Hi, i recently made a cake... according to client's brief, but i still received feedback that the colour theme was not as expected. I was a little taken aback since we had discussed some creative allowance on the colours. So my question is... how do you handle your clients briefs? If they show you a picture, do you replicate completely or make changes? How do you communicate the changes to the customer? especially when they do not understand the difference between choclate ganache and butter cream... butter cake and truffle cakes... Appreciate your inputs/suggestions!
I think it depends entirely on the customer and whether they ask for a replica or are happy enough with you using it for inspiration rather than replicating - but I would always ask either way. I also get everything in writing, so that they can't back out later and claim anything is different to what they asked for. If they're unsure about shades of colours, maybe try sending them pictures or examples? You can always staple swatches or print outs of the rough colour ideas to the order form once they've confirmed them.
I've no idea how to explain differences in actual cake without them tasting it. Sometimes you can explain (like, the difference between chiffon and pound cake), but if they don't understand what the taste is like then I'm not sure why they'd be buying either, to be honest?
Try to be as specific as possible in the contract. That may or may not help, sometimes people are chronic complainers. I once made a cake using the exact blue trim from a company logo. The disclaimer was in her contract but I was pleased the color was an exact match. She complained and wanted her money back. "It was delicious but the color wasn't right," she said, "and everyone was sooooo disappointed." I gave her a courtesy discount on that cake (10% off) and refused her future orders.
When I'm doing a consultation for someone I like to use those paint color samples that you get from the hardware store to show them exactly what color I'm talking about. Since the strips usually have a range of colors in the same family if they want it a little darker, lighter, or whatever we both can see exactly what the other have in mind. and it also help when they come to you with color combinations that you just know are going to be hideous you can show them right away what that would look like by showing them the colors together. So far it's worked perfectly and I haven't had any issues with color.
Thank you so much for all your ideas and suggestions!!