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December 1, 2010 / Adam + Dan

Who do you sell to? The client or the customer?

[tweetmeme source=”adamanddan” only_single=false]After a recent gathering with friends over drinks, it emerged that people work and create ideas to constantly please the client. And it’s becoming more common.

Everyday, there are ideas out there getting changed to suit the client – so they’ll understand it, and more importantly like it.

People are continually trying to make the client happy. They think that if you do work that the client likes, then they’ll be respected more by them.


You’re not selling to the client. You’re selling to customers.

If you change the whole basis of an idea to appeal the client alone, it doesn’t mean that it will appeal to their customers. You know? Normal people. Clients should be educated and challenged to push creative boundaries. After all, this is our job.

Bill Bernbach, a founder of DDB, drew up a great contract with Avis once. It stated that “Avis will never know as much about advertising as DDB and DDB will never know as much about the rent-a-car business as Avis.”

That gave DDB the power to do what they wanted to make good advertising. The advertising was down to them, not the client.

Yes the client might buy the work. But the customer buys the product.

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One Comment

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  1. Tom - Bloggiest Bloggy Blog / Feb 19 2011 13:21

    Too true. Fuck me it’s frustating trying to sell an idea to a client that can’t see their own brand through their own customer’s eyes.

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