A hybrid business consultancy/creative firm

Our Squid Pro Quo

We inspire innovative business opportunities for our clients by creating smart communications. It’s by going below the surface, submersing ourselves in our clients’ businesses with a stealth instead of splash.

Simply put we create a safe environment to challenge the status quo.

The only way we know how to do this is with a nonjudgmental atmosphere where we explore possibilities from all angles. We pursue positive results for our clients with an aggressive but tempered resolve.

 
Undisclosed
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2015
Show all +
Minneapolis, MN
headquarters
  • 414 N 3rd Ave
    Minneapolis, MN 55401
    United States
other locations
  • Chicago, IL 60607
    United States
  • New York, NY
    United States

Focus

Service lines
  • Advertising
  • Branding
  • Business Consulting
Client focus
  • Small business (<$10M)
  • Midmarket ($10M - $1B)
Industry focus
  • Consumer products & services
  • Hospitality & leisure
  • Arts, entertainment & music
Branding focus
Direct marketing
Mobile platforms
Mobile focus
BI & big data focus
Productivity & collaboration

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Mike's Hard Lemonade

Sun Country Airlines

TCF Bank

US Bank

American Gem Trade Association

Oskar Blues Brewery

White Claw Spiked Seltzer

Plumb Club

Jewelers Vigilence Committee

Artic Cat

Monaco Board of Tourism

B. David Water Purification Co.

Eel River Brewing

EQ by Equinity

U.S. Bank

Principality of Monaco Board of Tourism

Salvo Soccer Club

Bringing two soccer clubs together to create one, unified experience. 

Sun Country Airlines: Fly at the Speed of Life

White Claw Hard Seltzer Brand Launch

American Gem Trade Association - Mine to Market

Reviews

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Branding & Messaging for Alcoholic Beverage Company

"They’re authentic about the work. Even on a tight budget, they delivered a high-quality final product."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Feb. - June 2017
Project summary: 

Agency Squid helped develop the brand identity and marketing for a new cocktail-in-a-can product. In addition to consumer analysis, they created a website and videos.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Longmont, Colorado
Dan Wise
Former Business Development Manager, Oskar Blues
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The dynamic digital assets received positive feedback from key stakeholders. Agency Squid’s responsiveness and ability to turn constructive feedback into implementable, on-time deliverables were hallmarks of their work. They also brought creative ideas of their own to the table at a reasonable value.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there. 

I'm no longer with the company, but I was the business development and innovation manager for Oskar Blues.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Agency Squid? 

Oskar Blues, which is the parent brand, is a beer company. We were launching several new products, including various flavors of cocktails in cans. We needed an external resource to help us raise consumer awareness for the product launch.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement? 

Agency Squid helped us create the brand identity of the new canned cocktail product. We’d started testing one flavor—the Moscow Mule—in multiple on-premise locations. They led the marketing scope by performing competitive analysis of the marketplace. They produced in-depth target audience findings and developed brand guidelines. 

Most importantly, they made sure that the brand was represented as irreverent rather than serious. They not only helped us understand how to align the brand differently from the competition but in a way that was true to the core Oskar Blues culture.

On a granular level, they helped create the label for the actual can. They got consumer feedback on various label designs to determine which one had the most traction from the customer viewpoint. They also created a website and videos to use across our social media channels. 

What is the team composition? 

I worked with Miles (Partner, Agency Squid) the majority of the time. Probably 75% of all work conversations went through him. Brent (Co-founder, Agency Squid) was involved during the pitch meetings. They also brought in a film crew to create the video. 

How did you come to work with Agency Squid? 

We put out an RFP to several agencies. I knew Miles from my work with previous brands. We identified other firms from online research, including a local agency in Boulder. Agency Squid won the RFP because they were most aligned to what we wanted to do and could deliver. 

How much have you invested with them? 

I can't recall the exact amount. I believe we spent in the ballpark of $10,000. 

What is the status of this engagement?

