Anytime there are experts in a specific field it’s common to find yourself in a niche market in which people question your authenticity, necessity, and authority. We encounter that often and are sure you do as well which is probably why you hired us – to help you stand out online, in print, through video, and on social media.
At Cross & Crown, we help our clients educate, advocate, and thrive in a digital world. The timeline varies depending on your needs, but the process is the same; the journey is a communicative partnership that we like to establish without any surprises.
If you’ve dealt with creative agencies before or Googled how to work with one, we’re glad you ended up here. Our education doesn’t just include helping you master the mechanics of your website, but how to express and communicate your ideas and goals, so you feel comfortable handing them over to our capable hands.
You’re an expert in your field, and as the professionals in our industry, it’s our job to take the strategy, marketing, design, photography, videography – whatever helps your company succeed – off of your plate and put it onto our colorful ones.
Here are a few key guidelines to establish a sound relationship from conceptualization to project launch.
THE KICK-OFF PROCESS
Show & Tell Us What You Like
If you’re trying to change the direction of your business, there are times you will need to be the driver and times you need to be the passenger but never the backseat driver. During the kick-off meeting, we ask you to sit up in the front with us and participate in giving us a direction for what you want for your company. Because while some clients think they will know it when they see it, that’s a risky bet because a designer doesn’t know where to start when not given an outline on your goals. Things you should come to the meeting in mind with are:
- Your target audience
- Your budget
- Your objectives/project specifications
- Your mission
- Your pain points
- Your clients’ pain points
Point of Reference, Not Replication
You hired us for a visual project and speaking in those same visible tones is the most efficient way to give your designer a better glimpse into the intricacies of your thought process. This avoids unnecessary emails, meetings, and ambiguity when trying to explain what could be shown.
We’re often told, “well, you’re the designers; just do your magic and design.” However, we want you to care in the investment and the future of your company and its rebrand as much as we do. By giving us the liberty to freely design anything, we’re just stargazing without an understanding of your business’ constellation map.
Here are a few ways you can help us better understand your likes, which in turn helps us narrow down your dislikes as well
- Pinterest boards
- Google images
- Website links to companies whose layout you appreciate
- Collateral with the info you enjoy
- The competition that you consider yourself similar to or you aspire to live up to
Remember though, the ads you pull from magazines, the signs you take snapshots of any direct mail you bring in for examples are just that. They are reference points for your style preference rather than a template you want to replicate. It may work for them, yes, but you work differently, and we want to showcase that through branding and other tactics tailored to your needs.
We hold ourselves to a high standard of creativity – ensuring everything is fresh. Moreover, we’re going to hold your brand to that same standard.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS & FEEDBACK
We’re often asked why a project will take as long as it does when it seems like all we do is hit keys on our board and move our mouse around frenetically.
In nearly any industry you work in or observe, the project progression can be likened to planting a seed. Here it starts at the first meeting between the creative team and client and then moves in-house. More brainstorming sessions take place so the ambiguity of the concept can be forged with the style inspiration. From there it gets assigned to appropriate team members whose talents and skill sets most align with your vision.
As your design or other assets emerges and starts to come to fruition, the feedback stage becomes a vital element in the momentum of the project. There are several things to keep in mind during this process:
- If you want a project that gets turned around in a day, you’ll get a project that looks like it’s turned around in a day. Through technology, skills, talent, and experience, we daily perfect the art of marketing and design to bring you work that works for you, not against. Any time we cut corners or make up shorter deadlines is value taken away from your marketing abilities in an over-saturated online world of advertisement.
- Feedback isn’t a yes or no question. We need to know if we’re going in the right or wrong direction what specifically makes each component right or wrong. More details are better than static air or the fear of insulting our work. We need constructive criticism that can help us elevate your company status with our expertise. Detailed reasons why you do or don’t like something will help us refine the look at a much quicker and effective rate.
- To keep the quality in our work, and the clarity in your vision, trust your investment in us, in our process and our team. Eventually, the project will go from concept to completion. By the time it’s ready for launch or print day, it has been pruned to perfection – for your audience and your company. What was once a seed is now at its optimal growth.
Quick reminder! Every day you delay responding to our request for feedback or collaboration puts the project launch schedule behind a day or more. So while we love what we do, often those requests for just one more change can lead to one more charge.
When you hire our team, you’re hiring our expertise. We don’t design stuff just because it’s trendy but because it has a competitive edge and there is a strategy behind the development of the new brand. Each component carries a significant weight of the story to your brand. From video to marketing to social media to web designing, the purpose is to tell a story of cohesion and connectively.
Speaking of trends! Your website is an investment of time, energy, and finances. Rebranding is a discussion brought up as a tactical approach to revamping your company’s presence. It’s a recommended practice every few years, one we at C&C just underwent. However, by basing an entire theme on current trends makes your site out of date from the launch, and most definitely out of style before the anticipated rebrand timeframe. That’s information that can help or hurt your business indefinitely.
Just like we started with a meeting, we end with one too. Whether it’s via email, video conferences, e-books, in-person sessions or other methods, we want to set you up for further success. We showcase the benefits, the guidelines, additional stages, and phases, so you, too, can now have a brand ready to educate, advocate, and thrive in a digital world.