You’ve no doubt read that quotation about teamwork attributed to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, “If you wish to build a ship, do not divide the men into teams and send them to the forest to cut wood. Instead, teach them to long for the vast and endless sea.” Poetic as it may be, it’s either entirely apocryphal or, at best, a bastardized version of a passage from an incomplete and deeply problematic 1948 work called “Citadelle.”
The likely source text reads: “One will weave the canvas; another will fell a tree by the light of his ax. Yet another will forge nails, and there will be others who observe the stars to learn how to navigate. And yet all will be as one. Building a boat isn’t about weaving canvas, forging nails, or reading the sky. It’s about giving a shared taste for the sea, by the light of which you will see nothing contradictory but rather a community of love.”
At RocketAir, we believe that when creative teams are operating at their best, they’re capable of magic. Someone is an expert at weaving the sails, someone else is an ace navigator, a few can construct the hull—they’ve each done their part over and over again and perfected their craft. That kind of seamless success and interconnection only happens when you find a team of specialists united under that shared vision—the “light” of a “shared taste for the sea.”
Here are three ways that finding the right agency partner can provide distinct value that’s hard to match with internal efforts alone.
When you think about the monumental challenge of talent management, the value of acquiring immediate creative capacity is a short walk. Instead of hiring and onboarding several team members, you can hit the ground running with a team that already knows how to work together effectively. Says Hilary Swaim, VP of Operations at RocketAir:
Directly recruiting and retaining senior creative talent is difficult, but agencies like us do this every day. We take that on so you can focus on what you do best.
We’ve seen that when talent management is handled internally by clients, the whiplash from constantly shifting priorities can become a huge time-suck—pulling time away from other strategic initiatives and leading to increased stress levels or perhaps even burnout. An agency partnership allows you to prioritize multiple work streams simultaneously and benefit from dedicated producers wrangling team operations and tracking progress.
This can also be more cost-effective. Recruiting requires tons of effort, and you run the risk of potentially needing to do it all over again if you can’t get it quite right. The compound result of expertise and time-saved is tangible cost savings for your business over time.
Beyond bringing various efficiencies, a great agency partner can enhance your team by providing diverse perspectives. If you hire a designer internally, you’re limited to the experience of that one designer. When you hire an agency, you’re getting their collective wealth of experience gained from working across so many different companies.
With an agency like RocketAir, you’re also getting a remote team of global talent, which allows us to look at your brand or product from myriad angles potentially unavailable from your internal team alone. Our strategists and producers are experts at consensus building, and our designers are always lobbying for the best solutions to your problems. We’re able to help you avoid your internal echo chamber, break stalemates between stakeholders, and lend a fresh set of eyes. Swaim describes the value of diverse perspectives with a juicy metaphor:
We aren't drunk on your Kool-Aid. We respect your Kool-Aid, and will quickly learn all its ingredients, but we also know there are things to learn from other flavors. Clients have specifically mentioned they are looking for an agency partner to help them through the same patterns they repeat internally.
At RocketAir, we try to act as a true extension to your team, so while we bring an outside perspective, we’re careful to make sure that nothing about our execution feels “outside.” Strategists and producers work together to become experts in your brand and business. And because we’re strategy-led, not a single pixel hits Figma before we’re firmly aligned. This eliminates some of the hiccups and misses that can traditionally happen with agencies.
Just as no one person can build a ship alone, not even the best manager on earth can spontaneously inspire a desire for buoyancy. One of the simplest keys to an agency advantage is the fact that we already have the passionate experts on hand. Instead of hoping to find a unicorn candidate with knowledge in brand, product, motion, and web development, or hiring individuals to handle each of those roles separately, you can make a single decision to hire an agency that’s absolutely overrun with unicorns.
Even better, these passionate experts have the benefit of knowing each other already. When you hire an agency like us, you’re not just getting a design team, you’re getting design culture—something that can’t be created overnight. Whether building a brand or a product, you need to know that your team can push each other, inspire each other, and effectively solve problems together. That’s something that’s baked right into an agency partnership.
Still, for all the benefits, deciding to work with an agency rather than hiring internally can be a gamble of trust. At RocketAir, we buffer for that with our adaptive and iterative Orbital Design model, which allows for the flexibility, transparency, and collaboration that make for a truly successful partnership. As Danielle Solis, Managing Director of RocketAir, describes, “We have the mindset and talent of a large agency with the lean agility of a smaller one.”
It’s this approach that’s led to many stellar client relationships over the years. But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what one of our clients, Surf Internet, had to say about us:
We partnered with RocketAir on a future-focused brand to support our growth goals, and it was clear from the start they were truly invested in our success. They didn’t just deliver thoughtful, beautiful work; they also gave us strategic advice on the brand roll-out itself. They took the time to understand our business, while also getting to know us on a personal level. From the care they brought to the project to the transparent and collaborative working style, RocketAir really felt like an extension of our team.