Working in advertising has given me a very unique perspective on products and services in the marketing world. I look at taglines differently than other people do. I look at the package design from a designer's eye. I sometimes actually read the long copy on a label or on an ad. My job is easy if you know what you're doing. But it's even easier when you believe in and love what you're trying to make other people love.
Don't get me wrong, I've worked on some products and services I'm not so proud of, in the past. But I'm at a place now that is pretty selective about the types of clients we go after and the industries. Every time I have the pleasure of meeting a new client I'm always impressed by two things: how knowledgeable they are about their industry, and how cool they are. I genuinely like every client I meet. And liking them and knowing them make me a little bit more focused on their goals. Knowing their hurdles and the personalities helps give me insights into the decisions they make as clients and it helps me know where to take their work, where they'll be more comfortable. It is sometimes better for a client to be a little uncomfortable with their messaging but only in rare situations and this takes tremendous trust and a strong mutual respect.
Some people say that it's dangerous to take the client's feelings and views into consideration when doing work for them. A lot of ad folks say you should care less about the client's wants and needs than the consumer's to effectively create compelling creative that speaks to the consumer. But I think the challenge is to find a happy medium between the two. Chances are the client knows more about their consumers than you do. And if you want your client to get behind your ideas and support them internally within the company they need to be comfortable and believe in them as much as you do.
Maybe it's more about trust than it is anything else. When your clients know you believe in their brands and that your motivations are pure and authentic, it's easier for them to trust you and let you guide them. Every brand I work on feels like an extension of my life because I am organically involved in each one. Afterall, they pay for me to get paid the least I can do is recycle the dollar.