Written by: Kworq Team on Fri Jan 20

How to: Find Your Perfect Creative Agency Match

creative agency illustration pop art comic book graphic style, black and white fist bump

To all the brand owners and founders out there, we get it. Your brand is like your baby.

Written by: Rachel Clancy

You’ve built it from the ground up. It’s something you’re proud of and protective over, so it can be hard to relinquish any amount of control to strangers. As your brand grows, however, you might find yourself needing the help of a creative agency. It’s a tough choice, you want only the best for your brand.

If you think about it, choosing a creative agency is a lot like choosing a romantic partner. To find the right one, there are a lot of factors to consider. Are they kind and considerate? Communicative and understanding? Have they been convicted of any felonies? It’s enough to make your head spin.

But have no fear, Kworq is here.

In this step-by-step tutorial, we will guide you through selecting the creative agency that is the best fit for your brand.

Step 1: Know Your Wants and Needs

As any therapist will tell you, it’s important to identify your wants and needs before entering a healthy partnership. Ask yourself the tough questions. Gather as much information as possible about your brand’s needs, goals, and limitations. This will help both you and any prospective agencies assess your compatibility.

  • What are your goals as a company?
    • What are your key performance indicators (KPIs)?
    • What are your brand’s core values?
    • What is your brand purpose?
  • Are you looking for a one-campaign partnership or long-term collaboration?
    • For a one-time campaign, does the agency have all the necessary capabilities to complete your project? If not, are you prepared to bring on other providers?
    • For a longer-term partnership, consider not only your brand’s needs in the present, but also what you’d like to achieve in the foreseeable future.
  • What is your brand’s positioning, or the positioning you’d like to achieve?
    • Look inward at your brand’s personality and positioning. How do you communicate? Is your brand clean-cut and professional, or eccentric with a sense of humor?
    • What channels work best for you?


Step 2: You’re on th****e market

This is the fun part. It’s time to date around, aka consider multiple creative agencies. You’ve already identified what traits are most important to you, so now all you need to do is find a partner that meets those needs. Things like a history working with reputable brands are just a bonus. Take note of these attributes as well, but always keep your original non-negotiables at the forefront. Assess potential matches using the information gathered at step 1.

  • Have they previously demonstrated their ability to produce results that align with your company goals?
  • Are they a good fit for the type of partnership you are seeking (short-term vs. long term, small project vs. large project)?
  • Have they had success working with similarly positioned brands, or brands in industries similar to your own?

Answering these questions will narrow down your options right off the bat, and they will be very important down the line. You don’t want to find out the agency is in over their heads when you’re already waist deep in a campaign.

It might sound contradictory, but you also don’t want to stick your head too far in the sand. Say an agency has never worked with a brand in your specific industry. This doesn’t mean their skillset isn’t transferable.  Also, with their fresh pair of eyes, there is potential to produce unique work from a perspective you wouldn’t have had otherwise.


gif, 'the office', camera pans from receptionist ryan to michael scott staring at him through the window blinds.

Step 3: Do some casual stalking

Once you have identified potential partners, the natural next step is to stalk the s#!t out of them.

Every seasoned stalker knows that to get the real nitty gritty information, you have to dig deep. Go beyond checking out their website and polished portfolios. The majority of creative agencies are present on social media. These accounts often give additional insight into their overall vibe.

Ask your network if they have experience with the agency, and get their feedback. How does the agency respond to bumps in the road? How is their level of communication? Does that line of communication remain open for feedback throughout the partnership?

Just like opposite senses of humor can tank a dating relationship, intangible attributes like company culture can make or break a business collaboration. It’s common sense that a company is most successful when its employees get along well. This also applies to external partnerships, and it’s important to keep that in mind during your stalking sesh. Who can you see your brand aligning with the most?


Step 4: The Second Date

Ok, so you’ve stalked your top candidates. You like what you see so far. Now it’s time to initiate communication with the agency, or go on your second date.

This is the point at which you talk about logistics like project size, budget, and timeline. Allow some room for compromise, as little discrepancies are inevitable. Straightening out project specifics sets the foundation for the next step: committing to a partnership.

Compare your choices side by side. If there’s no clear front runner, make a pros and cons list. Flip a coin. Consult a Ouija board.

However you decide, you’ll be ready to take that leap of faith. You’ll know you did everything in your power to find your best match.


Step 5: Meet the Parents

Congratulations! You’ve selected the perfect creative agency. This is the point at which you and your selection make a commitment to work together. You’re taking your relationship to the next level, or for the analogy’s sake, meeting the parents.

Finally, the search is over. No more awkward first dates, mundane small talk, or dead ends. It’s finally the time to sit back and relax. You’ve found the one… right?


Step 6: Know Your Worth

Not so fast. It’s important to constantly monitor the value and quality of your partnership. Keeping tabs on the quality of the relationship ensures that no one’s time is being wasted, on either side.

  • Do you feel like your feedback along the way is being heard and implemented to the best of their ability?
  • If your employees are in direct contact with the agency, are they having a negative experience you aren’t aware of?
  • Are they demonstrating the capability of reaching your goals, or at the very least, on track to do so?

If the collaboration isn’t at the level it needs to be, it might be time to break up. But chin up, there’s plenty of fish in the sea.


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