why I can empathise with estate agents

Much as it pains me to say it, I think selling creative work to clients has a lot in common with the estate agency world.

Both disciplines receive briefs from clients, both have to present their findings back and both are often ignored.

First the estate agent;

You tell them you really want a 3 bed Victorian semi in a certain area, and within an agreed price bracket. You are willing to accept absolutely nothing else. Two weeks later the agent calls. He's found your perfect property - it has everything on your wish list - and he's certain it's the right property for you.

On visiting the property there is one major problem. Despite it being from the right period, in the right area and at the right price, you simply don't have that emotional 'love at first sight' connection. You just don't like it. Despite the agent's best efforts to convince you the house is the right one, you've made your mind up and it's back to the drawing board. With the same brief.

And now the ad agency;

You tell them you want an ad campaign that shouts about the new £5 'travel anywhere on our network ticket'. It must have those exact words prominently placed, must use the brand's current illustrative style and simply must have the logo in the bottom right. Apart from those few restrictions, you give them creative freedom.

Two weeks later the agency come back to you, convinced their ideas have nailed the brief. Prominent headline? Check. Style on-brand? Check. Logo in the right place? Check. Yet soon after the big reveal, you can see disappointment etched on faces around the boardroom. They dont' like it. Despite the agency's best efforts to convince you the idea is the right one, you've made your mind up and it's back to the drawing board. With the same brief.

In both instances it is ni-on impossible for both parties to be 'sold' the goods if they simply don't 'like' them in the first place. If you don't like the house, you can never see yourself living in it and if you don't like the agency's work, you can never see it working for your brand.

Is there a client out there who has bought work they don't like because they put their brand first or will heart rule head every time?

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