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Small Bigness or: How I Learned to Love Scrappy Tribes

A couple years back, Will Burns penned a piece in Forbes touting the benefits small agencies bring. One thing he said was “ideas CYA far more completely than a big agency name.” That’s a telling insight from a former titan of some of America’s biggest and boldest creative shops.

Having lived both small and large agency experiences, I find Burns’s list of pros and cons relevant to CLM’s current sweet spot. More on that later. First, a rhetorical quiz:

  1. Will the A team the big guys listed in their RFP work on your business after the honeymoon?
  2. When you need laser-focused ideas, would you rather call a founder directly, or try for a call back from the CEO of a 2,000- or 200,000-employee conglomerate?
  3. Is an agency team that needs more than two pizzas too bloated to spark great ideas and manifest them within ever-smaller windows of opportunity? (Ask Jeff Bezos).

Why is this all particularly relevant to us? Because we’re an independently run small shop built on smart strategy, backed up by a mid-sized, independently owned shop built on efficiency and inventiveness. As a relative newbie here, I see a killer combo of scrappy boutique and nimble deep bench—with lean, mean, “two-pizza teams” ready to make sure that when you need that next zinger, CLM will bring it—fat free.

Yes small is great. And small bigness is the greatest.

CLM | Jul 2, 2015