When clients come to us with a precise and detailed plan of how to implement a brand strategy, or perhaps a website, we usually have to have “the talk”.

Some clients really go to great lengths to understand what it is that they’re asking for. Their reasoning is that by developing detailed requirements, these can be presented as a project brief or a RFP document to prospective agency vendors. Agencies would then be able to use this detail to estimate the resources that would be needed to execute the client’s plan, providing the client with a fixed price and timeline right away.

While we’d definitely want to encourage clients to think deeply about their products/services, about their target market and about their business needs, we’d be doing them a disservice if we just followed the solutions they assume would work best to the letter. Instead, we should develop the approach to take for them, using our experience, skills and knowledge that we’ve built up over many years. That is, after all, what we’re being paid for. It’s what we’re good at.

The Talk

It’s great that you’re clear on the problems you’re facing. Identifying pain-points is the first step towards formulating a plan to solve them. But there might be even more pain-points to uncover, perhaps deeper causes to the problems your facing – it might be fixing those that has the biggest impact. As we’re experts in the process of Discovery and as our methods have helped develop strategies for hundreds of our clients, we’d like to help with the investigation and form part of the discussion. It’s also quite possible that while you’re experts in what you do, your day-to-day involvement might blind you to some of the things an outside consultant with a different perspective might be able see more easily. Since forming a solid understanding of the challenges is so important to suggesting solutions, and since we’ll be responsible for implementing these solutions and measuring the results, it’s better for all for us to be involved in the Discovery process.

We don’t just find problems, we solve them. We’re also experts in the development of solutions to solve any number of challenges being faced, whether they are design or technology related. It’s great that you’ve already proposed potential solutions to some of the things you’ve found to be amiss, but we’d like make sure that these really are the best options we have open to us, and that they really do solve the issues we’ve uncovered with you in the Discovery phase. We’d like to leverage our experience, skills and knowledge to work through each of the potential approaches, to come up with ideas we might not have considered yet, or to suggest implementing something we’ve already tried and tested instead. During all of this, your detailed thoughts and feedback would still be very important.

When working with Waqa Studios, we’ll constantly be asking you “why?”, but the “how?”, that you can leave to us.


Stuart S.

Stuart is Technical Director and Managing Director at Waqa Studios.