Design For Engagement

BSTRO is a leading digital marketing agency that helps brands incite action through powerful storytelling and innovative technology.

From the outset, we've learned that speed is crucial, design drives value, and nimble, smart teams can accomplish great things.

The diverse expertise and experience of our in-house team allow us to dive deeply into our clients’ needs, goals, and objectives so we can put design, technology, and storytelling to their most effective use — and deliver more, every time.

We’ve built a team that thrives because of our differences: in skill sets, in life experiences and nationalities, to name just a few. Collectively, we’re from 12 different countries and speak 18 languages. We know that nothing new ever comes from a group that can sit around finishing each other’s sentences, so we consciously build teams that challenge each other’s thinking and the status quo.

For us, inclusion is the key to putting our differences to good use; to learn what is unfamiliar, to seek universal truths, to develop visual languages, and to design so intuitively that no instructions are needed.

 
$10,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2004
Show all +
San Francisco, CA
headquarters
  • 600 California St, Suite 1334
    San Francisco , CA 94108
    United States
other locations
  • 560 Beatty St Suite 201
    Vancouver, BC V6B 2L3
    Canada
  • 1460 Broadway
    New York, NY 10036
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Johnson & Johnson, BabyCenter, Illumio, Chef.io, BC Centre for Disease Control, Bloomlife, Pranin Organic, Aveo Vision, BC Children's Hospital

Reviews

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Marketing & Web Design for Consumer Electronics Company

“Open rates for their email templates were effective, and I never had to make adjustments to make their design work.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2012
Project summary: 

Utilizing Photoshop and Drupal, BSTRO produced web and email templates to enhance UX and weekly marketing blasts.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Creative Director, Consumer Electronics Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

BSTRO provided personalized attention and team continuity. Their communication and responsiveness sped turnaround, and they meshed well with in-house teams.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We’re a consumer electrics company specializing in streaming devices and video. We sell our product worldwide. I am the creative director of the marketing organization, and manage a team of about nine in-house designers.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with BSTRO?

We needed to reformat our email template design for weekly email blasts to customers.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They pitched ideas, did a lot of work on redesign, and collaborated with our web development team. They provided several useful templates, and we made changes. We used them for quite a while, and still use some of their design language.

As part of the interview process, they presented concepts for redesigning and rebranding our website. We hired them for that a few years ago, along with a couple other agencies. As to the technology involved, they built up Photoshop comps and worked with our engineers on our platform in Drupal. They added functionality for new products on our site, and helped us merchandise new products and resolve UX [user experience] issues.

What is the team dynamic?

I worked with their whole team on both projects, including the creative and art directors, designers, writers, and account managers.

How did you come to work with BSTRO?

I had a fun experience working with them at another company, where we worked together on microsites for about three years. They weren’t the only company in the running for this project, but I wanted to hire them again.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked them for a couple of years, beginning in 2012.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our company redesigns periodically, but we kept their designs and inspirations in our emails and webpages for at least a year and a half. The open rates for their email templates were very effective, and I never had to make adjustments make to their design or the UX work. They provided a cleaner, more modern look, and made information easier to find.

How did BSTRO perform from a project management standpoint?

They were responsive and readily available, and they really embedded with our web development team.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re small and agile, and turn work around quickly. We had one-on-one attention, which was especially helpful for a smaller company with a busy launch schedule. Their workflow was helpful, and everyone is involved. The account team that presented to us was the creative team we actually worked with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Their ability to produce copy was lacking when we worked with them, but I think they’ve improved since.

5.0
Overall Score They’ve been super great to work with.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re extremely affordable.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve done so many times.

Web Dev & Marketing for Digital Signage Company

"They’re the best agency I’ve ever worked with."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. 2012 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

BSTRO conducted a complete redesign of the website and all marketing materials, providing an updated look and feel across digital and print elements. They continue to supply strategies and tweaks as needed. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Los Gatos, California
Ann Holland
VP of Marketing, BrightSign
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The fresh branding and online ad campaigns drew increased traffic to the revamped website, thanks to BSTRO’s originality and detailed-oriented approach. The team’s prompt turnaround time, pleasant demeanor, and willingness to meet a modest budget inspire confidence in the partnership. 

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 am the vice president of marketing at BrightSign, which is a digital signage media player manufacturer. We are based in Los Gatos, California. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with BSTRO?

I joined BrightSign 5 ½ years ago and needed to revamp all the marketing materials, the website, and the look and feel of everything except our logo. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

When I was a consultant for BrightSign at the end of 2011, I brought in BSTRO to redesign our print brochure. Once I joined BrightSign in January 2012, we began the redesign of the website with BSTRO’s help. The original website was done in-house. There’s an e-commerce aspect to the website, but as a business, we primarily sell through the Pro AV channel. The website focuses more on branding and education than e-sales.

We slightly changed the color of the logo based on BSTRO’s recommendation, which has saved us tons of money. Previously, we were trying to match an odd pantone. We changed the logo to a basic purple that was much easier to find when buying t-shirts or anything like that.

