Mono Spins Project Work As A New Business Model

Minneapolis-based shop mono is introducing monoONE, a new way clients can work with the creative agency in response to the realities of the marketing landscape today. 

Instead of pushing the long-term, ongoing AOR relationship, monoONE is a one year commitment.  

"We’ve heard about new 'agency of the future' models that pull talent from a number of disparate shops to create multidisciplinary dream teams and on the flip side, client models that seek to simplify by culling down to fewer agencies that can provide seamless integration," says Jim Scott, founder/managing partner, mono. "Time will tell how successful these models are, but we found the real problem was rooted in the shift away from long-term, ongoing AOR relationships and agencies still obsessing and pushing for them. Our goal became to define the 'relationship of the future': a creative solution to address the realities of evolving client needs and the current marketing landscape."  



During the year together, mono provides clients with a dedicated senior team that will deliver an entire brand launch or re-launch--including strategy, design, communication and content development.  

The team will then develop a transition plan and brand guide, so during the final months, the work can effectively be taught and handed off to the client to be executed in-house or with specialty production houses to help reduce client budgets in later years.  

The new model is designed to embrace complete transparency and true collaboration right out of the gate, agency officials say. There’s no haggling over rates or hours. There’s no elaborate pitch process. It’s designed to be a short-term relationship and committed to helping the client succeed, which in turn, helps the agency succeed. 

Mono believes they are the first agency to introduce this type of service. "We know ‘project’ relationships aren’t uncommon," says Scott. "But what monoONE delivers is at a scale well beyond a typical project engagement--it’s a significant branding or re-branding platform and campaign, from intensive strategy to creative execution." 

Of course, monoONE is not for everyone, they say. AORs will remain the right approach for some clients, and mono has, and will continue to build those relationships as well.

"For some clients we are mapping out three and four year trajectories for their brands and they have no intentions of changing that approach," says Michael Hart, founder/managing creative director, mono. "But for others, and brands looking for transformative work, but not a long-term commitment, we are completely open about the different ways we can work together."



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