Last year for International Day of Friendship, our Chief Growth Officer offered wise words about how agencies and clients should approach partnership with the same values they bring to their most treasured friendships. That uplifting write-up prioritized five values to help you produce the strongest work in collaboration with partners while having fun along the way. After all—at their core—business relationships are built on trust and honesty (the same things we look for in strong friendships).
After reflecting on the past year and the many partnerships that grew better and more productive, the account team at Mindstream would like to share our thoughts on going the extra mile. It’s the kind of genuine advice derived from real experiences that makes clients or co-workers feel cared for, appreciated, and confident that their best interest is always being taken to heart.
The Mindstream team and our client, E.L. Robinson, enjoying a Clippers baseball game earlier this summer.
Across the board, our account team strives to create partnerships built on trust, transparency, and honesty. Erin Bratcher, a seven-year leader on the Mindstream Account team, stressed that even the strongest relationships experience disagreements—and that can often be a good thing!
"In a true partnership, client and agency must push each other at times. This means having open and honest discussions and being comfortable when the teams don’t immediately agree on a solution," says Bratcher.
Thomas Benschoter, Senior Director of Account Services, agrees.
"Honesty ranks as the most important theme between client and agency. Being transparent through the range of engagements that define a relationship lets both teams focus on the actual work and establish long-term success," says Benschoter.
The team also noted the need for strong communication, focused listening, and a shared vision of success as characteristics of their most rewarding partnerships. Like long-time friendships, we all want what’s best for our clients, and that means taking the time to truly understand their vision and journey.
The Mindstream team collaborating with our client, NewDay USA, during an interactive work session.
Senior Manager of Account Service Emily Patterson pushes the teams at Mindstream to move beyond the “vendor” label and become a true extension of their teams.
"We do our homework on our clients. This allows us to fully understand the place our clients are coming from so we can provide the best possible value. We believe in being partners—not vendors—and we strive to provide solutions and insight to make our clients’ lives easier," says Patterson.
As a former Account lead myself, I couldn’t agree more with Patrick Locy’s thoughts on keeping the communication channels frequent and fluid. There are many ways to keep teams on the same page.
"Frequent check-ins are essential. Weekly status calls are great. But quick emails or calls keep both teams engaged and ensure the work is progressing smoothly," says Locy.
Contact us if your next project could benefit from a friendship-first partnership style (or if your current partner really just feels like more of a distant relative). We would love to get to know your business goals and the real people behind them.