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  • Christina Rüter

Pitches: No or Yes?

A painful topic for agencies, a relevant topic for clients. When is a pitch a win-win situation and conducted with mutual respect?

We declined - and that won the project finally...

... sometimes it's so good to say "NO".

We were recently invited to take part in a pitch for an existing client who knows us well and holds us in high regard.

We decided against it - why?

👉 Because we put our heart and soul, countless hours and all our expertise and passion into every project.

👉 Working for less or barely being paid does a lot to our morale and we don't want to do that.

Or do you go to your doctor and only pay a small amount of his bill from time to time - simply because you challenge his quality? Unthinkable...

Unfortunately, our industry is really fighting a price war. Customers and brand owners appreciate us on a personal level (we have really super nice customers!), but from an economic point of view, we are under enormous price pressure.

Fortunately, our pitch NO turned out really well: the client called and said that he would like to work with us after all.

So is holistic quality convincing and creates loyalty after all?

And of course we know why brand owners sometimes want to pitch:

3 reasons for pitches for the brand owner:

  • Access to a variety of ideas and creative solutions

  • Comparison of different agencies

  • Achieving better prices through competition

But the truth is that pitches also create many disadvantages and costs - even for the brand owner.

Reasons against pitches for the brand owner:

  • High time expenditure for organising and evaluating the "countless" ideas and solutions

  • Superficial "show-off concepts" instead of long-term, well thought-out strategies

  • Possible loss of quality due to focus on price

  • Potential damage to the relationship with existing partners

  • Promotion of a price war culture that can run counter to company values

  • Generating so much energy and resources, most of which end up as waste - anything but sustainable business practices

So do we never pitch?

If you want to get to know someone new, we sometimes say yes. However, we always prefer face-to-face meetings or workshops that give us a good, well-founded impression and define common directions that we then "explore". A joint design sprint on a brand topic can also be a great format for an initial project.

What do you think about pricing trends in the industry?

Do you like pitching?

Author: Christina Rüter

LinkedIn Publication: 07.11.2023


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