The ongoing concentration of ownership and pursuit of scale led by the multinational agency groups is to the detriment of creativity and serves no-one except their shareholders and execs.
So, what are we all about?
We believe that trust and transparency are at the heart of successful client/agency relationships and both seem to be increasingly at a premium in our industry.
- By separating strategy from execution, we are free to provide clients with the right solutions, not just the ones we have and need to sell
- Our strategic offer is delivered on a project basis, which means we can afford to give clients best advice rather than mere client service. We promise you straightforward, grown-up conversations
- We have no channel or discipline bias, and within the Harbour Collective we have specialists in every field, so we can work with our clients to identify the skills and resources they need as and when they really need them
It seems so obvious, but increasingly necessary, to say that in almost every business and certainly creative businesses, people are the real differentiator; the talent you attract, the culture that binds them, the ways to coach, manage and engage them, the relationships they have with each other, all will define success.
- For us and all the member agencies of the collective, People/Product/Profit (and in that order) is our driving business mantra. For too long the opposite approach has come to define large parts of the agency landscape
- Unlike most agency groups we have personally chosen all our partners and they have chosen to partner with each other. We believe that right chemistry can achieve the impossible
- A common goal binds all of us at Harbour and the member agencies – a belief in the primacy and power of creativity
- We, and all our member agencies, are committed to inclusivity across gender, race, religion and sexual orientation
We believe that the cost-plus fee system is at the heart of widespread client dissatisfaction with agencies as it rewards effort expended not benefit derived. Strategic and creative pitches exacerbate this as agencies give away their real added value for free (and preoccupy senior agency staff) while clients pay more than they should for executional services.
Clients and agencies need to jointly agree new rules of engagement:
- Separating high end strategic and creative thinking from executional work
- Proper recompense for that high-end work through output and outcome, not input, pricing
- Identifying the most efficient, flexible and transparent models for ongoing agency support/executional work
- Ending free, full blown creative pitches
Our structure means that Harbour clients pay for our creative and strategic counsel and expert specialist execution as and when they need it but don’t have to fund the huge standing armies, complex overhead structures or new business machines of legacy agencies.
We’re sorry but we can’t partake in full blown creative pitches; because you only have to pay for what you eat, we can’t feed you for free!!