After the first few years of experience when a young version of you tends to say yes to practically everything, you begin to develop a different vision of what a creative business entails. As much as you might have thought that the customer isn’t always right, the balance between paying your bills and doing projects you really find cool is sometimes fragile and you end up making commitments that perhaps you shouldn’t have.
Saying yes to everything might be the most frequent approach of the creative professional in Spain, who later complains that things aren’t going well or about being misunderstood.
After plenty of head-scratching, in 2017, it occurred to us that you cannot design for everybody. Not every client or project is worthwhile and, as a creative, if you want to tackle that inner voice that doesn’t leave you alone, you need to bet on brave clients who know how to jump in the deep end with a certain class of creative solutions.
We realized that the first step is to decide to distance ourselves from toxic relationships or those that aren’t getting anywhere and begin to connect more with our kindred spirits. In less than a year, the percentage of brave clients had grown and, in 2019, 90% of our collaborations were with people wishing to take a bet, ready to take on a challenge and build an intense, non-typical relationship with us, meeting surprises along the way.
It isn’t always easy and doesn’t always work straight away. It requires a prudent analysis of how to attract a certain type of partner who wishes to start a dialogue based on mutual understanding. When you manage to hit the right button and put yourself out there without selling anything, interesting roads open ahead. Each existing client presents us with a different challenge and our approach is to analyze the variables in detail before proposing something unexpected which is the result of our conversations where everyone chips in.
In addition, there are people who know us very well and create new relationships between Relajaelcoco and companies looking for a different, more daring point of view. They are at once friends and ambassadors of our corporate personality, who know exactly who we want to fall in with.
Looking back, it’s easy to say, but at the time we only knew that we needed to consolidate a change of mentality. In almost three years, our slogan “Design for the brave, never work for cowards”; has become a reality because when you project what you are and you communicate it in the right way, you come steadily closer to what you want.
A step away from having spent twelve years of work with the studio, we have realized that when you put away the insecurities and the fears, you’re more conscious of what you are, you give off a different kind of attitude which leads people like you to your path.
It’s kind of like flirting: you can let everyone into your space, knowing that you’d probably never be a supermatch, or you can choose who you want to have a great time with and get on with looking.
Our transformation has created a new kind of relationship which has been developing through intense emotional connections where the brave meet the brave. In this setting, it doesn’t matter any more whether the project is small, medium or large; what matters is the challenge it implies and that we build something together.
Definitely, the most interesting part is forming alliances with brave people, although at the beginning that may imply a certain risk. Brave people respect you a priori and believe in your abilities.