Since founding RDG in 2008, we have been designing and building email campaigns, websites, banner ads and everything in between. Over the years, we have pivoted from a focus on digital production to a full-service model. Along the way, we have declared, defined and re-defined our mission, values and culture. Our tagline and company mantra has experienced a few evolutions, as well. Our current mantra is one that I feel best fits the vision that I have for us present-day and going forward: Boutique Hustle. Big Agency Results.
Now, at first read, let’s assume that anyone that has any connection with digital marketing has an inferred idea of what the phrase Big Agency Results means. What might not be so apparent is the first part; Boutique Hustle. To some, the word boutique is loosely associated with the fashion industry (i.e.; fashion boutique). But in the digital world, boutique has a slightly different meaning.
A boutique digital agency is a smaller creative agency that focuses on specialized work. We don’t have multiple worldwide locations, a huge payroll, and generally, aren’t pigeon-held by politics that plague larger organizations. A boutique agency typically operates with a smaller staff, and sometimes uses hand-picked and trusted contract workers and freelancers to handle specific aspects of a job, when needed.
Now, let’s define hustle.
Hustle: [ hus -uh l ] verb; Being aggressive, especially in business or other financial dealings.
I have been fortunate enough to see both sides of the equation as I got my start at a larger ad agency. While a great learning experience, I can’t help but note the difference in which they operate. In my experience, the larger agency model tends to feel like a machine. There are multiple teams and layers that, no doubt, add value. They also add redundant bureaucracy, slower development times, and additional costs. In contrast, we pride ourselves on having a streamlined process, rapid development cycles, and competitive rates. I assume that the larger the organization grows, the more complacent they become. I wouldn’t say they take their clients for granted, but it does seem like the personalized attention is somewhat lost. We treat every client we work with as an extension of our brand and we are grateful for every project we get to work on.
With all the shifts in digital media including the rise of mobile, a “pivot to video”, and influencer marketing, I feel that the boutique model has the upper hand. We are closer to the front lines and can quickly react and adjust as needed.
Because we are a small and nimble boutique, hustle is in our DNA. We are the underdog and we have to hustle to compete. We have to hustle and stay hungry to survive. So, there you have it. Boutique Hustle.