Who Are We?

Earlier this year I made that all important decision to find a new job, a new challenge that would push me and move my career to the next level. So I began the job hunt, exploring my options and having a good look at those agencies that I really was inspired by. It took me 12 months to find ‘the one’!

Before I go on this Blog isn’t about me talking about how great Fogg Associates is and all the wonderful things that attracted me to them…yes they are pretty cool but the experience of job hunting really gave me an insight in how agencies position themselves.

We are all looking for that ‘thing’ that defines us, that makes us stand out and gives us an unrivalled positioning in an incredibly crowded marketplace.

Out of all the agencies I went to see, and there were quite a few, there wasn’t one that I honestly felt had something truly unique to say about what they offered, everything is simply packaged up in a different way. But where we do try to differentiate is with our brand, our culture, our approach, our personality and our vision, we try to differentiate on the experience we offer our clients.

Some try and set their brands apart with a quirky name, or quirky office environment, others with a clever strapline, some talk about how ‘effective’ they are and a lot talk about their culture and personality.

This really got me thinking from a clients point of view and how they ‘shop’ for an agency. When I first started my career the industry was more clearly defined. There were pure advertising agencies, pure design agencies, pure PR agencies and the digital side of things was just taking off. Now we have all merged in to one and many of us can now offer a ‘one stop shop’ to our clients. And we are constantly adding to what we do with the addition of services we can offer. The way our industry has evolved and continues to evolve has made it confusing for clients.

So I did a little bit of research and spoke to clients past, present and (hopefully) future. In a number of one to one sessions I explored the agency ‘landscape’ to understand how clients felt about us.

There were two clear camps of thought around how people feel about us…

A respected resource:
“We value what an agency offers, we can’t do this ourselves”.

A necessity:
“We see an agency as something we need, an external team”.

There are clearly those clients that see us as being integral and part of their team where others just see us as delivering a service. We can probably all relate to this as from time to time we must always adapt to how a client wants to work with us.

The overall theme for agency awareness was based around location. There was a greater knowledge for where agencies were based as to what they were called. For example the Northern Quarter in Manchester was very well know but when asked to name a specific agency name Clients struggled with this however there was a commonly used phrase to describe the agency ‘type’ in this location…

“That’s where all the quirky ones are”.

When I asked how they selected an agency the criteria ranged massively from:

“I want someone on my doorstep who is reactive and turns around work quickly” to “I will only work with agencies that have experience in my sector”.

There were lots of comments around service and price, I bet many of you can guess what the comments were there!

But there was one commonly used term throughout all of my conversations: ‘Believability’.

We all know that Belief is one of the main elements of a successful brand. Not only do we want our clients to believe in us we also want our colleagues to do the same.

Which brings me back to the point of this Blog and answers the question of why I wanted to work here at Fogg. It was simple, I believed in it. The people, the culture, the personality and the vision. That’s exactly how we want our Clients to feel as well.

Sometimes I think that agencies get so caught up in what each other are doing and trying to create something different we lose sight of what and who we really are. So to create a truly unique brand positioning may be we just need to get back to basics and look at who we are instead of who we aren’t?

If you’re interested in hearing more about my Client Research then please leave a comment on this Blog or email me directly at Kerry.howl@foggassociates.com

Kerry Howl,
Marketing Director