While we tend to think of outsourcing work to agencies as “the experts” in creativity, strategy, media or production, the reality is that model just doesn’t fit what every client is looking for. This is proven by the research findings by Drew McLellan of Agency Management Institute and Susan Baier of Audience Audit , where they were able to define distinct types of clients based on their reasons for outsourcing work to agencies.
I first met Daniel Quintana, founder and chief creative disruptor of Blue Rabbit Studios, over a high-top lunch table during the Digital Media Innovation Summit in New York a few years ago. Sure, everyone there had a marketing background, but it was serendipitous that Daniel was a self-starter, launching his own agency with the unique position of making sure collaboration was the cornerstone of his client-agency relationships. So when I gave him the Hightail elevator pitch, he lit up. He understood there’s a market for clients that appreciate collaboration at every step of the way. While some might not want their clients to be so hands on, Daniel embraces it.
Kicking-off projects with a co-creative process
In 2017, Daniel launched Blue Rabbit Studios, a full-service creative agency with a focus on brand development and digital marketing content, working with clients such as Skylabs Innovation, Boyne Mountain & Avalanche Bay Resorts, Potter Brothers Ski & Snowboard Shops, Century 21 Alliance Realty Group, and Standard Merch Company (the business behind the iconic Sock Monkey).
With so much competition amongst creative agencies, and the threat of work being brought in-house, Blue Rabbit Studios takes the unique positioning of fully understanding their clients’ mission, vision and value and seamlessly integrating them into highly engaging and emotionally intelligent visual communication. Additionally, they pitch co-creativity as a part of their process as they’ve “yet to find a client that is totally hands off and doesn’t want to be involved.”
To help deliver on the promise of co-creativity, Blue Rabbit Studios leverages Hightail as a part of the creative review and approval process from the start. “During on-boarding, especially if clients are in a different location, we’ll go over how to get into a Space and review a file,” said Quintana, “and they typically look at the experience in awe. Hightail is a saving grace when we’re not onsite together.”
A solution for typical collaboration challenges
“Our process is highly collaborative, to the degree that we call all projects ‘Co-creations,’ so any lapse in communication can severely hinder the end result,” says Quintana.
“Before Hightail, we used a semi-reliable mix of phone conversations, emailed comments and files shared through the occasional 3rd-party file transfer tools. The biggest challenge we faced was a lack of clarity and/or delay in creative feedback.”
Having used Hightail on and off for file transfer in other roles for almost a decade, the creative collaboration features were a “no brainer” for Quintana when selecting a solution to streamline the creative review and approval process with clients on these Co-creations. “I’ve been a huge fan of the product ever since the release of the creative review and approval features due to its simplicity, low learning curve for new clients and ability to store/compare versions and track approvals. I knew this was the tool that was going to help Blue Rabbit Studios establish a stronger bond with our clients through our ability to efficiently capture feedback and act effectively. Not only does it clear the clutter of multiple email threads and mitigate the perils of ‘lost’ files, but locking in approvals is essential to our process and no one does it better.”