Winning Pitches Workshops

May 2017


Book now for a limited number of Winning Pitches Workshops on 16th, 21st and 23rd June. The workshops are on a first come, first served basis and will be held at Sadlers Wells Theatre, London.

With so much time, money and effort involved, it’s vital to ensure that your pitches are as sharp as possible. This workshop draws upon hundreds of interviews with clients about why agencies win and lose pitches, as well as the many pitches that Up to the Light sees and advises upon. The ‘Winning Pitches’ workshop looks at pitching from both a client and agency perspective, and examines the most effective methods for success. The workshop is packed with practical tips and ideas.

Each half-day workshop is exclusive to one agency so that it can be as bespoke as possible. A minimum of 2 and a maximum of 12 attendees from the agency can attend.

Workshop content:

  • How pitching and client expectations are changing.
  • How to pitch in 10 key stages.
  • A client’s perspective – drawing up the shortlist, pitch processes and evaluation, what clients look for, where pitches succeed and fail.
  • Structuring your argument, ways to raise audience engagement.
  • Ways to win – practical tips and techniques, do’s and don’ts.

The focus of an Up to the Light workshop is on useful and practical output – new skills and ideas that you can put into action immediately. There is always a pre-workshop meeting/conversation to ensure that the session is tailored to your specific needs and situation. The workshops benefit from the hundreds of interviews that Up to the Light conducts with clients. Workshop content is always directed towards the client experience, their issues and what they look for in agencies.

"Jonathan has invaluable insight into the relationship between agencies and clients. His views are founded in genuine knowledge and he applies them with great skill."

Steve Pearce, Client Services Director, Imagination

What Clients Think 2017

Mar 2017

Our influential annual report, supported by the Design Business Association, is now published. It contains a wealth of interesting statistics, useful pointers and fascinating truths about the client/agency relationship. The report is based on 455 client interviews conducted on behalf of design agencies. Every interview was paid for by a design agency that commissioned Up to the Light to carry out a Client Survey. Therefore, clients are giving considered views in an interview about their current agency relationships, rather than just responding to an online survey or a more general piece of market research. This gives the findings more weight and credibility.

The report is divided into three sections. Firstly, ‘Client World’ looks at bigger picture client concerns and issues. Secondly, ‘Winning Clients’ looks at agency new business activity and pitching. Thirdly, ‘Retaining & Growing Clients’ covers client service and client development issues.

Download the report >>

What it really takes to be a 'brand custodian'

Sep 2016

Read Jonathan Kirk's recent article for the Design Business Association's 'Insight' publication.

‘We love an audience’

Mar 2016

Concise help organisations to connect and interact with their stakeholders by harnessing mobile technologies. The company enhances live events via their award winning event app that helps manage the audience experience in real time. With offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore and Johannesburg, Concise is at the cutting edge of new developments in this field and their client list is an extraordinary collection of the world's leading companies.

Up to the Light developed a new brand positioning and strapline that better reflects the company’s real business and added value to its clients. The new website was designed by Thomas Matthews design consultancy.

'Our new positioning and strapline, created by Up to the Light, is perfect for Concise. The service we provide involves significant technical expertise. However, the end result dramatically enhances audience engagement. We wanted to focus more on this benefit to our clients and 'We love an audience' beautifully crystallises our approach in a very memorable way. Up to the Light really nailed it.'

Phil O'Brien, Founder, Concise Group

What Clients Think 2016

Mar 2016

Our annual analysis of the client viewpoint is based on 435 client interviews conducted on behalf of design agencies. This year’s report is divided into 3 sections. Firstly, ‘Winning Clients’ looks at agency new business activity and pitching. Secondly, ‘Keeping Clients’ covers client service and client development issues. Thirdly, ‘Losing Clients’ examines why client/agency relationships decline and end.

The report is packed with revealing statistics and comment about the client/agency relationship.

Download the report >>

Have you considered a Client Survey?

