Rebecca Gimenez gave a powerful presentation at last week’s AIGA Pivot conference. Though there were many valuable insights, one in particular bears repeating. Rebecca and her design team at the Whitney were working with the organization on a rebrand and bringing in design firms to pitch the project. She noted that she and her team had the opportunity to compete as well.
I believe most people’s assumptions in the room were that she was going to say that they participated in the process. Here was an open door for an in-house team to go head-to-head with outside firms. There was an uncomfortable shuffle among the attendees when she surprised everyone and said she and her team decided not to be included.
She then went on to explain what turned out to be a savvy and strategic rationale. Having worked on a previous rebrand, Rebecca knew, that to win the current proposal would mean taking on a long, arduous labor and time intensive project. This would not only take her team away from its other assignments, it would also prevent them from seeking out new ways to support the institution.
As an integral player that touched almost all design related projects taken on by the Whitney, Rebecca knew that she and her group would have plenty of opportunities to provide input and creative direction on the rebrand. This is the kind of strategic positioning that we’d all be wise to emulate.
More Resources on Pitching