Creating better working relationships —
Something we take very seriously at JAC& is fit. We only take on projects when it’s right for both parties. Anything less leads to stress and disappointment, two things we don’t need in the studio and definitely don’t want for our clients.
Recently we had a client relationship take a bad turn. We didn’t manage expectations as well as we could have, bringing undue stress into the studio and resulting in an unhappy client. As upsetting as an experience like this can be, it’s also an opportunity to reflect, review and refine. Here’s what we learnt:
Ask simple questions
New processes can be confusing. Questions like ‘what are you expecting of X?’ or ‘are you clear on the next step?’ can save a lot of tension.
When you get the feeling a client is unhappy, they probably are. As soon as that feeling arises, ask the question. Vice versa for clients too. Professional relationships require transparent and open communication to work.
If a project has lost track – maybe the schedule has gone out the window, or communication is proving difficult – it’s okay to speak up. This doesn’t mean getting personal, it means being clear on what you need and why.
Our favourite newsletter (Smarter Living) sums it up really nicely in their article You’ve Made a Huge Mistake. What Now? when they say “the first step to correcting a monumental blunder is to be honest and critical with yourself”. Everybody makes mistakes, it’s what you do next that matters.
Introducing JAC& Brand Workshops —
We’re incredibly excited to announce our new offering – JAC& Brand Workshops – designed to help small business owners add value to their business through a thoughtful branding and marketing approach.
Working in small groups we will explore what makes a successful brand, giving you the tools needed to speak clearly to your ideal client or customer. We will help you define your place in the market by clarifying your point of difference and establishing your brand character and story.
You will walk away with the knowledge needed to create a strong brand and a marketing strategy that fits your individual needs.
- Presentation, guided exercises and discussions in a comfortable environment
- Workshop tools supplied inc. notebook by Supply Paper Co.
- Refreshments by Antipodes Water and lunch by Goldilocks
- Post-workshop advice and resources
Defining your purpose and clarifying your offering
11.30 – 12.30
Developing brand story and character
12.30 – 1.00
Lunch by Goldilocks
1.00 – 2.00
Understanding your audience, position in the market and point of difference
2.00 – 3.30
Creating a realistic brand and marketing strategy
3.30 – 4.00
Questions and group discussion
If you would like to take part in a workshop, please contact Jac directly on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0450 189 308.
We’re doing a thing —
Join us on the 9th of November for a night of discussion and show n tell at General Assembly!
Jac will be sitting with artist and illustrator Ellen Porteus, designer and educator Jane Connory and Anna Reeves from That Startup Show to chat about how we work and create.
It’s free, but you’ll need to RSVP soon to secure a spot → www.generalassemb.ly
Award competitions are a scam —
Quite some time ago, we signed up for a service called Award Reminder. We believe in the work we do and are proud of the results we achieve with our clients, so from time to time we’ve contemplated entering our work into various design competitions. Every time we’ve gotten close to submitting, gut instinct tells us not to. The current state of design awards seems unfair and ultimately dishonest to us.
Award Reminder sent their final reminder last week, because (in their words) ‘award competitions are a scam’. Justus Bruns (founder of AR) explained why he can’t support something he doesn’t believe in and we couldn’t agree more with everything in the article.
You can read it here.
Like Justus, we agree that the concept of winning awards and being recognised for the work you do is great. However paying hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars just to take part feels ridiculous. Without a level playing field, the system is broken. Awards should be accessible to all designers, not just those with ample funds and a strong network.
We’re really glad to finally read something that articulates our feelings so well. Until there is a competition that addresses this issue, you won’t see any JAC& work submitted for an award.
What is a brand? —
Type ‘what is a brand’ into google and you’ll be met with varied and conflicting answers. It’s a widely discussed and debated question that has multiple correct answers. The requirements of a brand will differ case by case, however there are a few core elements we believe should be considered by businesses of all shapes and sizes.
A thoughtful brand prioritises more than aesthetically pleasing visuals and a catchy tag-line. At JAC&, it’s our opinion that vision, character and identity must work together in order to communicate meaningfully.
Every JAC& branding project begins with a workshop to help our clients define and understand who they are, so their audiences can too. With their unique brand elements clarified, we encourage transparency in order to increase opportunities for growth and contribute to better working relationships.
We believe the most important factor of a strong brand (and business) is the quality of the relationships within it. The owner, employees, suppliers and particularly the designer should all have a strong understanding of the brand make-up. When each individual understands the brand thoroughly, they are able to contribute to the business’ success.
To receive a copy of our process and costing booklet, please get in touch.