I am on a quest to find the perfect pair of black sandals, and when I say perfect, I mean A-MAZING - comfortable, unique, versatile; a pair of shoes that invoke the green-eyed monster in every woman that sees them. This has been an endless process because for every pair of shoes I love, I start to think that maybe there is another pair somewhere I will like better. In many ways, the search for the perfect pair of shoes is very similar to the way professional services firms go about finding agencies who will help them with their brand. Choosing a match that fits with who they are and what they need, without getting distracted by all the options available, is a challenge.
I always start off on my expeditions with good intentions. I have an exact destination in mind where I will only purchase one pair of black sandals. But then comes the “oh wait!” moment, as the cute pair of silver heels in the window catches my eye, beckoning me to come inside and try them on. Well they aren’t black and they aren’t sandals, but they will totally go with everything! So I tell myself I won’t really buy them. I’ll just try them on. Yeah. Right!
There is nothing wrong with doing research and finding out what’s out there. Before starting out on any “shopping expedition,” however, it is essential to figure out EXACTLY what you want and what you need. Do you want to completely rebrand your firm? If so, do you want a traditional or a cutting-edge image? Do you need a company that will develop and redesign your website and nothing else? If you don’t have a clear idea before you begin your search, you will end up leaving empty-handed and frustrated. Worse, you may end up spending money on exactly what you DON’T need.
What matters in any search is to find a match that is a good fit (no pun intended). It’s important that the company you choose shares your vision and can become a true partner as you walk together through the branding or web development process.
I admit that I will always get distracted when shoe shopping because, well, a girl can always use another pair of shoes. Like new companies that emerge, there will always be new trends, new colors labeled as “the new black.” But trends are fleeting, and as a firm, you should look to partner with a company that not only fits, but can provide substance and value to your firm as it grows over time. In the end, I want a solid foundation that will work with my wardrobe as I build it for years to come and in a color that never goes out of style.
So, if you’re walking down the street and happen to see a girl in front of a shoe store with her hands and face pressed up against the glass window, repeating a mantra that is somewhat along the lines of, “OMG, those are tooooo CUTE”, chances are it’s probably not me, because I found my new black sandals and they fit just fine.