The majority of the brand project took place from February–June 2017. They continued to manage the website as well.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement? 

Agency Squid really captured the irreverent personality of the parent company that’s still unique in its own specific way to the spirit of the Moscow Mule brand. It was very important to the Oskar Blues management that the cocktail in a can fit within the existing culture and brand personality. We wanted to depict this irreverent feeling in the cocktail in a can brand. Some companies didn't get our vision, but Agency Squid definitely got it. They met the challenge of getting the investors and management to agree on one idea before launch.

How did Agency Squid perform from a project management standpoint?

Their team was extremely punctual in delivering all assets on time. Nothing was ever past the due date, which happens a lot with other agencies. They were organized, even to the point of scheduling extra calls when needed. I was quite happy with that. 

We had a tight budget from the start, and then had to reduce our spend after starting with Agency Squid. They understood and were so nimble. They helped us cut costs in some areas by changing up some aspects of the project and switching a few deadlines.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The visual assets and website were very well done. Their strength is definitely in the online and digital arena. Even though they're small, they did a much better job than what we’d have received from a larger agency. They provided creative thinking in how they delivered on what we requested. It didn't feel like a corporate entity coming in with a few ideas to make a paycheck. They’re authentic about the work. Even on a tight budget, they delivered a high-quality final product.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. To be honest, I can't think of anything right now. 

Do you have any advice for potential customers? 

Most important is to make sure you have a thorough RFP or vision. Be extremely detailed, so they have the full picture of what you want before starting the project. Also, it’s important to know that their strength is in digital assets.

5.0
Overall Score Their team was personable and easy to communicate with.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were always punctual and prompt.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were willing to work with us on our tight budget.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Deliverables were on time, and the work was top notch.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’d absolutely recommend them.

Full Rebranding & Web Design for Retail Company

"By asking relevant questions upfront, Agency Squid understands our goals, objectives, and pain points thoroughly."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Nov. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Agency Squid helped rebrand a retail company with separate divisions. After leading stakeholder interviews in a discovery phase, they made a style guide, color palette, and logo. They’re now redesigning a site.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
 
Mendota Heights, Minnesota
Ben Freeman
COO, Dealrise Retail
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The rebrand materials have received praise from crucial stakeholders, leading to continued work for Agency Squid. The team conducts a productive workflow thanks to consistent communication, quick response times, and flexibility. Their creative ideas and high-quality work stand out.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the COO of Dealrise Retail, a retail company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Agency Squid?

We engaged Agency Squid to help us rebrand and redefine how we communicate our company’s story across our different business units.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Agency Squid first received a full, detailed brief of our different business units. These consist of our rep group, our incentive business, our Amazon storefront, and our distribution group; all of these operated as separate companies. Agency Squid's team met with 20–30 people across the organization to fully understand each business. They then helped us determine if we should align our divisions under one company title or if we should keep them separate. 

To figure out how to tell our story, Agency Squid asked about our key objectives, interviewed core stakeholders, and inquired about our brand messaging. The team also leveraged competitive research and looked at our identified competitors. Agency Squid came back to us and relayed our current story as told by customers and employees. They helped us understand our key messages and prioritized values.

Once our side aligned on how we can simplify the story and improve our overall brand messaging, Agency Squid created a new brand identity and color palette for us to consider. They delivered 5–10 iterations of logos and samples, and they showed us hundreds of sketches of their ideas and several typefaces. The team also created a standard manual for conveying our story on mediums like PowerPoint and LinkedIn and for creating sales material and outward-facing documents for customers. We now have a new logo, color palette, and style guide to guide our new brand identity.

We’re now working with Agency Squid to redesign our website. They identified several iterations of our new website, and we’ve considered four different versions of potential designs, layouts, and feels for the site. This redesign project is still ongoing.

What is the team composition?

We directly interact with three people. Behind the scenes, Agency Squid also has people working on graphic design, coding, and web development.

How did you come to work with Agency Squid?

