Brands now value resilience in their agency partners more than simple functional competence, while agencies have noted how brands have become more willing to take risks, a new study finds.

Why it matters

Aprais, the relationship management company, notes that while traditional disciplines haven’t changed much since 2010 for clients or agencies, in terms of order of importance, behaviours have changed, especially over the past year during the pandemic. Its study identifies seven behaviours that set the best clients and agencies apart from the rest.

How things have changed

  • Functional competence has gone from being the highest-scoring behaviour for clients ten years ago, to fourth in 2020, behind Trust which is the new benchmark.
  • Communication is the highest-scoring behaviour for agencies.
  • Both parties now score Resilience second, as it becomes the must-have behaviour for agencies and clients alike.
  • Clients that are willing to take risks (Challenge) and try new approaches are scoring better in the eyes of their agencies.


The ability to bounce back from adversity (Resilience) and the need for courage to Challenge the status quo present opportunities for clients and agencies to distinguish themselves.

Sourced from Aprais