In addition to working on the website, they also created email templates for outbound communications and website banner ads. They helped with copy and print materials as well. We use them every time we launch a new product, update the brochure, or do a new digital marketing campaign. I have them on retainer.

What is the team dynamic?

The team includes an account manager, at least 1 designer, and a copywriter. For the website, they had 3 design teams and gave me 3 completely different options. That was probably the biggest project I did with them.

How did you come to work with BSTRO?

I first reached out to them because I knew the owner from a previous job. They impressed me, so I didn’t look any further.

How much have you invested with them?

They were super flexible about the cost. They initially quoted about $40,000 but agreed to work with me using the budget that I could get, which was $25,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started collaborating in January 2012, and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They’ve been very responsive and listened carefully to our needs. Since 2012, we’ve relaunched all our products. In early 2016, we did a complete overhaul of the website and the materials to give everything a new look. That took a lot of discussion and explanation. They were great. In my experience, an agency that’s been with us for a long time sometimes has difficulty moving away from their original design. I really appreciated working with them on the relaunch because they listened and changed everything according to our discussions. They’re super talented. One of the original designers is still on the team, and we chose his design yet again because it was so original.

We don’t track online sales. Only about 5% of our products are sold online. We had an increase in traffic based on the new launch, as well as the online campaign we did to drive awareness. That included the banners and emails.

How did BSTRO perform from a project management standpoint?

They were fantastic. They always hit their deadlines and have great communication.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They did a print ad for me and were copied on the email thread from the publication. The account manager from BSTRO reached out to me a few days before the ad was due, saying, “You’ve got to provide materials on Friday. Just wanted to remind you we need to finish this up.” I had forgotten that the materials were due, so that reminder was really helpful. They go above and beyond in their attentiveness.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don’t have any suggestions. They’re the best agency I’ve ever worked with. 

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Branding & Digital Marketing for Pharmaceutical Company

"Their approach to content was very refreshing in the digital format."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Feb 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

BSTRO worked on branding, digital marketing, and content creation for a pharmaceutical company. The pharmaceutical company wanted to increase their click-through rates and improve on social media engagement.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Brand Manager, Pharmaceutical Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

BSTRO's work led to improvements in both the company's click-through-rate and click-to-open rate for their email marketing campaigns. BSTRO incorporated feedback from the client well,  and were quick to respond to digital marketing issues, which has led to a long, successfull partnership.

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 am a senior brand manager of a pharmaceutical company. I was the lead for our CRM initiative in leading a multi-brand execution for a major CPG [Consumer Packaged Goods].

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with BSTRO?

We were looking to do different things. We needed help with email and social media marketing. We wanted to drive acquisition to our CRM, and in others it was to drive purchase at retail.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

BSTRO helped us with email marketing, social media marketing, as well as our ad banners, and they also led with some of our content creation. They led our email strategy with regard to subject line testing, the creative that goes into maximising click-through and click-to-open, as well as our social media creative.

I had people who were responsible for our digital marketing, and we also had a separate agency who did our overall CRM strategies with regard to segmentation. They played very well in the sandbox together, among other agencies, and created a one-team feel, so it didn’t feel like there were a couple of agencies vying who was going to win the strategy war. It was people who worked really well in a collaborative environment to help put our brand interest first.

What is the team dynamic?

There were around 5 people associated with our business in total, including my main lead connection to BSTRO. We had some people that led the project management, coordinated the content creation, led our banner creation, created social media strategies, and things like that.  

The team were nimble and smart, kept up to date, and brought insight to us without us asking for it in advance. They delivered a fresh approach, and sometimes pushed us in places that we wouldn’t have ordinarily gone, but we have been happy with the results.

How did you come to work with BSTRO?

BSTRO were already supporting the other businesses in our company, and were highly recommended for being able to high-quality work very quickly, which is what we were looking for. We have kept them on as our activation agency for multiple campaigns.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in February 2014, and they continue to be the agency we use for our CRM endeavours.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I thought their quality was good. I feel they were always very receptive to feedback and did a good job.

We are able to demonstrate improvements in our click-to-open and click-through rates through the course of time. The fact that we have retained them as long as we have, speaks to the fact that we have been very pleased with their work, if not, we would have changed.

How did BSTRO perform from a project management standpoint?

My team would have been the ones that managed the deadline component, but I feel like BSTRO would always go above and beyond to try make sure deadlines were hit.

Last year, we were looking to create an ad banner for one of our brands. It came in from our sister brand’s agency in a format that BSTRO knew would not be acceptable with Facebook. Even under a pretty fast deadline, they reworked it to make sure that it met the Brilliant Basics framework of Facebook, and submitted it in time. They were proactive around identifying the issue, solved it, and met the deadline. They are very good about managing that.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their approach to content was very refreshing in the digital format. They took content we had on our site and reworked it making it much more vivid and compelling, and it suited our consumer database more. It is something unique to them that they were able to make that happen, and did so in a very cost-effective manner.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Occasionally, some of the copywriting wasn’t as fresh as I would have liked it to be. Their creative is good, their copywriting sometimes needs a little bit of finessing. On the whole, I have been very impressed with their work.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer