Client agency relationships – affair or marriage?

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According to the MAA, in 1986, the average client-agency relationship tenure was 7 years. Today it’s thought to be less than 3 years. So is it necessary to change your agency every two or three years to ensure you receive fresh ideas, passion and energy?

The creative industry is constantly evolving and the demand for ‘new’ is, quite rightly, a high priority for every Marketing Director. And in a business where Marketing Directors average only 2 years in their role, the pressure to impact as quickly as possible is strong. Changing your agency is often seen as the answer, translating to a pitch process which can prove lengthy and costly for both sides. Whilst this can be incredibly positive, especially where the old relationship is broken or stale, the idea of change for change’s sake is not always necessary. Mutual understanding, knowledge and experience gained through the long game can often yield better results.

Granted, all creatives crave new challenges and a new client certainly provides exciting stimulus for head scratching and sharpening of pencils. But equally the challenge of constantly delivering great work for a long term client is incredibly rewarding, both creatively and from a business point of view.

A really good agency will make it their business to keep things fresh. They’ll provide consistency and stability through internal restructure or change, reliability through established trust and will keep challenging and surprising the client, no matter how long the duration of the relationship.

After all, surely seeing the long-term impact of your work on a brand is ultimately what we all signed up for?

At Whippet we’ve worked with our longest client, Tesco Mobile for over eight years, Coles Supermarkets for six and Wickes for five. These relationships give us the privilege of seeing our work help grow these brands over the years and in return, our clients receive a loyal, ongoing partner to work with.

 As published in The Guardian 25th July 2016

Author

Sean Dwyer

We’ve been wowed by Dixons Carphone’s new flagship store

We took a trip to Oxford Street this week to check out the new store from Dixons Carphone, which brings Currys, PC World and Carphone Warehouse together under one roof, and let’s just say, it’s off the scale! With one of the biggest digital feature walls ever seen in retail (20 sqm apparently) delivering awe-inspiring 4k promotional content, this is a brilliant example of a retailer cleverly using the product it sells, to sell more of its product. If you haven’t been, go. You will be amazed. So much so, you might need a little sit down in the Nespresso shop in shop with a complimentary coffee after.

Author

Sean Dwyer

Who needs summer when you’ve got Iceland Christmas?

We had a great afternoon at the Iceland Christmas press show yesterday where we were treated to a fantastic festive feast. Over 200 products were on display to make our mouths water before we got to try a little bit of everything. From impressive centrepieces like the amazing beef wellington, to cute Christmas tree ice cream lollies and show-stopping desserts (christmas pud with real gold anyone?) we left thoroughly stuffed. Thanks Iceland, we can’t wait for December!
 Supermarket stock

Author

Sean Dwyer

We take new grocery app ‘Chop Chop’ from Sainsbury’s for a spin

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Sainsbury’s has recently launched ‘Chop Chop’, a trial of a new 1 hour delivery service. Billed as a ‘super-speedy new delivery app’ the service allows customers to order and receive up to 20 products within the hour for a fixed fee of £4.99. As Whippet Towers is located within striking distance of the trial store, we decided to take Chop Chop for a test drive.

The app is pretty basic but perfectly functional – everything you expect from a trial service. The range itself feels very similar to that of a Sainsbury’s Local with a limited yet reasonable choice that covers all the everyday essentials. We opted for a few staples including milk, toilet roll and soap, and paid for our order. The app promised delivery within an hour time slot so we sat back and waited for the knock on the door.

In the meantime, the app displayed live status updates much like those when you order a pizza online. Within 35 minutes our friendly delivery man arrived, peddling an old-fashioned push-bike complete with cooler bags containing all our goodies. Pretty good!

So when would you use it? At £4.99 it’s not the cheapest way to grab a pint of milk but in certain situations being able to order a few extras for dinner that night or some wine for an impromptu party, could make sense. We give it the Whippet thumbs up for now but we’re curious as to how things will develop if the trial is expanded.

Author

Sean Dwyer

Will Dyson’s Demo Store be a commercial success?

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Here at Whippet, we couldn’t wait to get down to the new Dyson demo store in London to see if it lives up to the hype – and the long and short is, it does. If you love ‘the science bit’, that is.

Taking brand immersion to a whole new level, this new shop is less about shopping and more about experiencing the genius of Dyson. Part laboratory, part museum, it gives visitors the chance to get up close and personal with the products, the clever design, the science and the engineering that lies behind them.

Over two floors, somewhat moodily lit, the iconic range of vacuum cleaners, purifier fans, LED lights – and of course the new Supersonic hairdryer – are each brought to life. Mechanical displays, digital screens, prototypes and physical deconstructions in glass cabinets show the inner workings and processes behind each one, while graphics display design sketches and quotes from the man himself (who knew he failed 5126 times while developing the cyclonic vacuum?).

Elsewhere, the entire top floor is dedicated to the new Supersonic hairdryer – with styling stations for impromptu blowdries by a top hairdresser.

But by far the best example of theatre comes downstairs in the ‘dirt lab’. An impressive display of containers, neatly displayed in clinical rows, contain over 170 different types of dirt – from pet hair to pasta. Pick your culprit and let it loose on one of the four types of flooring, then promptly suck it up using one of the powerful cleaners, robotic included.

And as for the staff – there’s lots of them! Friendly, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and engaged – and we loved the crisp white mandarin collar uniforms too, more lab technician than shop assistant, which seems appropriate for the environment.

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Dyson is an inventor first and foremost, and the brand is well known for its pioneering design, so it seems right they’ll want to sing this from the Oxford Street rooftops. But as impressive and reassuring as this is, it’ll be interesting to see how the store performs commercially. From a retail point of view, the store falls down somewhat on its communication. I’m wowed by the tech, (or slightly blinded by science, depending on your point of view), but how do I buy one of these amazing inventions? Can I walk out with one today? Order it for delivery the next day? Or shall I just pop across the road to Selfridges? There’s nothing to tell me.

There are no visible tills either, (checkout terminals are apparently hidden in drawers) further cementing the role of this store… and it’s certainly not about sales. But isn’t that the point? This is a brand so confident about its design creds, that even when it opens its first shop it doesn’t need to sell in a traditional way.

So will it lead to increased sales outside of this channel? Watch and wait. One thing’s for sure… Samsung, Philips, take note: this is a whole new lesson in how experiential retail can build brand affiliation.

Author

Sean Dwyer

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