What do you have to learn from a brand consultancy? Only everything

When starting out a career as a marketer, one of your first major decisions is choosing whether to work for a brand, or a consultancy that works with multiple clients. Sure, the former has its many perks — one of the most tempting being that you will possibly leave the office at 5 PM on the dot, every single day. That being said, you’d also be limiting your experience, learning, and creativity. And while working for an consultancy is definitely more challenging, the pros outweigh the cons by a mile. It’s only here that you experience the dynamism of a startup-like environment, while working for brands across spectrums.

Here’s a look at everything you have to gain from fast-paced consultancy life:

B2B and B2C brand assignments

The styles of business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) communication are drastically different and require distinct routes for effective marketing. For a company providing natural office decor, you may sell the visual aesthetic of their products to a consumer, while marketing higher productivity rates to a business or corporate looking to redecorate their offices. When working at a consultancy, you will quickly learn how to switch between B2B and B2C marketing across several industries. Believe me, the versatility will do wonders for your career.

Exposure to brand tonality

No two brands are likely to employ the exact same tone in their communication. One might require a simple ‘Book tickets now’, and another, the millennial flair of ‘Grab your tix at the gate’. It is crucial to be able to identify the objective and target audience of a particular brand’s communication so as to use the most appropriate tonality. Being on more than one project at a time helps with this and you learn how to quickly write, design, or market a certain tone for a certain brand. You will work on established corporates and new-age eateries on the same day — and will know the former requires a more formal tone, while the latter employs humor to appeal to a younger audience. Knowing this difference takes practice — practice you can only get in a consultancy.

Understanding of new approaches 

The process of marketing a brand is a multi-layered process aimed at appealing to human emotions and sensibilities. Take Samsonite’s video for voting day in India — the international luggage manufacturers launched the #EkDinKiChutti campaign, with the objective of encouraging Indians across the nation to pack their Samsonite bags and take a day’s leave to travel home and vote. This campaign was successfully directed at the human sentiment of patriotism, while still putting the spotlight on Samsonite’s products. A few years ago though, the brand would have possibly relied only on the quality of its product to sell! In the world of marketing today, approaches are constantly being revamped to be more exciting, more memorable. A branding firm knows when to introduce new approaches, thanks to its extensive experience and exposure — and you’re sure to learn heaps along the way.

Evolving with a brand

Every brand is constantly evolving — this could be in terms of their positioning, communication style, or most likely, both. At a consultancy handling retainers, you get to be a part of this evolution. For example, a popular consultancy put out a video tracing the evolution of a legendary chocolate brand’s image The video shows the subtle updates the firm offered the brand while carrying forward its consistent image — the brand story takes us from the 1905 packaging to its latest creative twists to the basic brand. Wouldn’t you love to be part of a journey like that?

At the end of the day, there’s a reason why renowned corporates come to agencies even though they can hire the best of the best. Marketing is all about putting your own extraordinary spin on everyday things — and a brand consultancy teaches you how to make a project your own within the lines of a brief, and upskilling is only a matter of time when you’re exploring more than one brand image. It’s a journey that allows you to think in ways you never have before — and it helps that consultancy life, apart from all of the above, offers you a fresh, thrilling start with a new brand every single day. There’s truly never a dull moment!

The kind of work we get approached for — because people in agencies are exposed to a lot more is just a whole lot of fun!
Each time we deliver for our brand

Accelerated learning in any phase of one’s career

When your hands are tied – you think creatively – unlike corporates that have a lot of funding 

However for me the prime differentiator continues to be the amount of learning which, albeit great in my corporate role, never taught me what consultancy life continues to even today. In fact, it’s a tell-all if I ask myself why corporate brands still approach consultancies to get work done for them despite having the ability to hire the best. 🙂 

Startup flexi ‘culture’ today is something that most funded startups can afford but agencies, who unfortunately that don’t get paid the best, cannot always do so because of what’s at risk. We ourselves have debated the Netflix-like no counted leaves policy umpteen times but haven’t been able to put it into practice because fall-back reserves are meager amidst the possibility of inconsistent maturity/discipline to accept it at the workplace. Many agencies of our size continue to echo the trials faced from clients despite the brilliance of the work delivered. As a direct result – while the intent is great, the hands are tied. And so the very definition of culture must expand to encompass a lot more and we must to stretch to deliver that creatively and with a personal touch.

Tina Garg
Founder and CEO at Pink Lemonade, an Integrated Marketing & Communications agency in Bangalore.
Tina launched the company in 2011, and today, it is known for its award-winning work in creative & business communications, and digital services. She comes with extensive experience in the creative industry, and is passionate about empowering women entrepreneurs.

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