We?ve been around for almost 2 decades and have been asked to do spec work thousands of times. For those who don?t know what spec work is; it?s free creative/strategy ideas or concepts that agencies do to win potential business.???
Why is it good? Those who ask for it feel it gives them a sense of security. That way when a decision is made they?ve done their homework. But all they?ve done is set their company up for failure.
Let me tell you why??
1. Spec work is never, ever correct or on target. When we engage a client we get intimate with their business, employees, customers, prospects, lost customers, industry professionals etc. How could you possibly do this providing spec work? So what you really get with spec work is just a bunch of pretty pictures and some half assed strategies.?Sorry, not for us. If you want to work with Brand Identity Guru then you really need to understand the type of value we bring to the table.
And it?s not free work. We are truly your partner in crime. We enjoy your success because it makes us feel good. Not because you pay us. Don?t you want someone like that??
2. It makes the agency a vendor. You might as well get a rope, throw it over a beam and jump off a chair when your client refers to you as a vendor.??
3. Without question they?ll expect free work after they have selected you. This is all part of the ?You?re lucky we chose you? mentality. ?
We build strong brand identity and or close the gap between your identity and brand image. We can?t do that with a few creative concepts and a box lunch. So if you?re looking for spec work call a desperate ad agency, they love to do them!
So the next time a prospect asks you to do spec work turn the tables. If they sell clothing (substitute their product or service) ask them for a wardrobe in your size and tell them you want to wear it around for 6 months to see if the quality and style suits you. If the clothing is good enough for you tell them that you?ll buy future clothing from them but you?ll be keeping the clothing you?ve been wearing for the last 6 months.???
See how many of them want to give stuff away??
My next two articles will be on why we never participate in RFP?s and make guarantee?s.
Thanks to NoSpec.com and Spike over at Brains on Fire for inspriring me to write this article. A lot of my articles come from other blog articles I read and then put into my own words and life experiences. In this case Spike has had the same experiences as I have and probably thousands of other branding companies.