Agencies spend a lot of time and energy working hard to establish their points of differentiation.  The kinds of points they spend time highlighting actually have little deviation from agency to agency.  The basic impressions are, “We’re more creative” or “We’re the coolest” or “We’re famous for this thing we did, we could do it for you too”.  For the most part, these are elements of a shared toolkit with the differences are subjective at best, imperceptible at worst.  Painting with a broad brush here, but rarely does an agency have a truly different business-model or a way of doing things that stands in stark contrast with its competitors.

The agency business model as we know it (the one that relies on exclusive AOR relationships) is broken because it is based on a diminishing demand for their services.  More is being asked of agencies who are expected to have deep expertise on emerging platforms that the clients barely understand themselves. It’s no one’s fault, it’s just that things are moving so fast and with an emphasis on niche marketing there is no way someone could be down with EVERYTHING. At best, people have cursory knowledge of the headline technologies but often don’t have deep expertise in any one area.

"Agencies want toSettle DownBut Clients arestill swiping throughtheir options"

Clients need the services that agencies provide, they just don’t always need them in the way they’re packaged up by the agency.  Nor is it always in the best interest of clients to use one agency for everything.  Clients need someone on their side that can deliver at the level of an agency, yet save them all of the associated costs and headache.  I’ll explain in a follow-up post how moving away from one point of contact to a few actually provides clients less headaches in the end.

Meanwhile, from the agency perspective budgets are shrinking, salaries are rising and clients are more hesitant to commit to longterm relationships.  Agencies claim that settling down together will give them the focus they need to do even better work, but clients are still swiping through their options. It’s not you, it’s them.  They just don’t have the budget to support your expensive tastes anymore, and they’re being courted by a younger, cuter, less needy-agency.

we mix mindfulnesswith marketing

We love marketing, but we don’t fit in to the agency model.  Our approach is truly unique.  First of all, at our core, we are a mindfulness company.  PatternBreaks were originally designed as fun life hacks.  It became apparent though, that the idea of small tweaks for big impact applied to our small consultant client pool as well.  In living with the idea of PatternBreaking we naturally started to work in this way as well.  So, what does this mean exactly?  Well for starters, the most important thing you can achieve is a feeling that we call being centered – basically being happy, content, relaxed and honest.  Nothing else is going to work if you don’t feel centered.  We acknowledge this in a professional sense both internally and externally.  We meditate before meetings, individually or as a team.  It allows us to have a deeper focus on what is being discussed.  We recognize spirituality but stay away from religion – PatternBreaking is very practical day to day stuff that doesn’t aspire to answer life’s big mysteries, but simply to make the experience we have before us as full and rich as possible.

Our mindfulness approach influences the way we tackle problems.  For instance, when we put together a specialist team to help our clients, we connect each contractor directly with the client without any markup.  We do this because complete transparency is ultimately the best thing for the client both fiscally and from a safety point of view. We are interested in larger projects that have a timeframe that will allow us to immerse ourselves in the challenge.

We know create better work when we are not stressed out, pressured, or forced to work on things we don’t like just because they have attractive budgets.  We create stronger messages for our clients when we’ve had an opportunity to take a deep dive into their product or brand.  Our clients feel safer when they know we are only focusing on a few projects at a time.  We are a bespoke solution.