In part one of this series, I talked about how Red Thread Brands’ company values – dialogue, solutions, honesty, courage, a fire in the belly, and the joie de vivre – serve our internal relationships within the company. Now I want to share how those same values serve our external relationships with our clients.
Note: In part one, I defined each value, so take a peek back if you want more clarity on the meaning of any of our values listed here.
Value #1: Dialogue
What does company value, “dialogue,” look like with our clients?
In my experience, companies often like to TELL clients. At Red Thread, we like to LISTEN. The information our clients have to share with us is just as important, if not MORE important, than the information we have to share with them. So in communicating with clients, we remember our core value of dialogue and make sure to actively listen. Because good communication is a two-way street.
Not only do we listen to our clients, but we also take notes and ask follow-up questions. As a matter of fact, I have often gone into a client meeting with a list of questions for them at the top of my agenda, usually based on our last conversation.
Valuing dialogue means that the conversation doesn’t stop when we get one piece of information. There is always the next step to take or another level deeper to dig. When we ask the right questions of our clients, we know that we will be able to get the detailed information we need to put them on track for success.
Valuing dialogue means we are responsive as a company. We offer our clients multiple communication channels to get in touch with us, and we always make sure to respond quickly. Our clients have access to our entire team, and we all love communicating with them. We make ourselves available for meetings and phone calls. Each client also has a dedicated account manager who keeps up with all of the conversations regarding the account, keeping everyone informed and on the same page.
Value #2: Solutions
What does our company value of “solutions” look like with our clients?
We Can Help You With That
At Red Thread, we don’t give our clients suggestions without also suggesting how we can help. We also never say “I don’t know” except to follow up with “but let me find out for you.” If a client has a problem, they can count on Red Thread to find solutions. The tassel will look at the problem from all angles, discuss the issue internally, do our research, and come back with our top recommendations and a process for implementing them.
Any client of ours will tell you that we LOVE to make recommendations. It happens so frequently that we often joke about it with them. But that doesn’t mean we don’t take it seriously. It is not always our client’s job to know what is broken about their marketing efforts. In other words, they don’t have to come to us with a problem spelled out in order for us to start recommending solutions. We keep an eye on their brand, including their website, social media, digital and traditional advertising, etc. If we see something that we think could be improved, we start making recommendations (yay!). Then we roll up our sleeves and get to work helping.
There is almost always more than one solution to any problem. It is NOT one-size-fits-all. That means that we often have to get creative. Clients are working with all different types of obstacles, including (but not limited to) budget restraints, corporate policies, legal concerns, understaffing, and even difficulties that originate from their corporate culture.
At Red Thread Brands, we try to really get to know our clients. When a problem presents itself, we ask a lot of questions to try to understand everything that is at the heart of the issue. Then we start problem-solving. This can look like an internal Red Thread group Zoom, a brainstorming session with the client, or a shared Google Doc where the team members involved list their best ideas. Whatever the format, we always push each other to think outside of the box, and we often build off of each other’s ideas. With solutions at the forefront of everyone’s mind, we often come up with our most creative plans in the face of adversity. Check out our portfolio for some real-world examples!
Value #3: Honesty
How do our clients experience our value of honesty?
Clients who work with Red Thread get to see all the nuts and bolts of our process. That’s because we want to work with our clients as partners, and we have nothing to hide. If we make a mistake, we own it (and fix it.) If we don’t know the answer, we will simply say so (and go find out.) Even our project management system, Asana, is set up for transparent workflow. We add our clients right into the system as collaborators, so they can watch us work, make comments, and ask questions throughout the entire process.
Asana is an awesome project management system that can really help your company get organized. I talked about it at length in my blog “There’s A Process For That: The Importance of Organization in Achieving Your Marketing Goals.”
If we see an issue with something, we say something. We’re like that good friend who tells you you’ve got something in your teeth, so you can fix it before anyone else sees it. We always point out potential problems as we see them (and we usually have a whole list of potential solutions at the ready). Typo on your website? We got you. Potential usability issue with your online form? Oh yeah, we caught that for you. Competitor in a market you should be in? Don’t worry, we’ll let you know. We’re also going to be very honest about anything you are doing that we think is not working well. And, of course, we’ll always have a list of alternative actions we think might yield better results.
Everyone, say it with me: the numbers don’t lie. At Red Thread, we insist on knowing the whole truth about how your campaign is really doing. That means looking at the data and making adjustments as needed. Because we value honesty, we won’t base our marketing strategy for your company on a hunch. We will look at the cold hard facts. Result? Results. You’ll get what you pay for and then some. Because we definitely did our math.
Value #4: Courage
What does the Red Thread company value, “courage” look like with our clients?
