Why race to the bottom when you can climb to the top?


We get it. Marketing budgets are shrinking. You’ve got pressure from your bosses to provide more with less. You’re probably tempted to choose vendors and initiate projects with a close eye on what it’s going to cost you in terms of dollars. But there are other ways you can pay too much if you don’t have the right vendor as a creative partner.

Racing to the bottom occurs when a project is solely defined by price–hours and dollars. When deliverables are measured primarily in these terms, it necessarily requires that you think less about quality: the quality of the end product, the experience you and your team have while trying to get the work done, and the accuracy with which the deliverable reflects your brand and the market you’re playing in. This approach can lead to potential risks and compromises that may not be immediately apparent.

You probably don’t want to work that way. What you really want is the value that comes from having a creative vendor who is an extension of your team, who’s thinking on behalf of your brand, and who, over time, has developed a common vocabulary with you and your team that makes the work move along with less need for translation and the fits and starts that can define doing work on the cheap with a new vendor every time you need something. Sometimes, trusted vendors become even more knowledgeable about the brand than you because you’re simply too busy. You’ve got other work to do day to day. That’s why you need a partner you can trust, bringing value that is well worth the money.

What’s going on in your market? What’s happening with your competitors? How well is the content that we’ve created and put out there moving the needle for you in advancing the cause? These are the values that should define the way we work together. It’s more than just a transaction. It’s about choosing a vendor based on a shared vision, and a mutual understanding of the market.

You’ve probably heard the “fast, cheap, good–pick two” axiom. If you need it cheap and fast, it’s not going to be good. If you need it good and fast, it’s not going to be cheap. If you need it good and cheap, you’ll have to wait. You get the point. We don’t love this axiom, but it has some value, and at least it’s generally true. But overall, it misses the point. You’re better off with a partner you can work with regularly, who always delivers excellent work at agreed-upon time frames and within reasonable budgets that provide value to both parties in the relationship.

At Fifteen4, we decided years ago that we just weren’t going to compete on price. Some of the better partners you might find for your brand may not be the cheapest, and that’s okay.

Looking for a partnership that’s worth it?

Let’s gets started.

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