Mar 2016

Up to the Light is the leading provider of Client Surveys to the UK design industry.

Why conduct an independent Client Survey? First and foremost, it provides ‘from the horse’s mouth’ information and allows you to make decisions based upon concrete evidence. It can provide answers to some important questions: How do they view your strengths and weaknesses? How are you perceived versus competitors? What client development opportunities can you exploit? How can you improve your client service levels? In what ways could you be more proactive?

An Up to the Light Client Survey ensures impartiality and enables clients to speak more openly. We also use a range of question types that are extremely effective at extracting the richest possible feedback. The result is a more honest assessment of how you are really seen.

Take a look at our introduction document that explains the benefits and get in touch if you’d like to discuss it further.

Download the document

Are you planning an agency video?

Sep 2015

There has been a boom in design consultancy videos, both on websites and in pitches. This article in Design Week by Jonathan Kirk looks at some of the best agency videos around, plus examining the different approaches adopted and what makes videos effective for clients.

100% Design Olympia, London

Sep 2015

It was a really busy '100% Design' event this year with thousands attending Olympia in London to see exhibitors from around the world. 'The perfect pitch: how to get it right' was one of a series of talks that saw Jonathan Kirk take the platform, together with Kirsty Whyte from the retailer, Heals. The session was chaired by Nic McCarthy, Content Director at Seven.

Jonathan's presentation covered '5 ways to win'. He talked about the hundreds of post-pitch interviews that Up to the Light conducts and revealed that there is very rarely a genuine 'close second' in a pitch. Instead, there is usually clear distance between the winning agency and second best. He talked about the need for cut through advice and the need to state your big thought at the outset. The rest of the presentation is an argument to prove that assertion.

He then talked about the all important softer factors and how to get team chemistry right, and gave a range of practical ideas for how to 'lift' the presentation to make it more memorable and compelling. Also covered was how to forge a more seamless link between strategy and creative, and how to build up to design concepts in more effective ways. Jonathan and Kirsty then took a range of questions on everything from how to combat nerves to tips on better pitch preparation.

Sharpen your approach to pitching with a Winning Pitches Workshop.
Find out more >>

1st Central Insurance - Simply Driven

Sep 2015

1st Central has sold nearly 2 million car insurance policies since launch in 2008. This success is largely due to a commercially astute approach to building business via cost comparison sites. However, the brand's profile was relatively low and the company's next stages of development required a stronger corporate brand and increased awareness. Up to the Light was asked to develop a corporate brand positioning that could form the platform for internal and external behaviour and communications.

We developed 4 brand pillars that underpin everything the company does across all communications, platforms and technologies. This then led to our 'Simply Driven' positioning which acknowledges the reality of buying car insurance. It is something of a 'grudge purchase' - often confusing and just something that has to be done. Above all, customers want the experience to be straightforward, clearly understandable and hassle free. 'Simply Driven' reflects the fact that 1st Central is committed to making the insurance buying and managing process as simple as possible. We also developed 'Communications Criteria' that act as a guide for agencies and copywriters across every creative discipline to ensure that all brand communications accurately reflect 1st Central's personality and values.

The positioning statement, 'Simply Driven', now doubles as an external facing strapline and has become a unifying rallying call for how 1st Central organises its business, trains its staff, engages with customers and communicates more broadly.

See the brand positioning communicated in TV advertising.

What Clients Think 2015

May 2015

Our annual analysis of the client viewpoint is packed with revealing information about the client agency relationship. Based on 420 client interviews, it opens the lid on client frustrations, concerns and trends.

The report covers client attitudes to design and design agencies generally, their views on pitching, agency communications, client service and costs, as well as their thoughts on agency attempts to add value and win more business.

Do you think that good work inevitably leads to a great client relationship? Read on. 81% of clients who had a weaker or more vulnerable relationship with their design agency cited client service issues as the main reason. Do you think you can significantly grow your business without pitching? Read on. 98% of clients believe that a pitch is good business practice for high value projects.

Download the report >>