Love what you sell

October 19, 2009

by Michelle Edelman, President  @

NYCA is absolutely abuzz right now with work. For new clients and old, and a slew of new prospects. Not surprising, the best work in the agency is for products that are easy to believe in.

Why do people believe in brands or products? Market leadership, killer features, fresh consumer insights, inspiring design – I’m sure you can think of more. These are the reasons NYCAers get excited about their clients as well. But there’s something else within our walls too. 

Not all brands are the market leader. Not all products are best of breed. Sometimes the reasons consumers should care about a product is not obvious. Sometimes the communications themselves are what make a brand great. 

heartforblogThe truth of NYCA is that we don’t just sell what we love. We love what we sell. Our own quest to find passion within our assignments brings out new reasons for consumers to buy. We don’t stop till we find that property of value – that thing that’s worth a consumers time and attention – proving our clients’ products are worth the money spent – that’s what pushes us harder.

In that way, we’re more like part of the sales force. We know that every minute, we have to earn the consumer’s dollar. We know that each sale is earned and not to be taken for granted. Metrics tell us that a current customer is up to 8 times easier to sell than a new customer. We approach our thinking believing everyone’s a tough sell. And that’s why it helps to love what we sell. There’s a “never let up” mentality to our work – and that’s a key ingredient in why we have grown every one of our clients.

‘When I was deep in poverty you taught me how to give.’ -Bob Dylan, The Wedding Song

August 13, 2009

By Michael Mark, creative director/ceo @nyca


You may need to reduce staff – the P&L Statement will have its say. You may need to cutbob-dylan services – it goes hand and hand with lost revenue. You may need to cut salaries – that hurts but maybe it’s better than losing a job. But with all the cuttings you cannot lower your standards. In fact, you must raise them. 

With less money and fewer people and less time, you must actually give more.  If you don’t, things will just get worse. You will have fewer clients because you will not be as valuable. More, you will have less self-respect because you haven’t been doing everything you can.  Don’t let the recession take away your self esteem. 

Cut your scope, cut your deliverables but in everything you do deliver, give more. Do it with even greater care than when the budgets were there. Yes, you might need to do less but do it better. You will have lots of excuses not to. The economy will weaken your resolve — that’s where it gets nastiest. But don’t give in, give more. You will keep your clients. When your competition succumbs you will get their business. Offer a fourth idea when you usually share three. Make the extra client call. Look over the work for another time to see how to make it better. Spend more time with your staff, listening more is giving more.  What ever you do quality is non-negotiable.

During cuts you need higher standards to keep your head and company morale raised. How else are you going to get a glimpse of the future?

Find time to be inspired by each other

July 7, 2009

By Dan Henry, Senior Business Manager @NYCA 

In a prior life, I was in a band.  We worked hard, had fun, and at times made decent music.  Unfortunately, our regular practices weren’t always as productive as we’d have liked.  The stress of staying up all night getting ready for the next show, or trying to put the finishing touches on the new song before a recording session made us crazy.  Once, when we were at each other’s throats and things were close to a breaking point, we decided to try somethfriendsing new – spending time together outside of the garage.  It had an amazing affect.  We got to know each other outside of the instruments we played and when we sat down to prepare for the next show we did it with more patience and passion.  We even came up with ideas for some of our best music when we weren’t plugged in.  

Naturally all of us buy into this idea – we make sure to have lunch with friends or catch a dinner and a movie with our significant others when we can to stay close. But what about our clients?  

Today we are lucky to offer instantaneous service to clients who are located 1700 miles away and beyond.  Our relatively small agency can coordinate with far-off branches and vendors to launch global campaigns. Even more important, brands can work with the right agency team without having to worry about their office locations.  

But email, or cell phone video, or 140 character segments can’t replace the need for real human connection.  

Yesterday, while our distant clients were in town, we shared assets and ideas and org charts, but we also shared good food and pictures of our kids. In all the rush to meet launch deadlines, there was a short pause where I remembered that business relationships, like our personal relationships, can grow stronger and richer when we don’t just share spreadsheets and text messages, but also time.  It is well understood that time is rare and valuable.  But so are the ideas and learnings that naturally bubble to the surface over a drink.  Ideas like how to communicate more effectively or how to better utilize the skill set of a particular team member. It doesn’t have to happen every day, but once in a while there’s nothing like a good ol’ fashioned handshake or high five at the end of the day.  It’s good for the soul, and it’s good for business. 

It’s a busy business we’re in and too many issues begging for time.  While I’m not making music anymore, I still see the value of getting outside of the garage with your team when you can.  I’m reminded of all the good people I work with and for, and that invigorates me and makes me ready to face the next impossible deadline.