I knew Miles (Partner, Agency Squid) from school and I’d heard about Agency Squid through word of mouth. We submitted an RFP to 5–7 firms and Agency Squid’s proposal sold itself. They demonstrated a clear grasp of our requirements and goals.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in November 2018, and the project is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our new messaging and story have received positive feedback from partners and principals. Our four separate businesses are now unified under one company name and operate as different divisions. Agency Squid helped us bring key stakeholders on board and handle this complex undertaking. We’re thrilled with their work.

How did Agency Squid perform from a project management standpoint?

We communicate as needed multiple times a week. Agency Squid is always accommodating of our chaotic schedule and available to take calls or answer emails right away when we reach out. They understand our goals and pain points well thanks in part to asking the right questions upfront. The team makes deliverables and progress extremely clear to us. When we’ve stopped and started the project a few times, Agency Squid jumped right back in with ease. I couldn’t ask for anything more from them.

What did you find most impressive about them?

By asking relevant questions upfront, Agency Squid understands our goals, objectives, and pain points thoroughly. Their queries have also helped our teams understand our business priorities. Brent (Co-Founder, Agency Squid) especially offers creative ideas and produces top-notch work.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, there’s nothing I’d have them improve.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Have an idea of your goals and desired outcomes. The best branding and marketing people can only go so far if your internal organization doesn’t know what it wants. 

5.0
Overall Score The team has meshed well with our team and inner office dynamics. We’re happy with their work and willingness to partner with us.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We’ve missed some deadlines, but that’s due to slowdowns on our end.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Agency Squid offers affordable prices for quality graphic design, marketing, and branding services.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Agency Squid has executed all key deliverables so far extremely well. Our stakeholders love their work.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I definitely would recommend them.

Rebrand and Advertising, & Web Development for Jeweler

“[T]hey’re engaging, honest, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for them.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2012 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Agency Squid initially headed a rebranding effort, including a logo redesign. The project scope has expanded to include advertising, product development, and a website redesign.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
 
Dallas, Texas
Operations Manager, AGTA
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

For more than half a decade, Agency Squid has provided high-quality and well-researched products and designs. They deliver beyond their promises and don’t crack under pressure. In four months, they’ve accomplished more than what other firms would take a year to do.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm operations manager for the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). We're a not-for-profit trade association representing the colored gemstone industry in North America.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Agency Squid?

Initially, we were looking for a fresh take on how to advertise within our industry. We wanted something that resonated both with our members and their customers. We’d worked with several other designers, but we felt we needed a good design firm to make our message and materials more cohesive.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

When they first came in, Agency Squid analyzed our association, talked to various member companies to get a background of what they thought of AGTA, and talked with our staff. They evaluated all of our messages and then presented a rebranded version of the association. The logo is simple yet sophisticated, with a sharp image that speaks to who we are.

For the past four years, Agency Squid has done most of our advertising and ad placements, developing several ad concepts we still use. Some of the ads promote buying from an AGTA member, attending our trade shows, etc. Their message has been integrated into each one of our major marketing outputs.

A few other projects they’ve worked on are our resource directory, brochures, and quarterly magazine. There’s an online version of the directory, which Agency Squid has made incredibly easy to navigate and use. For the magazine, we produce all the content and Agency Squid puts it all together, keeping it consistent and branded to the AGTA. Just recently, they’ve taken over our website development, which has been a huge project.

What is the team composition?

We have two project leads in charge of design concepts and web design. The latter is instrumental in helping us streamline the transition onto our new management software that we’re integrating onto the site. We’ve also worked with some copywriters and photographers. During the website build, we talk to the team at least three times a week, if not more. We have a lot of marketing projects, and Agency Squid works on almost every single one of them.

How did you come to work with Agency Squid?

They were recommended by a colleague who had used Agency Squid for his company’s advertising campaign.  We checked out their portfolio, talked to them, got a quote, and met a few times. We interviewed a few other companies who were located closer to us, but Agency Squid was a better fit.