We work hard to stay abreast of current trends in marketing. How? Research. (Take a look at our Thread Talks, which are short videos in which we discuss current marketing trends. While you’re there, go ahead and download our most recent trend report). Once we know what’s out there, we take the leap. At Red Thread, valuing courage means that we aren’t afraid to learn unfamiliar tactics and technologies to help our clients reach their goals.
We are willing to take risks, and our clients reap the rewards. Because we aren’t afraid of failure, we’ll try anything once. We aren’t shooting blindly – we have research and data to back us up – but we are taking our clients to places they’ve never been before. That takes courage. Not just on our part, but theirs, too. And it pays off.
It takes courage to go after the target market you really want. What if they don’t want what you’re selling? Will you miss an opportunity with some other group while focusing on your most desired group? Should you be concerned with what that other competing company is doing? Luckily, we once again have research to back us up, so we know that the most effective use of resources is to target. (If you’re not convinced, check out our blog about Why You Might Not Want to Be Everywhere the Competition Is.)
Digital marketing makes targeting easy. We give our clients the information and tools they need to brave the digital wilderness (like this handy guide), and we lead them on their way. Our most successful campaigns have been highly targeted, with very specific audiences and messaging. Just check out this case study of a multi-channel digital campaign we did for IFMA when they faced challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Successes like this give us the courage to carry on!
Value #5: A Fire In The Belly
What does “a fire in the belly” look like with our clients?
Getting Things DONE
At Red Thread, we are on fire with excitement about what we do. Our company’s purpose is to ignite passion with action. That means we are going to make things happen for our clients. Because we have a fire in the belly, we don’t drag our feet – we get moving. Meetings with clients end with lists of action items for both parties, and we spring into action immediately on our end to move those projects forward.
If you work with Red Thread, you won’t be waiting around wondering what is happening with your project. You’ll see movement from day one and results in a relatively short amount of time. We aren’t in a hurry. We’re just excited!
Excitement About ROI
Oooooh we looooooove it when our clients see a measurable return on investment! As a matter of course, we always provide clear and easy-to-understand reports to our clients that show everything we have done and how it turned out (plus recommendations for the future based on those results). I can’t tell you how many times in a client meeting I have applauded social media engagement or done a happy dance about conversion rates. (I think I’ve even sung spontaneously made-up songs about ROI.) And no, I’m not the only one. Everyone on the Red Thread team gets seriously pumped up about the results that our clients see. And we love to celebrate with them!
Normalizing Going “Above and Beyond”
For us, taking that extra step to help our clients is just a matter of course. We’ve been told that we are “on the ball,” and we’ve heard clients say, “thank you for going above and beyond,” but really, we’re just doing our jobs with a fire in the belly. We know that little something extra is often what makes all the difference in seeing real results. Want us to double-check something for you? We’ll triple-check it. Need to see a visual? We have already made you a series of mock-ups. Confused about your reporting results? We have a meeting on the calendar to walk you through the entire report step-by-step and answer all of your questions. And because we love what we do, none of this even feels like work.
Value #6: Joie de vivre
What does “joie de vivre” as a company value look like from our client’s perspective?
Getting To Know You
We love to learn everything there is to know about our clients! And not just about the company itself, but about the individual people we are working with as well. Relationships are one of the great joys of life, and we gain so much joy from truly getting to know our clients. That means that our first meetings will be full of questions, and as time goes on, our clients will find that we are very often “on the same page” about most things. That’s because we strive to learn their preferences and personalities from day one so that working together quickly feels like second nature.
Meetings That Don’t Feel Like Work
Meetings with our clients never feel like an obligation. We look forward to them. Each team member at Red Thread brings the joie de vivre into all of their at-work encounters, which means that we actually have a blast in meetings. We make jokes, celebrate, smile, laugh, get excited, plan with enthusiasm…all the while participating in a productive touch-base about all of the projects we are working on together. Who says work can’t be fun?
That Little Something Extra
I believe that this value – the joie de vivre – is probably the most important company value we have. Because at the end of the day, we are a group of creatives. Our jobs are to come up with creative ways to solve problems and achieve goals. We have to think outside the box. And that requires bringing that extra little spark to the table.
Because we value the joie de vivre in our company, we all have a work-life balance that keeps us feeling happy and alive. (Check out Gia’s blog article about how “Work/Life Balance Improves Life and Increases Productivity”). That little spark of life and joy often translates into our most creative (and successful) ideas for our clients. Which brings us even more joy!
Our Red Thread company values regularly translate into added value for our clients. Dialogue, solutions, honesty, courage, a fire in the belly, and the joie de vivre all serve as a compass for our team as we navigate the various external relationships we build and nurture. At the end of the day, that’s what helps us to achieve our purpose and ignite passion with action.
Want to see for yourself the value Red Thread Brands brings to the table?
We would love to work with you!