What A Dreamy Client Looks Like For AOK Group

Oh hi there and welcome to our first blog post – yes, yes, we know, it’s been long overdue! We look forward to sharing some candid insights and thoughts from the strategy trenches! In preparing to kick off this shiny new blog, we took a look back over the past four years of helping startups grow and clustered some key insights about who we love to work with, and who we don’t fit with as well & why. 

WE WORK BEST WITH:

  • Founders who are solving a problem they know well. Generally coming from a background in a specific industry niche that needs optimizing or disrupting.

  • Founders who traditionally lack access to capital (female or non-binary / LGBTQ / POC / and international founders) -- while it’s a bit of a broad sweeping generalization, we want these folks to win when not all of the venture world does. We are dedicated to helping those who are often marginalized and overlooked, and know they have so much to offer. From our experience, these founders are often the brightest and most hardworking, and we’re especially honored to support them. 

  • We love to work with leaders who have true belief in their product and want to bring something disruptive to market.  This generally comes with a collaborative nature and a desire to serve something bigger than their own ego’s needs.

  • Our favorite clients are open, engaged, good listeners, and ready to do the work. They have built incredibly talented cross-functional teams, but lack the right storytellers to bring their vision to market. 

  • Leaders who humbly accept feedback and know they don’t know it all-- even encouraging constructive criticism, because they want to be better and crave alternative, challenging approaches. 


WHO WE DON’T WORK WITH:

  • Know-it-alls who are fixed in their beliefs. Arrogant, insecure, and stubborn tyrants who like to control every single aspect of their company’s operations even at the expense of letting team members experiment, learn, and grow. These folks are over-involved in everything and struggle with delegating. Their undercurrent of fear comes from a lack of confidence in others, and undermines the autonomy of their talent. 

  • ROI chasers. Don’t get us wrong -- ROI is the goal but there’s a certain profile of client who is not interested in the softer / slower growth. There are no just-add-water results, so folks seeking them will not be happy working with us. 

  • Tactic addicts. Throwing spaghetti at the wall doesn’t work and burns everyone’s time. We don’t like executing without building out a thoughtful strategy. You will waste a lot of money learning from paid media sprints what we could have likely forecasted by spending a bit of time with data-driven customer insights.

  • Impatient & unrealistic leaders. Unrealistic timelines create a wild sense of urgency that’s grounded in nothing actually urgent (!). We prioritize strategy over tactics and aren’t afraid of the long game. Building brands that move markets takes time and isn’t done overnight. These folks tend to be buyers of likes, fake users, falsely boosted MAUs, DAUs, and we absolutely run away from all those shenanigans. They never, ever, ever pay off. Good luck repairing your tanked engagement on your app / Instagram, Mr. Unethical Ants in His Pants-- thank you, next!

WHEN IT’S A FIT:

  • All sorts of rich insights pour out of quieter, technical or customer support folks who normally aren’t included in branding and growth conversations but hold so much customer data. When our workshops are opened up to full teams, they become opportunities for unique cross-functional intersection. We love that and consider it an indicator that important change is happening.

  • We hold one another accountable. Clients co-create the work and feel a sense of ownership over it, rather than just consuming and reacting to our deliverables. Yes, we are codifying and iterating on versions, but there’s something magical about when a partner contributes, and when the lines of vendor / client dissolve.  Accountability doesn’t have to be a scary governess or nagging project manager– it’s a code of conduct that makes us all work at our best and together we create something bigger than each of us could alone.

  • Remote is 100% irrelevant -- gaps in time zones are easily worked through and communication is fluid and ongoing. 

  • Clients come back over and over again knowing with can help them with new problems and new ventures at different stages. They love our ability to plug in and sprint through challenges. 

  • Growth doesn’t feel like work. Creativity? flows and feels authentic. Brand identity is dynamic and deep and generative. It’s breathless, exciting, and fun. 

Does it feel like we could be a fit? Do you have a penchant for tangerine La Croix or scalable growth? Want to jam about building a user acquisition machine via Back to the Future metaphors? Reach out and set up a discovery chat-- we’d love to talk. :)