A boutique agency is a smaller, locally and privately owned, specialized firm in a creative field such as marketing and web design.
They focus on their competitive advantage instead of trying to be all things to all people. When you have a question, you won’t be faced with employees that read scripts from a teleprompter and have no deep understanding of what the company sells or does.
For example, think of a quaint bridal shop in a city’s core neighborhood that sells wedding dresses compared to a massive chain store in a suburban shopping mall campus that sells wedding/bridesmaid/flower girl/mother of the bride/prom/formal dresses, shoes, jewelry, boutonnieres, invitations, gifts and more, where the employees wear headsets to coordinate staff serving multiple brides simultaneously.
Which one will provide you one on one service, listen to your wants, help you find the perfect dress that fits your personalized needs? Which store will have an employee that specializes in wedding dresses and has a great deal of information and knowledge of fabrics, stitching, details, and trends?
This is not to say that huge firms are bad…They have their strengths otherwise they would not be in business.
But they can get stuck in a formulaic rut.
They can be so afraid of offending that they pass on bold ideas. A boutique agency has more flexibility to be creative because they aren’t afraid to experiment with new and innovative ideas. The creative team is the team that will work on your project based on your specific needs, not a faraway group that will pitch their idea to a corporate boardroom to be tweaked and picked apart before it is then presented to you by an ad rep who wasn’t involved in the creation of the concept. Your boutique team is accessible to you and will easily adapt to your needs and provide suggestions, products or services specific to your business and your goals.
A boutique agency may even cost you less because they are less likely to face the financial pressures from a large, corporate firm.
Creative work is unlike a physical product where a big box store can get volume price and therefore offer it for less than a small shop. A boutique agency hires talent that directly relates to their field, whether it’s marketing, brand identity, or custom websites. They focus on a smaller set of skills and perform those skills very well.
Best of all, boutique agencies won’t be a subsidiary of a foreign conglomerate so you can be proud to support domestic companies. According to the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, employer firms with less than 20 workers employed 16.8% of private sector payrolls in 2016. With boutique agencies on the rise, perhaps we will see that percentage increase.