So how do they do it? We sat down with president Doreen Lorenzo for a conversation about how Frog “looks after clients” and “teaches young designers” – and how both of these elements play into the company’s remarkable ability to create break-through products.
Different clients make decisions in different ways – some can make snap decisions, some need to sleep on it. How do you deal with that when you’re trying to sell in an idea?
Innovation is really tough on the client. They have committed to doing something that’s unique and different. At some point, there’s that sinking feeling in their stomach, like “Oh my god, did I make the right choice?” And our job is to make them feel confident that they have done that – to take them down this path where they can feel really good about these decisions. And there’s nothing like constant communication to help them through that.
Internally, we have lots of training that goes on. We do pitch classes. We talk about good presentations, and bad presentations, and what works, and storytelling. We take our teams through what that means.
You mentioned storytelling. What are the other things you emphasize?
It’s got to be good storytelling, great visuals, and consistency. The ability to have an opinion. I believe that nobody should go to a meeting without an opinion. You don’t go to a meeting to be a decoration. You go to a meeting to have an opinion, to have a point of view, and to talk that through. That’s what our clients are paying us for.
A lot of our business is with CMOs, with CEOs, with CFOs. Because, usually if you’re doing something new, it costs money for a client. So you have to have the ability to answer questions under fire. To be able to speak through, and be articulate, and be confident that this is the right decision.
You only have to educate a good client for a short amount of time. Because, once you educate them, there’s this trust factor that happens between you and the client. So you might educate them the first couple of projects, but the third, fourth, fifth project they’re listening to you. And you’re coming up with ideas – because you know them, and you know what’s good for them – and they’re listening to you. That’s where the real magic happens.
Because you’ve educated them, and they understand you, and you understand them, you can have a real dialogue with the client. And that’s where the excitement is. I think some of our best projects are born out of that.
Can you share some tips for young designers?
I think one of them is be curious. Don’t ever be afraid to take a risk. Learn how to communicate, learn how to have an opinion. I think, with young designers, they have to learn that an opinion is not necessarily a criticism. Because that’s something that you can learn from. If you listen to what people are saying, and you really understand how that applies to making something better, that’s how you grow as a designer.