Finding the right founding clients can be crucial for a new business seeking to project the the right message.
Jules Hall started his interactive digital advertising agency, The Hallway, four weeks ago, with strong support from his two founding clients, Jameson Irish Whiskey and prominent Sydney entertainment group, Merivale, owner of The Establishment.
Hall approached these clients because he knew their size would make them flexible in decision making, while their target audience suited the focus of his new business.
"The best thing about these two brands is that they can be a little bit more experimental because there are not five agencies working on their business, they work with one agency," Hall says. "It would be very hard to go to Westpac and say you should completely revolutionise your agency model."
The Hallway is introducing a unique shift from traditional marketing, away from broadcast channels and towards digital interaction with consumers.
"What is particularly relevant is that both clients have Gen Y as their target audience and they have completely changed their media consumption habits," Hall says.
"If you look at the average urban 26 year-old, they are consuming multiple media channels and are sophisticated users of the web and mobiles. They have blogs, they are Skyping, they are well familiar with Facebook, and are keeping their photos on Flickr. ''They are really living the digital life," says 31-year-old Hall. "The challenge is to spin this back out to other media channels so they have got the opportunity to sample the products."
Although both his founding clients are in the drinks and entertainment industries, Hall is not worried this might pigeon-hole his business. "We are looking at any clients with opportunities among the Gen Y audience group. Any company within any industry whose audiences have a digital skew to them."
From the perspective of a potential founding client, there are both opportunities and extra considerations to be made, especially when the new business is challenging the traditional approach.