and teams coming together to develop a work of art.

From the beginning of the relationship in RFP, the vision and the timelines start in a flurry of emails, screenshots and decks floating between team members which hopefully culminates in to in person pitch.

The real fun begins once you’ve won the client business and move into kick off and understanding of the brand identity.

The team members coming in and out, the teams working like synchronized swimmers and the first aggressive deadline is launched. Is it a website? Is it a deck? Is it a launch of a new campaign? No matter what, this is how the relationship is formed.


In summary, Brandwatch understands the importance of that relationship and we love the opportunity we present to our clients in strengthening that relationship.