Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or impact of the engagement?
This has been a great partnership. I’ve got a super team of really creative people where we both come up with ideas, and together we make those ideas even better. On metrics of putting Cushman & Wakefield back on the map, within one year of rolling out this branding initiative, we were awarded the #1 tenant-rep firm by The American Lawyer. We were shocked because we had never had that ranking, and I’m happy to say that we have won it every single year since. This is voted by thousands of people at law firms around the United States. Again, had we not done this and collaborated on what we were doing, we would have never been considered, but that’s directly correlated.
What was also really interesting is that after the completion of that first year of Bright Insights, ds+f submitted it for the Hermes Creative Awards. It won a platinum for the entire branding campaign and has since won numerous awards. Our company has never had awards in 100 years. The fact that we hired an outside consultant and won awards that we had never won before said a lot about outsourcing. It’s nice to win an advertising award, but what does do it for me is if we’re winning those legal awards.
As it relates to the growth of our practice, we had no one when we started. Four years later, we have 400 people around the globe. When we started, we had nothing as it relates to tools, marketing materials, brand, or videos. Four years later, not only do we have it, but we’ve increased our win ratio from a low number to a very high percentage in our industry. It’s directly correlated to us winning more business, growing our practice group, building awareness in the industry, and quite frankly giving us tremendous credibility as experts, which we could never convey before but now can.
How did ds+f perform from a project management standpoint?
They’re better than my team! They stay on top of things such as deadlines. They’re very good at giving friendly reminders of “You haven’t gotten to us yet, and if you don’t, it’s going to screw up the whole schedule.” I have a great team that we will back into everything from saying this is a deliverable by such and such date. A lot of the stuff that we do is statistical from polling companies, so we’ve got to make sure every person does what they need to do in order to get to the date we want.
They’ve also been good in that they can make up the time if something happens for whatever reason, whether in or out of our control. Say they have a week to do something, but we get a delay from something else. Instead of a week, they’ll crank it out in two days to make it up for the lost time.
What did you most impressive about ds+f?
What I really like about them is that they’re a boutique firm that has as good ideas as anybody else, including the mega-firms. They’re small and responsive and get things done. They’re a lot more affordable. They’re not so big, so they don’t have massive overhead. You get a lot of value, talent, and creativity for your money. I think that’s really important too because everybody is looking at their budgets and spending their money wisely. You’ll get a lot of bang for your buck with them. To get their caliber of talent and creativity, yet getting it at a price point, is good.
Are there any areas ds+f could improve?
I haven’t had any big macro-issues that I could say that they could improve upon. I will say that anytime I had a problem with whatever—a person not communicating well or unhappy with the direction of a first draft—they fixed it. I can’t really speak of a flaw because they’ve addressed every problem well as soon as it’s come up.