Long-term Client Relationships
What can you read into a long-term client relationship? When a customer sticks with you, they are happy with your work, which becomes better over time as the relationship strengthens and allows for better communication, collaboration, and creativity. You eventually know nearly everything about their business, including their deeper needs, strengths, goals, and vision, which translates into a comprehensive understanding and resource base. It also ensures that you continue to work hard to keep them happy and successful because you are vested personally and professionally in seeing them thrive.
And speaking of “thrive,” Moxie Marketing recently wrapped up graphic design of the 2014 Rogue Flavor guide, which is the creation of The Rogue Initiative for a Vital Economy (THRIVE), a non-profit organization based in Ashland, Oregon. The guide is a 96-page resource booklet of southern Oregon farmers markets, farms and ranches, special events, grocery and specialty markets, cooking classes, restaurants, specialty foods, and wine, beer and spirits, as well as valuable information on why it’s important to buy local both for health and economic reasons.
2014 is the 10th Anniversary of the guide, and I have proudly been the graphic designer on all 10 issues. When executive director Wendy Siporen met with me 10 years ago, she had a strong idea of what she wanted to accomplish and we worked diligently to express that vision into the first guide. Neither of us had ever tackled such a project, which involved formatting 47 business listings in multiple categories, designing an assortment of informational pages and ads, creating category icons, and building a map of the Rogue Valley to show where businesses were located.
It seemed overwhelming at times – I still remember having all 44 pages printed out and spread across my office floor in order, then continually changing page order and content. It was confusing, but through constant communication and collaboration with the client, we got through it and created the inaugural guide.
Since then, with the strength of a long-term client relationship, the project has become more smooth and streamlined, even though the size of the publication has more than doubled from 44 to 96 pages today. The publication, as well as the other campaigns we work on with Thrive, continue to get better and more successful.
Reasons we have had such a successful long-term relationship with Thrive and other clients include:
- Communication. With any project, a constant flow of communication is essential, including front-end meetings, email and phone calls. You can practically never communicate too much. With the Rogue Flavor guide, we always have a lengthy initial face-to-face meeting, and then regularly communicate by email and phone throughout the project.
- Collaboration. Working together on projects and campaigns ensures that your client’s voice and ideas are heard, as well as their needs and goals. Through genuine collaboration, the end result is going to be more creative, thorough, and effective.
- Honesty. While as a creative firm we always try to accommodate any request, there are times when our expertise and practicality call for a different direction. Clients hire us for our marketing know-how, so we need to know how to use it.
- Timeliness. Clients deserve to be served promptly, and they thoroughly enjoy the dedicated attention. When you react or respond quickly, and strictly adhere to established deadlines, you are solidifying the allegiance they have toward your business.