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Transforming the Agency Industry with Innovative Engagements

By Sunny Bonnell
(Vision)
Posted on 05/05/24
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When we co-founded Motto in 2005, we immersed ourselves in a vibrant and competitive industry. From the start, our passion has been transforming challenges into opportunities for innovation. Over the years, we observed a recurring challenge faced by both our agency and our clients—the overwhelming complexity of choosing and offering agency services. This insight sparked a groundbreaking decision: to package our services into three distinct offerings. Despite facing initial skepticism, we knew it was the right move.

“We decided to cut through the noise, making selection straightforward and transparent for everyone involved.”
Sunny Bonnell, Co-Founder & CEO

Understanding the Core Issue

Imagine you’re a client tasked with selecting the right agency from a list of 50. You painstakingly narrow it down to ten, then three, and finally select one. This exhaustive process is rife with intricate conversations and pitches. We witnessed this cycle of decision paralysis and information overload repeatedly—a glaring pain point for both clients and agencies. It was evident that both sides were getting bogged down by the complexity of agency selection. This pattern of inefficiency called for a smart and effective solution.

“Packaging our services wasn’t just a structural change—it was a strategic move towards empowering our clients.”
Sunny Bonnell, Co-Founder & CEO

The Strategy Behind Packaging

Armed with this realization, we introduced three signature engagements: Motto® Foundation, Motto® Flagship, and Motto®Fullsail. Each package, inspired by the history of our name, was crafted to meet specific client needs while ensuring a common core of unwavering quality and clear deliverables.

  • Foundation: Focused solely on strategy, this package is designed for clients who need to refine their business direction or reevaluate their market positioning.
  • Flagship: Combining strategy with identity creation, this offering caters to businesses looking to redefine or refresh their brand image alongside strategic overhaul.
  • Fullsail: This comprehensive package covers strategy, identity, and brand activation, providing an all-encompassing solution for companies ready to engage in a full end-to-end brand transformation.

This strategic packaging was not just a structural change but a reframing of how agency services could be perceived and consumed. Motto believes that by naming and defining these packages, we could empower clients to better understand and choose the service that best matches their needs without the paralyzing complexity of traditional agency pitches.

This initiative was not merely about compartmentalizing our services but was aimed at offering clarity and efficiency—a move toward empowering our clients and simplifying their decisions.

“True innovation in business is about respect for the client’s time and clarity of choice.”
Sunny Bonnell, Co-Founder & CEO

Facing the Criticism: Upholding Premium Positioning

Introducing this innovative approach initially met with significant resistance. Critics within the industry believed that it would undermine our premium market positioning. The common refrain was that sophisticated clients—those typically involved in mid-six-figure deals—do not need nor appreciate such simplification, viewing it as a reduction in the bespoke nature of creative services.

However, we held a different vision. Our experience indicated that even high-paying clients appreciated clarity and efficiency, especially when it came to understanding what they were buying. It was about respecting the client’s time and decision-making process, not just their budget. Our clients are discerning executive leadership teams who value their time; they appreciate straightforward, clear choices. They want to understand precisely what they are getting, how it benefits them, and at what cost—precisely what our packaged engagements provide.

The Impact: Measurable Growth and Client Success

Implementing these signature engagements has led to measurable success. Since their introduction, Motto has grown by 36% year-over-year. Clients frequently refer to themselves by the signature engagement they have chosen, such as “I’m a Flagship client” or “We absolutely need Fullsail,” indicating a strong identification with and understanding of our signature offerings. This has not only created a sense of belonging but has also significantly enhanced the onboarding process and overarching project success.

Furthermore, by quantifying our clients’ outcomes, we have been able to highlight the substantial return on investment (ROI) that each client achieves through our engagements. This data-driven approach has validated our strategic move and underscored the tangible value we bring to our clients.

Broadening Our Reach and Deepening Relationships

This shift has not only simplified the decision-making process but also allowed us to deepen our relationships with clients. The clarity of our packaged engagements enables clients to quickly understand and select the service that best fits their needs, fostering stronger, more transparent partnerships from the outset.

When you set clear expectations at the start, you can maintain harmony and satisfaction throughout the project lifecycle. Clients appreciate knowing what to expect and when which builds trust and reinforces their commitment to our partnership.

The Future: Innovation and Evolution

Looking forward, the decision to package our services at Motto marks a significant turning point in how we service our clients. It originated from a deep understanding of our clients’ needs and a desire to address them effectively. This approach has not only solidified our client relationships but also revitalized our team and their efficiency by reducing complexity and focusing on our core competencies.

Innovation often emerges from addressing the most mundane or complex challenges in straightforward ways. At Motto, it came from simplifying the intricate, from daring to package an outdated model in a manner that respects and enhances the client experience. As we continue to evolve, we remain committed to this vision, constantly refining our offerings to meet the ever-changing needs of our clients with clarity, creativity, and efficiency.

Sunny Bonnell profile picture
By Sunny Bonnell
Founder & CEO Motto®