To give custom solutions to the client one must understand their requirements and expectations. Though every client has its own uniques needs but to better understand the rapidly changing client’s demands during the COVID pandemic, we asked Priyanka Bhasin, co-founder of Design Stack, for her recent experiences and learnings.
Client’s Demands, Have you witnessed any changes in the projects you receive now than from the projects from pre-pandemic days?
Priyanka. Yes, we most definitely have. The projects we have been approached for in the past few months have been far more focused and defined in terms of business objectives and timelines. Also, they seem to be largely based on immediate and visible client’s demands, which is in stark contrast to how things were earlier. Where people were willing to take more risks, today there is a lower scope for indulgence.
Another interesting new development includes work coming our way from large scale public sector companies that speak to the wider demographic, demonstrating a surprising yet encouraging the savvy understanding for strategic branding and appreciation for good design.
Apart from COVID impact, is there any other recurring theme that you can observe in the current commissions?
Priyanka. Some businesses have been hit very visibly in the past few months because of the way that COVID has impacted consumer spending patterns. It has led to a visible shift from ‘want’ to ‘need’ and once again, there seems to be little or no scope for indulgence. Businesses seem to be now investing in more holistic and purpose-driven brands.
‘Survive to thrive’ is also a recurring theme we are witnessing. The inability for businesses to differentiate between branding, advertising and digital agencies is possibly the industry’s biggest challenge which is further burdened with the need for agencies to stay afloat. Survival is dictating decisions and if we as a collective are not cautious, it could even impact creative standards.
Has there been any difference in project deadlines before and during the lockdown?
Priyanka. More than just deadlines becoming tighter, it is the intensity of engagement that is crazier; heavy spurts in short times. Often, there’s just about enough time left in a day to schedule the next set of calls. The lines between personal and professional are fast fading and balance has become critical to stability. We are at a whole new level of multitasking!
Has work from home impacted the projects/commissions that you receive?
Priyanka. Not really. The industry at large has been hit more by the economic downturn rather than WFH. And since we saw a similar downturn play out in 2008, our decision to build a diverse portfolio spanning most industries across both public and private sectors, has worked wonders and helped us ride this wave.
As far as WFH is concerned, our clients have been happy to have more access to us; and we think they secretly prefer it as well!
Has there been a general increase or decrease in the projects since the lockdown began? What would you attribute this change too?
Priyanka. Besides the initial few weeks of the lockdown where we saw not just clients but the entire country go into silent shock, it has been an extremely busy year for us. We did lose a few clients along the way which hit hard because the associations were long term and well established. On the other hand, we have a surge of meaningful enquiries coming from across emerging business categories, as expected, and completely new geographies which have been quite unexpected.
We would like to end on what has ironically been our most gratifying work this year. Pro bono work has become our creative investment towards that holistic purpose and hence closer to our hearts. It may probably be our only indulgence through these COVID times!
Published in Issue 51
Business, studios, agencies, freelancer all have different perspectives to handle the pandemic and hurdle it brings. While some find pandemic an obstacle which will soon fade away and on the other hand, few saw opportunities in the same. Many creatives used the past few months to reflect on their styles and horn their art. Many utilized it for collaboration opportunities with national and international creatives. This issue is a must-read if you are looking for insights, inspirations and ways to bounce back in this unlocking phase. Grab your copy and enjoy it on a sunny day!
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