By Tim Williams

By Tim Williams

Clearly, a strong positioning is the most differentiating thing an agency can do (see, but there are countless other missed opportunities to differentiate both in terms of style and substance.

Agencies are expert in helping clients identify brand touch points for their brands.  Take the same thought process and apply it to your own agency brand.  Then take steps to make the experience of interfacing with your agency brand different in every way you can. 

To see how you’re doing, administer this brief survey among your staff.

Agency Differentiation Survey

Rate the following questions on a scale of 1 to 10, where 0 equals “Strongly Disagree” and 10 equals “Strongly Agree.”


1.     The agency has identified what it does well – its strengths and core competencies.

2.     The agency has a clear strategy for differentiating itself from other agencies.

3.     The agency has answered the question “What business are we in?”


4.     The agency tries to focus on what it does best instead of attempting to offer every possible service.

5.     The agency is distinguished by unique services and capabilities.

6.     The agency is differentiated by its unconventional approach to solving marketing problems.


7.     The agency is distinguished by the talent and knowledge of its people.

8.     The agency is distinguished by its organizational structure.

9.     The agency takes a unique approach to managing and developing its people.


10.  The agency has a clear set of criteria for identifying prospective clients.

11.  The agency is differentiated through online and offline promotional materials that avoid typical agency hyperbole.

12.  The agency takes an unorthodox approach to self promotion.


13.  The agency prices its services based on value rather than hours.

14.  The agency has a method for establishing and measuring value.

15.  The agency structures compensation agreements that align the interests of the agency and client.

16.  The agency takes a different approach to the ownership of ideas and intellectual property.


17.  The agency is differentiated by the look and feel of its offices.

18.  The agency is differentiated its language and culture.


19.  The agency is distinguished by its values and beliefs.

20.  The agency is differentiated not just by its capabilities, but by its point of view.

Now grade yourself just as you would in school.  Did you earn an “A” or “B”?  If not, you know what to do.