There are several shared traits of challenger brands, irrelevant of their size, sector or location. Governing these core traits, is the need to quench the appetite for growth and customer conversion with a backdrop of scrutiny on budgets, timescales and resources.

These internal challenges have led to the natural repercussion, that any supplier looking to work effectively in partnership with these brands, needs to have a service model and proposition that can acknowledge this environment and adapt the service to mutual commercial success.

One of the key patterns emerging from our vantage point, is the use of On Demand or Overflow agency support, that can either plug gaps in internal resource/skills or fast track projects or campaigns to completion. Once a niche core specialism in its own right, we are seeing more and more ‘traditional’ agency models adapt to offer this service as a vertical to clients where they see the potential for a win-win.

Why is this trend of agency services growing?

Leaders within a challenger brand will recognise 3 core themes that dominate their working environment:

Lean Internal Teams

Specialist skills are in high demand and there is plenty of competition for top talent. The inability to attract and afford the skills that a larger corporate can when hiring permanent members of staff, means that roles have to be prioritised and skills gaps plugged by other means.

Budget Scrutiny

Challenger brands, by definition, do not have the ‘fat’ in their budget to allow for inflated or underused resource. There is a demand for consistent and forecastable agency relationships, which are backed up by agreed SLA’s and rate cards. Flexibility is also key – the ability to turn the supply ‘up or down’ based on seasonality, marketing plan or reaction to market/trading conditions.

Time Poor

The pace of change and demand within a challenger brand environment, means that teams & working weeks are stretched to capacity. An agency that can be seen as an extension of the internal team, working towards increased project completion and campaign output, is highly valued.

Reflecting the increasing demand for these services, many agencies are adapting their service model and pricing structure to react.

Those that successfully offer this type of service to clients, are seeing the mutual benefits that can be born out of these relationships.

These include;

• More consistent and forecastable revenue supported by robust contracts.
• Greater productivity and efficiency in their service coverage model
• Consistency in workflow and capacity planning
• Stronger client relationships
• The ability to engage with new sectors/client profiles and complement existing business development.

Over the last 6 months, GO! have been consistently engaged to match the demand for ‘always on’ agency support with agencies that successfully plan and price this sort of delivery. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to discuss the growing potential this type of relationship can offer and the key foundations that need to be put in place.