Finding the right creative services provider has always been a challenge. Hitting upon a quality partner isn’t easy. Not only do they have to offer what you need and be good at it, but they also have to offer the right price, timing, and culture to make the effort productive and successful.
Nowadays, the partnering process is harder than ever. In response to complex technologies, tools and distribution channels, creatives are increasingly specialized. As more agencies declare their lane, brands that need to outsource creative services must build portfolios of partners to call upon. It’s becoming more and more rare to find a partner that can do it all.
Here at Porchlight, we have chosen a different approach: vertical integration. Instead of choosing a creative lane – web development, video, merchandising, advertising events, digital marketing, etc. – we have declared an industry: home improvement retail. Whereas specialty agencies might work across sectors —developing web sites, packaging or advertising campaigns for CPG, fashion and financial services – Porchlight offers a range of services for a single industry.
Because we are industry-focused and offer multidisciplinary creative services, our clients represent all facets of home improvement, from Fortune 100 retailers and brands to challengers and regional startups. Likewise, our clients have diverse needs. Some are looking to outsource all creative while others need to offload time-sensitive projects when their internal teams are overwhelmed. Regardless of the circumstances, the benefits of industry-focused, vertically integrated creative services are clear: Clients enjoy accelerated onboarding, one-stop shopping and precision.
One of the most frequent signs of relief that Porchlight’s clients experience is the realization that our team “gets it.” Considering that our clients are either managing creative for a national brand or are managing everything for a growing brand, it’s safe to say that they are all very busy. Likewise, many clients are under a time or resource constraint, meaning that their team is overloaded and under the gun to produce by a certain date. They don’t have time to bring an unfamiliar team up to speed on the nuances of home improvement. They don’t have time to entertain ideas that won’t work in a crowded, tightly controlled retail environment.
When clients realize they can skip the home improvement 101 discussion with our team, they express profound relief. We can speak in shorthand, knowing that we understand one another. Most of the time, we already know a client’s brand proposition, competition and category, so we can ask targeted questions that focus on the solution and adding value. All of this familiarity and experience saves valuable time, eliminates confusion and speeds up the creative process.
As mentioned earlier, finding a creative partner that does it all without sacrificing quality or creativity is getting more difficult. When you team up with a vertically integrated partner, you simplify the transaction for your team. There’s only one relationship to manage.
Lest we sound too good to be true, Porchlight’s in-house team isn’t huge. Instead of employing an assembly line of artists, we have a core team of veteran creatives with deep industry knowledge. When specific solutions or projects require specialization, we call on our pre-qualified network of artists and technicians, people we work with regularly. From the client’s perspective, the team expands and contracts seamlessly. That’s because we take on the management – the creative concepting, ideating, direction and review – so that all you see is incredible creative.
Be Precise: Know When to Follow the Rules and When to Break Them
We know clients aren’t just looking to get things done faster. They also demand accuracy in the creative work. The solutions delivered must be applicable, realistic and qualified for our industry. Going back to the idea of time, of which our clients have little, Porchlight promises solutions that will work in home improvement because our clients don’t have the time to entertain ideas that won’t work. Nor do they have the resources to pay for creative executions that aren’t compliant or may endanger a brand’s standing with a retailer.
That said, we have worked with numerous brands on conceptual solutions for home improvement. From time to time, retailers request ground-breaking displays, solutions or installations from category leaders. When the opportunity to break some rules arises, we are there, ready to change the industry. After all, we are deeply embedded in home improvement retail, so we see the possibilities as clearly as we know the limitations.
The next time you need a partner to provide creative solutions for your brand, consider whether you want to team up with someone who knows their lane or a partner that understands your industry. Of course, there are advantages to both. But when time, resources and outcomes are critical, having a vertically integrated partner like Porchlight makes a lot of sense.