We went along to an IPA 44 Club event on the topic of long-term client-agency partnerships last night. The session featured the 30 year relationship between Nike and W&K. In this age of short termism a 30 year relationship between any two entities is something to behold.
Nike’s Brand Communications Director, Ed Elworthy and W&K’s Head of Operations, Nic Owen, outlined their views and experiences. It was a bit like watching the Adam and Joe show (these guys obviously know each other very well) but their tips on how to maintain a long lasting relationship were really useful, honest and insightful.
Their top tips included ‘All hail the brand’ and ‘Strong views, lightly held’ which are both close to our heart as an agency. It was their headline ‘Be Blunt’ which focused on honesty and openness that particularly resonated.
Encouraging open conversation where we all (clients and agencies) say what we really mean is something we feel has been key to our long-term relationships. (We’ve been working with Rubicon and Coty Fragrances for over seven years now). The most rewarding relationships are those that have open lines of communication and a good lively dialogue. How else will we learn something new, be challenged or persuaded to think differently in some way?