01 Jun How to harness the power of togetherness and why it can help you
I love the Powerpuff Girls. Always have. Always will. But this article isn’t about them. Well, maybe indirectly. It’s about that little apostrophe in the word let’s and what it represents. It stands for the letter “u”.
Sure, you already know that. But I’d like to emphasize the point.
“Yes, let’s” = “Yes, let us.”
Suddenly, the words have more power, don’t they? They’re an agreement. A commitment. A promise. They’re a bond. “Yes, let’s” is about doing things together. Collaborating. Uniting ideas. Pinging and ponging with sweat and persistence, and just maybe, realizing dreams through the power of togetherness.
“Yes, let’s” is a positive call to action to get stuff done.
Those words mean a lot to me. At natie, we use business cards that feature different phrases that speak to the way we work. The “Yes, let’s” card is one of my favorites because it sums up how I like to work with clients. As the founder and creative director of an international branding agency, it’s important my clients understand that, to us, they’re not merely customers. We see them as partners, with all that implies. We’re invested in their business, we share their goals and we want them to meet their objectives by building great brands.
I worked in the U.S. advertising industry for more than 15 years, where I helped manage some of the world’s top brands. After getting to know influential clients like Apple, Google and Volkswagen from the inside-out, I learned the value of working with them, not for them. The idea wasn’t ever to provide a quick service for an equally quick buck, but to develop a rapport and deliver ongoing creative solutions we’d imagine and execute together.
In other words, a relationship. An “us.”
I try to instill an “us” approach in my own agency today, whether it’s with my employees, partners or clients. We choose our clients carefully and aim for a fit characterized by synergy and mutual respect. We’re not here to serve blindly and say, “Whatever you want!” 24 hours a day. Sure, we serve our clients, but we’re about a lot more than that. More than anything, we’re about the end product, because that’s what the consumer sees— the face a company presents to the world. I’ve always been in the business of creating identities and messages that come from a place of truth and care, long before they were the latest buzzwords in this industry, so I try to protect a client’s brand at all costs. That’s what I get paid to do— to care. And how can I care if there’s no “us”?
So, “Yes, let’s” is my proposal.
My commitment. My handshake. My let’s-create-amazing-things-together. This attitude goes far beyond my agency and the world of branding. It’s a productive approach to any business relationship, whether it’s business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C). In B2C these days, with the breaking down of traditional walls and the impact social media has now with how businesses engage with their customers, “Yes, let’s” is a must. Gone are the days when a company controls the conversation. Today’s businesses have to know how to listen and talk if they hope to have a chance of forging an emotional bond with their customers. Yes, emotional. And if a brand can’t do that, those customers will find one that can.
Frankly, “Yes, let’s” is not the easiest way to work.
It takes a willingness to cede a little control from both sides. It demands that we all keep an open mind and don’t get overly attached to our own way of looking at things. Like with any successful relationship, I think we’re all aware of how powerful that mindset can be. And while it’s not a guarantee of greatness, to me it’s a prerequisite. So anytime I’m asked to work on a project at natie that’s challenging but offers me and my crazy-talented team a chance to work with people who are open to collaboration, take a wild guess at what my answer is.