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How Did Blind Get Big Clients

#
98
Chris Do
Published
July 17, 2019

Chris Do introduces this concept of trading up. How did Blind land Microsoft?

Read Transcript
The question was how did Beeline Connect with companies like microsoft? Yes, yes, Yes. But when you ask, how did Beeline Connect with companies like Microsoft, et cetera? What is it that you want to know from this? And then I'll tell you the answer if blinded to any astonishment and what kind of advertisement, if so, and how did you know where to find them? Or how did they know how to find you the kind of stuff? OK, I want to introduce this concept to you guys. Thank you for bringing this up and holding me accountable. I do appreciate that because I forget everything, ok? It's a skill and a curse that I can forget everything. All right. I want to introduce this concept to you guys. It's called trading up. Everybody here looks at where they'd like to be. And it looks like it's an impossible thing to do if you want to climb Everest, climb a smaller mountain first and a smaller one before that and just start walking and then just casual hiking somewhere in there. So the reason why if I'm tracing my steps here that we have these big accounts is for a couple of different reasons, and I'll answer it specifically. For Microsoft. When we started in 1995. This young upstart agency called the Eisenberg group were doing key art and advertising for video games, but just like print based, just like not the Super glossy stuff that you see today, and they are just gamers first. And this agency, I think, had eight people in it, or I routinely talked to the CEO, the founder of this small group, and we did really tiny projects for them on video game companies you never even heard of and aren't even around today. So the first thing that we did for them was something an animated logo for a company called Red orb entertainment. You heard of them. Probably not. So I did that, and then a year or two later, they got a little bit more work and hired us again, and then we did something for Midway sports. Midway is a bigger brand. And then we would do something else, so we're constantly trading up. So we have to start somewhere. They have to start somewhere and we have to start somewhere. So eventually, 20 years later, they're doing work for Microsoft and for Xbox. And there's a long time in which we don't talk anymore. And then they think of us for whatever reason, maybe they're stuck. Maybe the owner, Eric Eisenberg, says, hey, guys, give Chris and the team at blind a call. They're very, very good, and I remember having a good time with them. So we get the call and we answer the call and we win the work. So we're constantly trading up. Let me talk about another job. Some of you guys know this story, but I don't tell if that often, so it's worth repeating, I think. In the beginning, we wanted to get big commercial work, and we had no big commercial work on our reel at all, we barely had a real, barely knew how to put one together. But through an introduction from a woman who used to work for me at that time, I went into an office and presented to this art director. Her name's Karen. I showed Karen the work, she looked at it and she go, cool, OK, Thanks. And that. Well, Karen was working at a small agency, and I never thought much of it. I think she gave us the blow off like, like thanks, but no Thanks kind of thing. Karen gets hired at another agency that was just starting to grow, and they're called Deutch. They open an office in La and they were looking to grow their team and get new business. And this time they had won some local Mitsubishi dealer spots. So just so the difference, there are usually two teams, one that handles the National work, which is the cool, sexy branding stuff. And then there's the people who do the local retail stuff like 299 a month, 2.7% appr, no money down that kind of stuff. So they had just one. The regional. Retailer stuff. For Mitsubishi, which is not, by anybody's standards, a top tier brand, right? And she remembered us, so she brought us in. We did some design work and we did a good job. The hardest to do more. They started to win more business and then they got the National account. So naturally, they abroad is in. So now we went from doing what you would consider pretty boring, but very lucrative regional retail spots to doing the National work. Now this was going to be seen by everybody because this rolling out across the United States. Once we got that, reps were available to us, but until we did this Mitsubishi national work, no rep would take us on. So with that now I have real work that's visible that for a second is considered hot, right? That was it. That's all I needed to do to go and trade that up to get a rep because all the reps that are contacted prior to that, about half a dozen or so said, I don't know what to do with you because they can look at the work and they think it looks student work. We need a name, we need a name to attach to this. The cool thing about this one agency with Mitsubishi is they want more accounts and more accounts. And they gave us all their work. So we went from doing probably a few thousand a year, which I think is the first year, year and a half that was in business to this pivotal second year. And now we're doing a million and we're doing more and it's so, so profitable. OK now, this is the sad part to this story. I think we had probably between four to 600,000 in profit in the bank, and I'm just two years out of school. And this is in no three years out of school, I'm sorry. This is in the late 90s now. And we made some poor investments in the stock market. Lost it all. Lost it all. And when I say we, I really mean, my wife and I was not happy with that, she did not tell me the results of this and said, I think you just want me to work forever because it's so hard to make that money. And her defense in her defense, she was like everybody was investing in the stock market. I'm like, yeah, but we are not everybody. Why would you do that to me, honey? So we're fine now, but I was like, Oh my god, all that money, easy come, easy go. So we went, OK, so you trade up. You do the small project, you keep your eye on companies and brands that are moving fast. That have that ambition, that drive to do more, to do better. And you stay with them. So I think some of this is, I think. The energy that you put out into the world that you're driven, that you're motivated and you're passionate. I think that energy that you send out, people recognize that and you see each other. And then you connect and you grow together, that's usually how it works, I think. So if you're not driven, if you're not ambitious, the kind of people that you'll find are usually the same as you. They're not as driven, they're not as ambitious. And that's why I used to say this and people would get upset at me. I would say that I don't want to work with companies that gross less than $100 billion. And it seems like it's an elitist, snobby thing to say. And the reason why is I've met entrepreneurs that are like 70 million, $80 million, and they're kind of content at being at that size company, they don't want to be the world beater. And so when you talk to them and talk to them about spending money and doing things that are worthwhile, they're like, Oh yeah, I could do something else with that money, you see, because that mindset is why they're stuck at 70 or $80 million and why they don't want to grow beyond that. And that's going to reflect in their decision making. So when you meet them, they're going to say, well, that's too much money, I don't know, and they're going to sit there and nitpick every part of your bid. And I feel like companies that are North of $100 million got there for a very specific reason because the leadership, the vision behind the company, they're pushing. They don't want to be at $100 million. They want to be at a billion and then $10 billion on and on and on. And I like people like that because they want to change and they want to grow. And as a creative person, I see myself as a change agent, so people who want to change or perfect opportunities for me in terms of what we can offer.

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