Uh, what just happened?

Client: “I need a package design. It needs to look exactly like this, and using these colors. You have one day.”
Sigmadog: “Okay. Here you go.”

Later…
Client: “That package failed the focus group. We need you to make these changes by tomorrow.”
Sigmadog: “Okay. Here you go.”

Later…
Client: “Well, that one didn’t do any better. You failed us, Sigmadog, but we’re going to give you one more chance, only this time you’ll have to compete against three other agencies.”
Sigmadog: “Can I make a suggestion?”
Client: “It depends.”
Sigmadog: “Let me design the package the way I, a professional designer, would design it, not just as you dictate it should be. And I want two weeks.”
Client: “Well… okay.”
Sigmadog: “Great!”

Two weeks later…
Sigmadog: “Here are six completely different package designs. Each satisfies your criteria and is designed to generate shelf presence thereby beating your competition and making it more attractive to the consumer.”
Client: “Wow! These are great! Why didn’t you do this in the first place?”
Sigmadog: “Grrrrr!”

Later…
Client: “We’ve culled it down to two packages. One of yours and another agency. Create a new mock-up to these spec’s and we’ll take it to the final round where it and the other agency’s design will be judged by rank amateurs in a final focus group.”
Sigmadog: “Okay. Here you go.”

Later…
Client: “Your package did great in the focus groups. It satisfied all our criteria, and the participants were drawn to it like moths to a flame.”
Sigmadog: “That’s great!”
Client: “There’s just one problem. Because your designs failed the first two focus groups, the president of the company fell in love with the other agency’s design, even though it didn’t satisfy our criteria and didn’t generate the enthusiasm of the focus group like your package. So this project is going to the other agency, and, in time, probably all our other projects as well.”
Sigmadog: “Shit.”

© 2016 SIGMADOG LLC

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About the Author

Steve Merryman

Almost Daily is a blog by Steve Merryman, who is not all that impressed with you or your full, luxurious head of hair. He writes about things that make him tick, and things that tick him off.