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24 April, 2017

1 is better than 3

Multiple choice is for exams, not businesses

1 is better than 3

We have made a commitment to our clients, and to ourselves, to always deliver the best work possible within the constraints and challenges of any project. This means that 1 option is better than 3.

Sometimes, clients request more than 1 solution to be presented. Whether it’s a logo or an ad or a film, 3 seems to be a popular number. At Hangar, we only provide 1 solution because we believe that the alternative distracts from achieving the best solution to a challenge.

Our job is about more than churning out multiple options that may satisfy a brief. Our job is about being compassionate critics. It is our responsibility to understand our client’s challenges and to choose the best solution for them accordingly. We cannot burden our clients with this decision any more than we can ask them to become experts in design, film or marketing.

Pursuing 3 options does not increase the odds of success, nor does it triple the value offered. Only careful, thorough, thoughtful work delivers the best value. This is why, when we embark on a new project, we work closely with our clients to agree on 1 direction and focus all of our efforts and energies therein.

Take a branding exercise, for example. We deliver this in a presentation, narrating the story of how we achieved outcomes step by step, including the countless small choices behind every big decision. This becomes the brand’s narrative. If we had to do this for 3 different options, our focus would be diluted. In the end, there can only be 1 winner and 1 appropriate brand narrative.

When a viewer is presented with 3 ideas, they are conditioned to choose the best of these 3 options. There can never be a situation where all options are equally good. Second or third place is the same as last, and we will never present anything less than the best solution to a problem.

The rule of threes was made to be broken.