When Being a Full-Service Agency Isn’t Enough

A recent post of ours highlights why PBB Creative is account-driven and why our specialized agencies are creative-driven and how the two approaches complement each other. Nowadays though, being a full-service creative agency simply isn’t enough as clients are shifting away from this model in an effort for more meaningful interactions with their audience.

While featuring in-house agencies spanning branding, graphic design, digital, photography and video, we collaborate openly with external firms specialized in market research, social media, event planning and 3D printing. As a team of strategists and experts in various management disciplines, we work with our partners to present an actionable solution to a problem, not just pitching a campaign designed to earn us a profit.

Our way is to consider our competition as potential collaborators and beyond that, like-minded companies that aim to blur the lines between technology and their core service like we do. A good example is  the 3D Food Company, a Beijing-based catering service that has digitized delicious by using 3D printing to merge branding and food design. In the lead-up to Mid-Autumn Festival, we decided to show our clients some love by collaborating with the catering service to send them edible arrangements featuring the PBB logo; branding that goes down easy indeed.

PBB Collaboration

PBB’s Mid-Autumn Festival gift to clients in collaboration with the 3D Food Company

To be clear, this way of working doesn’t just come from some romantic belief in win-win cooperation, rather a sober look at our evolving industry. Specifically, it’s a combination of technological advancements, evolving consumer habits and a growing number of platforms and channels. This dynamic has resulted in clients demanding agile teams that can work to fulfill their multi-channel fantasies that exceed the quality that most full-service agencies deliver. Clients also don’t want the hassle of chasing up multiple agencies for different tasks as they find it inefficient to their own processes; that’s where we come in apparently.

At first, collaboration with local firms was a hard sell as some didn’t understand the need to proactively adapt their approach to the changing environment. Some agencies would pitch themselves as a do-it-all hub, trying to be everything to everyone. Large agencies would find their subsidiaries squabbling for the same projects, contending their approach is the correct one, while throwing their sister-agencies under the bus. Clearly using Jay-Z’s mantra, “Nobody wins when the family feuds”, even the biggest agencies have finally come around to promoting collaboration and we’ve since received more knocks at our door.