It’s something we are passionate about at ikon and if it means missing out on opportunities then so be it but let’s explain why we think you should not ask in the first place. Let's eradicate free pitching for good.
First of all it only produces a beauty parade for agencies competing against each other with no real insight into the business they are creating for. To start any project, the amount of work that needs to take place before you even consider the creative element can be huge.
So even if you love the creative produced in the pitch, it may not actually be right for your audience as it’s not grounded in enough research.
Everyone understands there is an element of risk when using any business that it may not work out. But generally there are cues to look out for when choosing who you want to work with.
Take ikon, we have been voted by Clutch and The Manifest as one of the top 15 branding agencies in London and worked with global brands like Westfield, Porsche, Oakley and F1. That to start speaks volumes.
Choosing an agency should come down to credentials and the calibre of past clients. The standard acceptable by a local business compared with a global brand are worlds apart.
There is nowhere to hide when your ideas and work need to convince marketing managers and CMO’s of global brands the work is to a standard they are happy with.
Westfield for instance. They work with some of the best agencies globally so the bar is already set very high as decision makers are used to an exceptional level of work.
So what happens when you are comparing agencies all with a high calibre of client? Then it comes down to differentiation, the chemistry and their approach.
We can prove our reputation. We can prove we are different. We can prove we have a robust approach that works. What’s left is to meet us and see if your values align with ours.
Still think you should still ask an agency to work for free? The Design Business Association goes into more detail of why it benefits nobody.