Join Craig Smallish for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with clients, part of Developing Ideas and Design Concepts.
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Every project has a client, and the experience of working with them can range from tremendous to torturous. Either way, it's important to keep in mind that the client can be one of your best resources. By having a solid grasp of who your client is and what they are trying to achieve, you accomplish two things. First, it'll give you a solid foundation to build your creative process upon. Secondly, your level of consideration and thoughtful inquiry is likely to gain the client's respect, and with that respect comes trust.
As we proceed through these concept-building and sketching lessons, we'll be working with our client KinetECO to promote their new mini solar panel. Now, we may have a cursory knowledge of what solar power can provide, but cursory just won't cut it. We really need to dig in and get a firm grasp on exactly who KinetECO is, and what this handy little device is really all about. We can start by checking existing resources, such as websites, press articles, online testimonials, print brochures, anything relative to your client that we can lay our hands on.
Beyond that, obtaining a client brief is our next major step. The client brief is our primary resource for a wide array of client rich information designed to shed as much light on who your client is, what they do, and what they're expecting. It's essential that the brief is completed at the beginning of every client creative relationship. While working up the brief, it's almost always best to meet with the client in person as insight through verbal response and body language can be telling.
If possible, meet at the client's place of business. Getting a feel for their work space can add valuable insight. If meeting in person isn't an option, Skye, Hangout, and other virtual meeting places are very useful. From the beginning, consider that every observation, thought, or idea which comes to mind is important. Note sketching can be invaluable during the meeting so be sure to jot everything down as it may have a role to play somewhere down the line.
Although well composed briefs should identify the client's mission, goals, and objectives, taking the inquiry a step further on a more esoteric level can sometimes offer up a treasure of information that could prove useful later on in the concept development process. For instance, more thought provoking questions should be considered such as list the three most memorable events in your organization's history, identify some missteps that your organization may have made and what was learned.
List the three greatest achievements in your organizations history. Write a brief testimonial for your own organization and product offering. List some of the best decisions that had the most significant effect on your organization. And finally, offer three words which you feel best describe your organization. Questions like this can help a creative get a far better feel for who their client is. Our client reps at KinetECO completed this brief, which outlines various goals and objectives.
But we also asked some more in depth questions. And their response has given us information we'll likely find very useful when we begin the concept development process. Importantly, the information obtained in the brief shouldn't necessarily drive the project like a rudder as much as function as a guiding compass, making certain we're staying on course. Gaining a thorough knowledge of your client's needs and expectations and working together with them to complete the client brief will establish a solid foundation of trust.
Trust will play a big role when we convince the client that our creative approach is a very best way to go.
- What is concepting?
- Working with clients
- Doing your research
- Determining the core values of a product or service
- Using free association
- Building the written descriptives
- Using search engines to fuel ideas
- Flipping your ideas 180 degrees
- Creating a rough sketch
- Defining the refined sketch