Why should big brands choose boutique agencies?
“Big brands need a big media agency.” – Not anymore, as technological shifts have rendered this assumption obsolete. As advertising and marketing are expanding beyond television and print ads to Twitter and blogging, many well-established brands are turning to more specialised and personalised boutique agencies.
Yes, a boutique agency with a small yet carefully selected team can undoubtedly deliver the distinctive needs of big brands. To make things clear, we are not pitting boutique digital agencies against traditional media agencies. Rather, our intention is to explore how the size of an agency is not necessarily the obstacle for a brand make the leap.
Boutique agencies have the key advantage in offering highly specialised services. Unlike many traditional agencies who tend to stick to their long-tested methodology, boutique agencies know that there is no such thing as a global solution for every unique project. Together with the niche expertise they offer, the team itself tends to be much more personal. They often focus on building a tailored strategy around the unique client needs, whereas larger agencies rather try to reshape the client needs to fit into their strategies and methods.
Boutique agencies are also more transparent and easily reachable than a global ad agency. Opting for a boutique agency means cutting through of red tape. There’s a good chance that you’ll face layers of bureaucracy in almost every large agency. And it is very likely that you won’t see the CEO or the Head of something after the first meeting. What’s worse, the Head of Creative’s complete handing over to the hands of junior staff with minimal supervision. Sometimes clients may even have to go through a number of workers in the line before reaching the right person. On the other hand, clients can deal directly with the dedicated account manager while maintaining close contact with the rest of team and getting involved in every single step of the project.
Flexible & agile
A boutique agency also allows increased flexibility. As it reduces layers and complex hierarchy that clients often encounter with at larger agencies, it makes it much more efficient and speedy to make changes as the project unfolds. Boutique agencies are generally quick and nimble to adapt new client needs. In contrast, messages take longer to get delivered in a highly structured agency, making it much more difficult to make simple modifications at an early stage.
Creative & innovative
Most boutique agencies including Appnova were created by people who had extensive experiences working in the creative digital industry. It is also those who chose to bring their expertise to a smaller team of exclusively selected talents and specialists. Working closely with a nimble and adaptable agency will also make it easier to experiment and iterate on new ideas. Without rigid hierarchies, boutique agencies are more likely to take risks and try out innovative marketing techniques.
The success of boutique agencies often comes from an interdisciplinary team who share a common vision. By collaboration, it doesn’t only mean collaboration between an agency and clients, but also includes a collaboration within the team where everyone can weigh in and share opinions. At Appnova, our designers and content creators often assist each other and constantly exchange opinions to meet the client needs. By nature, a small team is more collaborative while a large team of people often are pressured to meet their targets and hence ends up competing with one another.
As a boutique agency, we really focus on interactions between individuals to create a culture that propels innovation and foster creative thinking. It is also the unique culture that makes a boutique agency’s competitive edge.
What do you think?
Appnova is a digital agency specialising in web design, UX, eCommerce, mobile app development, branding, content marketing and social media.