Our approach is anchored by a creative strategy, which allows us to collaborate deeply with our clients, and guide our work as designers, writers, coders, and crafters.
Below are six key principles of how we work.
Our preference is to lead with thinking — to dive deep into a client's history, goals, product offering, competition, audience mindsets, and most importantly: the client's place in culture. Discussions with key internal personnel, as well as with consumers and other interested parties, are combined with rich cycles of research that build on each other. The end result of our method is a clear brand architecture on which all subsequent creative decisions are based.
We certainly appreciate it when a prospective client says, "We like how your previous client's work looks, so could you do that for us?" But we emphasize that the previous client's end product looked that way because it was right for them. We don't want the new client to look like the old client. We want the new client's work to best represent the new client's point of view.
Clients sometimes approach us with solutions rather than with problems. They might ask for a website instead of a way to engage with their audience. They might ask for a logo instead of asking first what they are trying to say. Sometimes a logo is all they need — but sometimes it’s helpful for us to rephrase the brief to focus on the "whys" as a means to make sure the resulting "whats" serve a specific purpose.
We learn by asking questions, and we only know we've gone far enough when we've asked too many questions — gone down enough blind alleys, triggered enough blank stares, yielded enough null search results.
There's more to context — business context and cultural context — than competitive analysis. We don't just study your business. We study the world in which your business takes place, the long history out of which your business developed, and the rapidly changing culture in which your business is currently active.
In the spirit of doing what's best for a brand, we like to think of ourselves less as an outside agency and more as fellow employees and colleagues. Different clients have different ways of doing things. We aspire to a hybrid approach that aligns our procedures with the client’s internal culture.