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Ask an Agency...volume 15

Another week, another edition of top tips from some of your favourite agencies. This week, we speak to Matthew Layton from Rewind Creative. Let's dive in... 

Matthew Layton, Managing Director at Rewind Creative

Matthew Layton is Managing Director at full-service marketing agency Rewind Creative. He launched Rewind Creative after eight years working in-house and saw how difficult it was to work effectively with agencies. He wanted to rebuild agency and client relationships, integrating teams, visions and goals so that clients could be truly aligned with the agency.

Having worked with growing ecommerce brands, national furniture retailers, and not-for-profit housing associations, he has vast experience in building relationships with stakeholders at all levels and getting people on board with strategy, ideas and growth opportunities.

Rewind Creative works with brands in the UK, USA and Europe, developing strategies that grow their brand, drive new business and reach their customers across multiple channels.

Matthew Layton, Managing Director at Rewind Creative
What's the key to a successful brand/agency relationship, and where has it gone right (or wrong!) for you in the past?

When it comes to building a successful brand and agency relationship, honesty has to be the most important aspect first and foremost - especially from the agency’s side. There have been times when we have challenged our clients' ideas, as experience and data have told us otherwise and they have respected us for it and it has built more trust and a better relationship from it. 

In our early days, whilst we were building up our client base, retention was everything and there were campaigns and projects where we would accept their brief and complete the work, without pushing back or ever challenging the client as we did not want to go against their ideas. This came from a place of wanting to please the client and meet their needs, but ultimately it cost them and us our ability to build a strong, successful relationship.

Over the last year, we have been working with a new skincare client to develop their brand and marketing strategy ahead of their launch, and we have been extremely honest and open with our thoughts and ideas on the brand identity, messaging and direction with them about to launch in one of the most competitive, saturated markets there is.

We know their story and passion for launching this business, so it’s in everyone’s best interests to get it right from the beginning to set them up for the best success possible. This has led to an even stronger brand and agency relationship where they have consulted with us on product development, packaging and price point as they know we will give honest feedback that is backed by data and experience.

Secondly, putting time into building a relationship with your clients is just as important as getting the work done. This means spending time with them outside of the project or work, getting away from the office and building a foundation where you both know and understand each other better.

This was true for us when working with a design and build brand firm, Spatial Future, which wanted to open up its service offering and redefine its vision and business direction. By going out for lunch with them and getting to know the professional journeys that had led them to where they are, and visiting their build projects to meet the team and see how they operated day to day, we were able to build a better relationship where we were integrated across the brand and all on the same page with the new direction.

In the past, we worked with clients where the relationship felt really cold, and by putting in the effort and making the first move to build a personal relationship, this has always been what’s worked and gotten the best out of the partnership for everyone involved.

It’s such a simple thing but it has given such a great return with fantastic brand relationships, genuine friendships and even referrals for new clients. As a result, we’ve increased our referral rate by 216% and client retention by 125% over the last 18 months.

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