Yorke UnContented

If you are reading this, I am sure you already know one of the oldest rules in the marketing rule book — the customer is always right. But how often do we really believe this? Let’s be honest, shall we and let me ask again. Is the customer always right?

Actually, this is not about who is right and who is not. It is more than that. Much more…

In the advertising world, we call it the ‘push back’ — a phrase I have never been comfortable with. It’s a bit too confrontational for my taste. So let me try and introduce a simpler and more pacific alternative. But before that let me tell you a story.

A mid-sized bank commissioned Yorke Communications to produce a report. This bank, which until recently was a pre-Independence relic, was going through a transformative phase from being a small regional bank to one with a national footprint. Despite its limited presence and reach, it had over the years built an enviable customer base, albeit restricted to one part of the country. Its most valuable asset was its retail customer base, not so much in terms of size but in terms of loyalty. Some of its oldest customers continued to bank with our client, and were truly invested in the future of the bank as shareholders too. A few iterations on the cover design led us nowhere. After several rounds of abstract concepts for the cover, we decided to push for a cover with a profile picture of one of bank’s oldest surviving customers, and after some persuasion, the report went to print with just that.

Or take the case of a global consulting firm that was introducing a digital product in India for the first time (also their first product launch here) that found its messaging and market based on Yorke Communications’ sound advice. Or a mid-tier engineering services company that was trying to hire mechanical engineers using whitepapers but found scarce talent based on a video Yorke Communication produced for them.

‘Push back’ in the creative department is not so uncommon in our business. But the temptation is usually to give in and point fingers at the customer if the delivered idea or output fails and the ‘I told you so’ factor comes to play. It is easy and it works.

But after servicing more than 170 customers over the last 10 years, we have come to realize something more important. When I look back, it is not surprising to see that most of our repeat customers are the ones with whom we never had the ‘I told you so’ moment. We may have had our creative differences, may be their decision to stick to an idea did not work out, but at the end of the day, it is these customers who have understood our point of view, and are a valuable source of repeat business or referrals. We salute them.

It takes an emery paper to get that shine. Our emery paper is this dogged belief in remaining uncontented.

For more information on our uncontented philosophy, write to uncontented@yorkecommunications.com

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