Ideal Standard’s Brand and Communications Director Radha Davies Talks About Oystercatchers
Radha Davies: Working with Oystercatchers was a new experience for me, and I actually found it incredibly helpful, having an agency who has such amazing relationships with all the advertising and design agencies we worked with. So walking into a room as a client, it felt like the agencies were already warmed up. They had already been told a bit about us as a client, they really understood the brief even before we entered into the room and formally briefed them, all of which I think allowed us to get off to a faster start. The support given by Oystercatchers was also hugely valuable – both before the appointments we had with the agencies and all the way through the process actually. So this was a very innovative pitch process, I’ve never handled anything in this way and I think it was Oystercatchers’ idea to manage it in such a unique way, where we would combine communications agencies working with design agencies to see how we could get the best out of both of them. The reasons why the pitch worked so well I think, is that we were able to view the chemistry that the agencies would have with one another because this was reflective of how it would be ongoing, seeing how they could collaborate and get the best out of each other and put that back into the work that they were developing. The pitch was quite interesting because it also allowed us to view multiple agencies within the same timeframe. So we got to see three design agencies working in partnership, each with one another, communications agency. So we had three teams of two agencies all working to the same brief, all with the same amount of time to deliver. So for me as a client, what was really interesting was seeing how far each pair could get with exactly the same information and taking the work in such different directions. So, very, very interesting to explore different levels of capability, creativity, account management and definitely a real learning experience for me as well.
Radha Davies: So, having Oystercatchers manage the meetings and set them up took a lot of the administrative effort out for us, which was really helpful when you are trying to appoint agencies and go through that process it is really time consuming, there is a lot to think about and just having the whole piece of it taken away and dealt with was fantastic help. But also being able to discuss the meetings after they happened with a third party who hasn’t got a vested interest in the outcome really, who is completely independent, was really great; great sounding board, really helpful to just talk things through and to be clear on how we felt about the work that was being developed.
Radha Davies: James Rennie’s support on the procurement side of the negotiations was hugely valuable. He’s got a massive amount of experience of managing the financial aspects and the fee negotiations with agencies. So, again, that was another big chunk of the appointment process that was supported by Oystercatchers and that was hugely valuable for us. It allowed us to compare apples with apples with apples, so having a framework which James pulled together for us allowed us to compare each agency, according to the same criteria and make sure that we were really getting the best value for us as a client.
Radha Davies: It is quite difficult question to answer around whether Oystercatchers did it anything unexpected. I’ve never really worked with an intermediary like Oystercatchers before. I suppose the best way to look at it is whether I would use Oystercatchers again, and I think the value that was added was really huge and it took a lot of pressure off me in terms of pulling the shortlist of agencies together, ensuring they were the right ones, the support that I received throughout the process. They were all really invaluable. So yes, I would definitely use Oystercatchers again I think.