Strategy

How Client Collaboration Comes to Life

By Madeline Condron

Be Collaborative—it’s one of our three core values here at redpepper. It keeps us in sync with our teams and holds us accountable to each other. But it doesn’t stop there. Our partnerships with all our clients are also highly collaborative and we consider ourselves an extension of their teams. So, we don't just give them a peak under the hood, we bring them into our creative process. 

Collaboration can take on different forms with different clients, so here are a few examples of what this looks like in practice. A client might be:

1. Fully in the work, right beside us. 

At redpepper, we don’t believe in big reveals—instead, we bring clients right alongside us and let them see the work in progress. We recently helped a client create their brand from scratch. During a two-week sprint of all-hands-in focused work, the client had total visibility into our Miro boards, giving them 24/7 access to everything we worked on as we did it. It gave us the ability to move quickly, while keeping our client informed whenever they wanted to check in. 

This style worked well for this project because the client was comfortable seeing the in-progress work. It freed up some time for our creative team, since they didn’t have to create polished decks to share updates, and it helped us give and receive feedback more quickly. It also helped us stay in lockstep with our clients and ensured that our efforts stayed aligned with their goals. 

2. Acting as a member of our internal team.

As we develop deeper trust with clients over time and multiple projects, our methods of communication sometimes shift. For one client, we brought a member of their team into our internal communication channels. She attended daily meetings and creative reviews, which allowed her to give gut checks on different elements and drafts as they evolved. 

We became a unified team. She had a stake in the work, and when we presented it to her company’s CMO, we presented it together. Having her as an integrated part of our team strengthened ties between both teams and further deepened our understanding of their vision. 

3. Speaking their mind and holding nothing back for rapid progress.

A brand new client had an extremely fast timeline and there was no room for error. Our team created an airtight project plan that gave the clients visibility in a very structured feedback frame that helped us create a campaign from scratch in 4 days. 

This feedback frame was rooted in our belief that clear is kind (thanks, Brené Brown!). We share our perspectives, ask tough questions, poke at assumptions, and encourage our clients to do the same so that we can get to the deep truth quickly. Sure, we all love compliments—but if all we’re hearing is positive, that’s a red flag for us.

So with a candid feedback frame and an efficient schedule, what could have been a stressful project became fun. Our team worked in harmony with the client team, making quick decisions and getting fast approvals. We wrapped the work on time, with the client completely satisfied. 

To Wrap It Up

Every client partnership looks different. We don’t copy and paste our systems for working with one immediately onto another. Instead, we intentionally create communication structures to suit the style and workflow of each. Some things work, others don’t—we’re constantly testing and iterating, carrying our learnings forward to keep improving as we go.

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