March 8, 2018

Sticking Out from the Crowd – The Appeal of a Boutique Advertising Agency Over a Larger Advertising Agency

For decades, big brands have sought to hitch their wagons to big creative agencies, in order to reflect their stature in the marketplace. The same goes for small to medium-sized companies, who pined after larger advertising agencies as though to to show they’re also real brands, only to find larger advertising agencies are top-heavy with systems, people and processes.

However, there seems to be a shift in South Africa towards the smaller and boutique creative agency, which works in closer tandem with brands to achieve the goals they’ve set out to achieve. This, at a fraction of the price a larger advertising agency would ask for. Let’s take a look at why this trend is taking root, and what’s behind the appeal of working with a boutique agency.

In Boutique Agencies, Flexibility Reigns Supreme

If you haven’t noticed already, large advertising agencies are like kingdoms, complete with rulers, a ruling class, serfs and vendors. They’ve built reporting models and structures that appear impressive on paper, but it actually merely roots the company in routine and process.

While brands often find they need to adapt to this methodology of larger agencies, boutique agencies are likelier to adapt to the speed and way that brands work. Boutique creative agencies are more flexible. They’re far likelier to offer a bespoke, tailored service, where they’re able to move swiftly. They’re hungrier to do more and do better, rather than resting on a big reputation.

In Boutique Agencies, People Work Together

The operating modules of larger agencies require them to be driven by hierarchy and separation. There are established pecking orders of directors, associate directors and executes, with these professionals always clamouring for more recognition and power.

Boutique agencies, on the other hand, tend to have a culture where employees work together more effectively, sharing ideas and skills at all levels. It means your brand has access to more seasoned creative, who are ready to guide junior staff to come up with and execute incredible creative campaigns to the benefit of your brand, which leads us to our next point.

In Boutique Agencies, You Have Access

Larger agencies feature layers of executives, account handlers, strategies, creative, analytics and directors. There are dozens of people involved in your project at every stage, whose faces change with every meeting you attend. In a boutique agency, you’re far likelier to speak to the people who will have a direct impact on your creative, and the account manager who oversees it. You have access to the agency’s top talent, and you won’t have to break the bank to afford it.

These are only a few contrasts between working with a boutique creative agency, as compared to working with a larger one. It makes it clear why this trend is sweeping through South Africa, and other nations as well. Look forward to receiving more from your creative when working with a boutique agency.

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