How much have you invested with them?

We spend about $100,000 a year.

What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve been partners since 2012.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our current website is outdated and not mobile friendly and we’ve been working on a new site that is consistent with our brand.  We brought Agency Squid in during the project, and within four months, it’s much better and nearly ready to relaunch. It should have a large impact on our members and industry because the current site is made from an outdated template. The new site is sophisticated and cohesive.

Ever since the rebranding effort, our membership numbers have been steady. We’re now at nearly 1,400 members. Our outreach and the look of our brand has made a difference in the membership we’ve been able to bring in.

How did Agency Squid perform from a project management standpoint?

Agency Squid is outstanding. We have a small staff here, so when someone’s out, it can make a big impact, especially when we have a large project due. In situations like that, I can get Agency Squid on board and they’ll have the ad insertion or other task finished quickly and efficiently. I appreciate their willingness to work in less-than-optimal conditions at times.

Our website project was streamlined and aggressive, with over 100 pages, but Agency Squid didn’t have a problem. We’ve been able to finish a normal year-long project in a few months.

We generally communicate through telephone meetings.

What did you find most impressive about them?

On a personal level, they’re engaging, honest, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for them. Professionally, they don’t promise things they can’t deliver. They’ll always complete the tasks they’ve taken. They strike a good balance between professional and personal to make you feel confident in their expertise but not like you’re just another one of their clients.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of anything they should do differently.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

Agency Squid does their research before coming into any meetings. Trust them and listen to what they have to say. They’ll have knowledge of where you are and where you should go.

5.0
Overall Score They're just a pleasure to work with.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They're consistent, prepared, and don't miss deadlines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Oftentimes, they go above and beyond what's asked of them or what they've said they'll provide.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They're spot on in everything we've asked of them.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We've referred them to other associations in our industry. I highly recommend them.

WordPress Web Redesign for Water Purification Company

“They’ve put effort into every aspect of our site and we knew they’d deliver something quite good.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. 2016 - Oct. 2016
Project summary: 

Agency Squid completely redesigned a website using WordPress. This included developing a custom template, producing web copy, photographing products, and revamping the company logo.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
 
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Steven Ribnick
Sales & Operations Lead, B. David Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

They revitalized the site with a crisp, clean look that users enjoy. Accessible contact information within the customized template has influenced an increase in site traffic. They were available to field questions daily and worked diligently towards a successful collaboration.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the sales and operations lead at the B. David Company. We sell water purification systems to the U.S. government. I manage clients we work with on a day-to-day basis.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Agency Squid?

We needed to modernize our website and address every digital aspect of our business.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had numerous meetings with them discussing our company’s image and the message we wanted to communicate. They redesigned the entirety of our website using a WordPress template we approved. The customized template allows users to contact us on every page of the site. As part of the redesign, Agency Squid produced web copy, photographed and linked new images, and completely reworked our company logo.

What is the team composition?

I worked closely with their co-founder, who functioned as the project manager, and their director of integrated marketing. There were other developers and a photo team working on the project but I didn’t interact with them.

How did you come to work with Agency Squid?

We worked with a previous vendor, but the project didn’t go in the direction we wanted. We considered two other vendors, but Agency Squid’s co-founder was a friend of mine and I’d seen his previous work. They understood our goals and we knew we’d receive great customer service. It was an easy choice.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent $50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project took place January 2016­–October 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Once the site launched, customers immediately praised the ease of navigation and clean design. It’s user-friendly, and we believe that’s contributed to the increased traffic we’ve experienced in the past year.

How did Agency Squid perform from a project management standpoint?

We communicated almost daily to ensure the site looked clean and portrayed the intended message. They were always willing to answer our phone calls or email quickly. If they put something up, we’d review it for any necessary changes. We constantly reworked everything until the final product was perfectly suited for our customers. It was an interactive process.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their attention to detail, knowledge of our industry, and almost immediate understanding of our needs as a client was highly impressive. Also, their communication was spot on. We had plenty of questions and they were willing to talk us through every step of the process.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don’t have any recommendations. It was a good first experience for us.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

If your technical knowledge is limited, Agency Squid will make sure you’re comfortable and confident the project is being developed correctly.

