Be it because they expect you to play the messiah, be it because they can’t find a way out, be it because of a certain lack of professionalism or an excess of imagination – sometimes client requests to agencies go far beyond reality. Certainly, when you find yourself in such a situation, hysterical laughter out of sheer amusement can mix with your sense of absurdity. But there are times when these types of business situations turn into curious stories. We have selected a few surprising customer requests. Feel free to expand the selection.
# Burning Monkey Software” – Jon Hicks of Hicksdesign recalls, “Shortly after the Firefox logo was launched, I had a lot of requests for animal logos. The best request was from ‘Burning Monkey Software’ who wanted a monkey with a burning tail wrapped around a CD. I politely declined!”
# “Apologize. Now.” – A Japanese client who asked us to come to his office to apologize for the project not running well on one of his inferior computers,” recalls Vassilios Alexiou, Creative Director and Founder of Less Rain.
# “I’m just calling to let you know I’ll email you in a minute,” complemented with “We don’t have a big budget, but there will be a lot of work for you. There is also no real benefit to announcing your intention to write a letter – disregarding your own time and the time of others has never yielded significant benefits. There is also no use in taking the opportunity to try to attract someone to work for you on a shoestring budget or no budget at all – unless the project is huge and for an irresistible brand, so the profit could be split between direct financial and image transfer value. Good agencies are aware of their price – literally and figuratively.
# I just don’t like it” – reasoning is critical to getting the right feedback to the service provider. But if the agency hears, “I just don’t like it,” that message will not only complicate the process of effective project completion, it will also disrupt confidence in your professionalism and brand equity. It’s the same when you hear: “I really like this color, but could you please change it?” Another top phrase in the “I-don’t-understand-me” column is this one: “I’ll feel like it’s just right when I see it.” Mentally conjuring up solutions would be better replaced with a more detailed and analytical approach, taking a step back to positioning
# “Can you work from my house?” – Matt Roskill, Albion’s general manager, recalls this unusual request from a customer who had called in sick. It’s not only unusual, but even more absurd from a post-pandemic perspective, to expect service providers to literally “walk through fire and ice” to satisfy our joy.
# Family and Friends – It is quite popular to receive requests for free or discounted offers for friends and family members. While this may flatter the customer, in the long run, it is not wise to work against your own goals to get business. Use written contracts with all parties involved, including friends and family members. Review the business sense of the overall package and, if necessary, focus your resources on another project that will add more value.
How can you turn these wishes into an advantage?
Many of these odd requests can be turned into an amazing opportunity to communicate your brand’s strengths. For example, if a client asks you to design something unusual or different, you can use this to spread the word about the personalized solutions you offer. Accepting such assignments often expands your creativity and improves your agility. The key is to be clear about the market potential and whether the surprising idea will increase searches.
Working “pro bono” on a social cause allows you to connect the organization to the cause you are supporting. Customers often respond more positively to companies that demonstrate genuine social responsibility and ethical business practices.
Another way to work on the odd request is to write content about them. This is a wonderful way to develop and grow your brand portfolio. But remember to ask permission first.
And to offer you a wider variety of job offers and options, Brand Network puts at your disposal a network of professional contacts. In the Pitch Zone you can check the contests that are really worthwhile for your business and the development of your brand.
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