we humanize brands
WE SPEAK PLAIN ENGLISH.
We like to back up our creative with good ideas and thoughtful marketing expertise. Agency gibberish, not so much.
we play nice
beads of sweat
tell your story, stick to it, and build on it
DO WE CONSIDER OURSELVES DESIGNERS, WRITERS, OR IDEA PEOPLE? WELL, YES…
We like to put our heads together and tackle every design challenge with a fresh perspective. It always starts with an idea, large or small, but we think it’s only natural that great visuals go hand-in-hand with great copy. We like to think that makes us different, very different.
Is this the part where you say you do everything?
Nope. In fact, we don’t have one of those giant laundry lists of things you can hire a big agency to do but, whatever the size, shape, or audience of your brand, we know we can help. The following are what we consider to be our core creative competencies and foundational areas of practice. You won’t find endless bullet lists or do-all declarations. These are our personal takes, our point of view, and where we can help:
Increasingly, companies, even nonprofit organizations, are faced with the daunting challenge of leveraging today’s technology, nevermind online or social channels, to provide a more honest and personal touch to their customer outreach. In short, many companies have lost the ability to speak plain English and their brands are missing a genuine human element. That’s where we come in.
Over the years we’ve had the pleasure (and challenge) of helping organizations around the world and around the corner, take their products and services into new brand territory. Whether you need a brand new identity or a just a refresh, we can help from concept to finish, including more specialized services like product naming.
Need some help righting the ship? We can workshop the big questions, onsite or off, with detailed brand audits and hands-on consulting. We can even run a day-long brand sprint to get your stakeholders synced up, motivated, and ready to evangelise your new strategic vision.
Our experience here goes back, way back, to the days of architecting and executing “programs” for interactive DVD content and touch-screen kiosks for the likes of VH-1, Volkswagen, and Showtime Networks. While we apologize (kind of) for name dropping, this point is relevant: back then the technology was buggy, the hardware was quirky, and consumers weren’t instinctively trained, like today, on how to interact with a program. To put it simply, the average user would have benefited from a big green button that said, “Press this button, YES, this one, to get started.” Everything had to work, be intuitive, and engage consumers while driving them to a specific course of action.
Fast forward a couple of decades and our background in interactive design and UX still informs our work. In other words, everything still has to work, be intuitive, and have the ability to woo your customers into a state of action. Our work in online application interfaces and lead-gen focused interactive quizzes (made on marketing platforms like Snap App — not to be confused with Snap Chat) relies on the same principles. They have to provide a meaningful experience AND they have to deliver, while creating a connection to the larger brand. It’s as hard as it sounds but the impact is well worth the effort.
First stop? Your website. It’s the brand headquarters for your organization and should act as the cultural epicenter of your brand. On top of that, it should function as the knowledge base for your products and services, as well as the bridge to persuasive and relevant content.
If the last two paragraphs don’t put a tickle in your spine, they should. Every visit, every click, presents an opportunity. Whether you need a simple site or something more complex and dynamic, give us a call. And if you need to dial in a more aggressive content and marketing calendar, we can help there too. From driving traffic to online campaigns and blog posts, we can customize a solution around your organization’s specific needs.
That’s why we consider the creation of imagery such an important part of our craft. We sometimes spend hours searching for the right image, working with photographers to create just the right product shot, or even taking and editing the photograph ourselves.
Either way, the ability to create, pair, and style images to convey an emotion or brand value is critical in today’s, very visual, very fast-paced world. It’s one of our healthier creative obsessions…
In fact, we’d loooove to tell you about the different kinds of engaging and high-level presentation systems we’ve created for our clients. Every presentation we create is completely custom. No boring cookie-cutter templates populated with pages of bullets and novel-length copy. We start by interviewing your sales and marketing leadership to figure out what’s working, what’s not, and what we can do to transform your product and sales presentations into elegant and persuasive brand stories.
If you need us to just make it pretty, we can, but in many cases, our clients rely on us to retell and revisualize their presentations. We start by streamlining storylines and supporting copy. Then we brainstorm and create “clean” diagrams and animated graphics that simplify complex or technical concepts. The result? We translate your big ideas and core competencies into something your audience can embrace.
We’ve even created looping animated “videos” to do just that for tradeshows, corporate lobbies, and on-location flatscreen playback inside libraries throughout the world.
If you’re still reading, we have to ask. How can we help transform your sales and marketing?
Before you move forward with your next UX project, ask us about the touchscreen kiosks we built for VH-1, Showtime Networks, Buell Motorcycles, The American Red Cross, and others, “back in the day…”
If you need the kind of personalized attention that empowers going to the drawing board and asking the big questions or even challenging your internal status quo, we’re here to help. As much or as little as you need, we can walk you through the paces of rethinking then realizing your vision.
We can offer individual sessions or longer term engagements (with you or your team) to help create and implement “doable” strategies that position your brand to better identify, target, and engage your ideal customer(s).
we solve problems and visualize solutions
From tradeshow-sized infographics to animated presentations, our process is simple and proven:
Step 1: Listen + Learn + Sketch
Step 2: Map + Write + Create
Step 3: Repeat
CRM & FUNDRAISING SOFTWARE
“I needed a creative partner who could take rough concepts and ideas and turn them into reality fast. J.C. did all that and more. He was able to understand our buyers, our markets, and our business and make those “rough concepts” so much more than we even asked for. He and his team were able to quickly turn creative, beautiful and smart multi-channel campaign elements for every stage of the buyer’s journey – which directly led to more leads and more sales.”
Mary Pat Donnellon, Vice President, Marketing
CRM & FUNDRAISING SOFTWARE
“Working with JC is like working with an extension of your favorite in-house marketing team. From building email campaigns, content creation, animated info-graphics etc., JC and his team can do it all. The team is with you from conception to launch and help tweak along the way to ensure you get the most out of every deliverable.”
Amy Kellinger, Senior Director, Global Brand Marketing
“As the Vice President of Global Marketing at D+M Group our brand is our most important asset. There is no one that we trust more than JC to represent our brands in the best light. He is a pro in everything he does and without question has helped us to grow our business by developing creative for our tradeshows, campaigns, and the websites that represent who we are. He is the sharpest and most creative talent we have worked with.”
Don Freeman, Vice President, Global Marketing & Product Development
Sound United (formerly D&M Holdings)
“I have worked with Juan Carlos on a range of projects from print magazines to infographics and online advertising. He consistently exceeded expectations and was more of a collaborative partner than vendor – as vested in the success of my projects as I was. I would highly recommend him for his deep experience, creative vision, ability to execute, and natural enthusiasm.”
Colleen Delory, Director of Community Marketing
SOCIAL GOOD ORGANIZATIONS
“Juan Carlos volunteered his services to the YWCA Greater Charleston for its inaugural #WhatWomenBring event. He developed an awesome logo system that reflected both the YWCA brand and the important conversation the YWCA wanted to have. The event was a huge success and J.C. was a huge part of it!”
LaVanda Brown, Executive Director
YWCA Greater Charleston