5.0
Overall Score We' had a positive experience. The final product is better than we could’ve hoped.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Generally, they responded to us within 12 hours.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Compared to other companies, there’s a slight advantage to working with them cost-wise.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’ve put effort into every aspect of our site and we knew they’d deliver something quite good.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’d absolutely recommend them.

Promotional Brand Awareness for Malt Beverage Company

“The Hold HARDER game did an excellent job at really driving awareness to—and  amplifying—our campaign.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Oct. 2016 - Jan. 2017
Project summary: 

Agency Squid created a digital marketing campaign to drive awareness of a beverage brand and supplement a POS promotion. They designed and built a custom gamification, microsite, and social media strategy,

The Reviewer
 
201- 500 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Amanda Kitzer
Brand Experience Manager, Mike's Hard Lemonade
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Thanks to Agency Squid’s excellent design, the microsite received more than 30,000 page visits and the Hold HARDER game had over 300 entries. The team’s skill and commitment to the project resulted in a very professional-looking game.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work for Mike's Hard Lemonade. I am a brand experience manager for the HARDER brand.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Agency Squid?

HARDER launched a partnership with Android to give away new Android phones to consumers. We needed an agency to create a digital campaign to accompany the retail point-of-sale promotion. The goals of the campaign were to build awareness of the phone promotion, the Harder brand, and the partnership with Android.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I came on board the project in the middle, but my understanding is that Agency Squid was briefed on the project and they came back with a plan for a cross-channel campaign. They produced a white paper on the design direction, as well as the overarching goals and objectives. They proposed building a microsite for consumers to redeem codes for the free Android phones, and also proposed the creation of a game called Hold HARDER as an extension of the digital experience for consumers.

Agency Squid worked closely with our IT team on building and implementing the site and the game. They oversaw the rollout of assets, and continued to check in during the campaign to make any needed tweaks. They also created a social media strategy to support the campaign.

What is the team composition?

Miles Marmo [Partner & Director of Integrated Marketing, Agency Squid] served as both the project manager and the creative lead on the campaign.

How did you come to work with Agency Squid?

Miles used to work for the company, so we felt like he was the obvious choice. It was a last minute decision to launch this campaign, so the fact that Miles knows how the company works made it an easy decision to work with him.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $20,000–$30,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

Work began in October 2016, and the campaign launched in early January 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The microsite (PhoneHarder.com) had over 30,000 page visits, and the Hold HARDER game had over 300 entries. Social media garnered around 12.5 million impressions via Facebook and Twitter. They did a really good job at building social posts around the campaign, which drove visits to the microsite, the game, and the phone redemption site.

The campaign was also really successful in building strong connections with key retail accounts such as Circle K. The support from retailers helped increase both the number of phone redemptions and brand awareness.

How did Agency Squid perform from a project management standpoint?

They did an awesome job. Miles is very responsive. We spoke frequently after the campaign launched to understand what tweaks needed to be made, share updates on how it was performing, etc.

The team worked closely with our IT group, which can be challenging. Even though our team moves slowly, they ensured that all tweaks were made and that everything looked flawless on the microsite.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The Hold HARDER game did an excellent job at really driving awareness to—and  amplifying—our campaign. They were diligent in making sure that the game worked flawlessly. Even though it was a quick turnaround, the game looked very professional.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

At the end of a campaign, take the time to hash out best practices and learnings. Understanding how the campaign performed, and the return on investment, is crucial to determining if it's something you would want to do again in the future.

5.0
Overall Score I really want to work with them again.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    The campaign launched a month behind schedule, but some of the blame is on us.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They did an amazing amount of work on a small budget.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They did a flawless job executing the campaign.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer