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The Accountant Hunger Games

In a dystopian future, a new bloodsport arises. It’s called the Accountant Hunger Games. In this savage contest, businesses task three different accounting firms to do their books. Then, in a brutal twist, they only choose the completed version of the books that they like the best. The lucky accounting firm responsible is spared, while all of the other accountants are cast into the wilderness to be consumed by bloodthirsty mutations (mostly consisting of cast members from cancelled “Real Housewives” spin-offs).

Next up: the Contractor Hunger Games, where a new homeowner hires three different carpenters to build three different houses, then only chooses the one they like best. The other two contractors are left unpaid for their time – prey for the inhuman monstrosities of the post-apocalyptic wasteland (mostly consisting of bearded hipsters smoking pipes and riding unicycles).

While these tales are science fiction, the horror story at their core is not. Welcome to life in the creative services industry. Here in Grand Forks, our local university recently changed its name and mascot (long story), and now they need some new branding. A vocal group of locals are calling for the work to be done via crowdsourcing. “Let’s ask all of the creative types in the area to create a new logo, and then we’ll choose the best one!” they shout. Think about the stories above. Is it really fair to ask fifty agencies to do work, but only pay one?

Would you ask 50 lawyers to present your case, then compensate just one of them? 49 spurned lawyers? Talk about post-apocalyptic! Yet Anchor is full of people who are just as educated as lawyers, just as experienced as lawyers and just as nationally recognized as lawyers. Giving our work away for free would be really bad business. Yet we get asked to do it constantly.

Good branding is a partnership, not a contest. If you want great marketing, then find an experienced team with a proven track record and pay them to do it right, just like all of the other service providers you work with. The results will be more strategic, more effective and more true to your brand – all qualities that will make your company more money in the end.