This proposal successfully transitioned a relationship from that of the client working with an individual creative services provider, to the client working with a “Super Team” of creative professionals. The cost associated with this proposal is much higher than what the client is accustomed to seeing from Beth as an individual service provider, so it was important for the proposal to demonstrate the value additional people (and cost) would bring to the project.
Reinforces connection and sets the stage for change:
The cover is customized to include the client's logo.
The cover letter refers to the success the client has had working with Beth as a solo designer, and notes the “creative chemistry” between them.
Beth acknowledges the importance and time-sensitivity of the project, and recommends a team approach. She introduces the proposed “Super Team” in the cover letter, including brief credentials for each of the members.
The benefits of working with a small team of proven professionals are highlighted (professional expertise, lower cost and direct contact, without layers of expensive management).
Outlines the project objectives:
The proposal clearly demonstrates an understanding of the client's goal (10-15 percent growth that is standard for industry peers).
The proposal goes further to outline issues concerning the current packaging, which demonstrates an understanding of the client and their industry. It's important to articulate this expertise when it exists, and not assume that the client knows your depth of experience and understanding as it relates to their project or industry.
In the same section, the proposal begins to establish a framework for the design solution.
Inspires confidence with timeline:
The detailed timeline demonstrates that the design team knows how to move a project like this from start to finish.
It also shows that the team understands the time-sensitive nature of the project, which is very important to the client. While this level of detail in terms of action items and dates may not always be necessary, for a project with a tight timeline it's definitely appropriate. It shows the client that you've already given thought to what it will take to meet the deadline, and it also begins to establish a sense of responsibility on the part of the client for their role in moving the project forward.
Deliverables are clearly and simply outlined.
The creative concept process is clearly outlined so the client understands how direction for the project will develop, and that they have a role in that process. The proposal also lists what the client can expect to see with each brand position presented. This increases value considering the cost of the project, especially if competitive proposals will be compared and considered.
In the creative development section (phase 3), the proposal outlines the extent to which new designs will be tested for their effectiveness. This is another way to build value for the project and provide a competitive edge against other proposals.
Acknowledges client fears and puts them to rest:
Beth knows the client has had difficulties in the past with production of their complicated packaging designs. She calls this out in the proposal, and points to the packaging expertise of the team members she's hand-selected specifically for this project.
Makes a strong argument for the strengths of the team:
Each team member is profiled to include education, previous employment, high-profile clients for whom they've worked, awards received, and other relevant accomplishments.
Work samples are included, and labeled “Not Spur & Boot Creative” as appropriate. An external link to the portfolio of one of the team members is also provided.
Team member Phil is noted for his ability to “take on the most technically demanding projects,” reinforcing the team's strength in addressing the complicated production requirements the project is likely to face.
Positions cost as investment for growth:
Knowing that the goal is to move the client to a growth rate of 10 to 15 percent, Beth positions the fees as “investment costs”—a subtle way to remind the client there will be a payoff for the money they spend with Spur and Boot.
Pricing is itemized as little as possible to discourage a “buffet” mentality on the part of the client.
A press check contingency is itemized separately. This is a smart add-on offering, given the client's past experience with complicated production requirements.
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