Rules of Engagement

If you were to examine the world’s healthiest and most successful partnerships, trust and open communication would almost certainly be listed as common denominators. However, these two principles rarely just happen. For most of us, trust and communication are practiced and groomed, both at home and at work.

To ensure Cinnamon Toast’s clients get the very best from their partnerships with us, we’ve created a series of principles to follow – ‘Rules of Engagement’, if you will. From an outsider’s point of view, these ‘rules’ may seem obvious or blasse, but having them in place omits the guesswork about how to treat and be treated while ensuring our respective teams get only what’s desired from the partnership. Our ‘rules’ include:

  1. Common sense, common courtesy.

Logic: Next to coffee, kindness is our team’s favourite companion. It motivates us to go above and beyond for our clients, so comes highly recommended as something that gets brought to the table.

  1. Deliver on time (so we can too).

Logic: The timely arrival of many deliverables is hinged upon receiving the information, materials, input, or approvals we need from our clients. If there’s a delay in providing us these items, it’s safe to say there will be a delay on our team’s ability to meet our deadlines.

  1. Inspiration is great. Copying is not.

Logic: During our kickoff meeting, our team members work to uncover our clients’ vision for their project(s) and then work to achieve it. That said, we hope never to be asked to replicate work that already exists. After all, we’re in the business of creativity; not plagiarism.

  1. We take risks – for good reason.

Logic: We keep our clients’ best interests in mind and ensure everything we do is founded upon strategy. Micromanaging our team and stifling our creativity – tempting though it may be – only creates roadblocks.

  1. Consolidate feedback or risk convoluting the message.

Logic: We know that everyone on our clients’ teams has a valid opinion or role on their project(s), but multiple touch-points often lead to breakdowns in communication. To keep communication streamlined, we ask our clients to provide us with only a few designated contacts from which direction/feedback will flow.

  1. Remember that time is money. More time = more money.

There are many ‘behind-the-scenes’ factors that can make a big task of a smaller one. If a request takes up our time, it requires the support of our clients’ money.

  1. Great work takes effort, and effort takes time.

As it has often been said, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, and while we do our best to work magic for our clients, time is what makes a good deliverable GREAT.

  1. Square up.

Put simply: homies (that’s us!) gotta eat. We keep our clients accountable to paying us on time, believing it’s the better alternative to us sending glitter bombs until their offices look like Cher’s entire career.

  1. We want to show off.

We will never reveal the outcome of a deliverable before our clients have – but once that happens, it’s our intention to show it off too!


Providing our clients with a roadmap for success has helped our partnerships grow from good to great. What are some of your favourite tools and tactics for success?