Design is our vehicle for transformative change.

Cohere is a creative agency on a mission to revitalize cities through the power of design. Cohere offers branding, web development, environmental design, and marketing services for projects in real estate, hospitality, and economic development industries. By transforming spaces such as residential buildings, commercial buildings, restaurants, and more into brand experiences that are purposeful and valuable additions to the neighborhoods they’re located in.

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2006
Show all +
Philadelphia, PA
headquarters
  • Cohere
    1217 Sansom Street Suite 4N
    Philadelphia, PA 19107
    United States
other locations
  • Cohere
    101 N. Haven Street Suite 301
    Baltimore, MD 21224
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Schulson Collective, Marquis & Co., Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), University City Science Center, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, Wexford Science + Tech, David S. Brown Enterprises, NextFab, JKRP Architects, Caves Valley Partners, Brickstone Realty, Choice Market, City of Philadelphia

Reviews

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Website Redesign for Real Estate

“It’s a very responsive website, and we had a lot of people say it’s easy to use and straight to the point."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Cohere designs and builds WordPress websites; they have worked on several different products throughout the ongoing collaboration. They also work on the sites’ SEO and refine the copy.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Baltimore, Maryland
David Adler
Asset Manager, David S. Brown Enterprises
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

They have completed one site so far, which is user-friendly and good-looking, with others expected to launch very soon. They combine business expertize and creative flair to provide the perfect balance in their development work. The team communicates well and is accessible as needed.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the asset manager for David S. Brown Enterprises, a real estate company in Baltimore, Maryland.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cohere?

We needed to update our website and make it more functional. We had some websites that were getting old, and we wanted to find a company that could not only develop a very creative and good looking website but one that would last us a lot longer than the ones we currently had.

We did a couple of websites with Cohere. The first time we got in touch with them was about an individual property, one of our biggest properties that needed its own standalone site. From there, we gave them more to do.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They made a WordPress website that is user-friendly: easy and simple to navigate. They also made it mobile-friendly. Most people nowadays look at websites on their iPhone or iPad. The sites we had before didn’t look good on mobile devices. We also needed someone that had not only a business mind but also a creative side. That was one of the biggest things that sold us with them. They started everything from scratch and we left everything else behind.

They had a very good business-creative mindset. They gave us markups and photoshopped web fronts that they thought we would like. From there, we worked together and came up with what we wanted to do.

We didn’t use them for the copy. Most of the copy on our old websites was well-rounded and fit for the new website, but they did have a copywriter that went through and cleaned it up. They're not doing any of the marketing for us, but they did build all the SEO and social media marketing into our site.

What is the team dynamic?

I was in touch with 3 people. There was a business development person that I had most of the face-to-face meetings with, and who I talked to about all the concerns, questions, or changes to be made. I also had email exchanges with their head web developer and their copywriter. When it came down to the day-to-day, I only communicated with 1 person, who was the middleman between us and the tech team.

How did you come to work with Cohere?

They were recommended by another company. Based on the deliverables, we thought the price was very competitive. We thought from their previous work that they would design a site that we want and need. We believed in what Chris Richards [Director of Business Development, Cohere] told us, the way that he cooperated with us, and the way that he communicated with us. It was a big selling point, knowing that we always had him to go to if there was something we didn’t like.

How much have you invested with them?

I've spent over $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working with them since May 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We only have one other site live, and that's been live since May 2017. Since then, we’ve had an ongoing partnership. The website looks good, people talk about it, visit it, and we’ve had positive feedback about how the site works. It’s a very responsive website, and we’ve had a lot of people say it’s easy to use and straight to the point, which is what we wanted. They're still developing all our residential sites which are to be completed within the next month or two.

How did Cohere perform from a project management standpoint?

We've never had a problem. When they have trouble meeting timelines, they always explain why and what they need from us.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The way that they think about the website. It's not just a piece of technology or a piece of social media, it's the front of your business, and they do a really good job at mixing the business front with the creative front, in order to really engaging the people that we want to.

We want to attract users that are interested in our business, but we also want the normal person who has no idea that they might be interested to come to the site and find out more about it. They made that happen online, and that's a huge positive for us.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I wish their services were cheaper but they do a very good job all around.

5.0
Overall Score They're a great company. The main person I worked with was Chris Richards, and he could not have been better.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We had trouble when we were setting things up, but once we got past that, they always very accessible via email or phone.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They worked well with the price range we wanted. I think we got the best possible product for what we paid.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They were always responsive.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Branding for Educational Center

"Cohere’s adherence to a straightforward, collaborative, and adaptable work ethic made their project management stand out."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
Sept. 2014 - June 2017
Project summary: 

Cohere spearheaded a nonprofit organization’s brand realignment, helping it through innovative design work, a thorough understanding of the brand, and high quality output.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Manager, Educational Center
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

An emphasis on collaboration and comprehensive communication through every stage of the project allowed Cohere to provide excellent, innovative rebranding services. Their unique discovery process highlighted new goals and ideas, and gave the development phase a dynamic spin.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the senior manager for marketing and media relations at a nonprofit tech-based economic development organization in Philadelphia. Our mission is to support innovation and entrepreneurship through programming, resource provision, and access to capital, advisors, and mentors for early-stage companies.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cohere?

After spinning off the organization’s physical assets off into a new brand, we hired Cohere to assist us in realigning the original brand's messaging and distinguish between the two brands. The goal was to refine our messaging and visuals so that everything was both coherent and consistent. In addition, they helped to create templates to promote our programs with the goal of maintaining cohesive branding.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We have worked with Cohere for several years on various projects. Our first experience with them involved a rebranding effort for a STEM-focused educational program for middle and high school students from underserved communities. Most recently they spearheaded our brand alignment project. In the brand alignment project, they helped to distill our messaging, making it more clear and concise while also crystalizing the position of our organization on relevant issues.

How did you come to work with Cohere?

We sent out a request for proposals to which they submitted. Cohere’s in-depth discovery process is what initially made them stand out.

How much have you invested with them?

This information is confidential.

What is the status of this engagement?

We first engaged them in the second half of 2014, and our work with them is ongoing. The brand alignment project specifically began in the third quarter of 2016 and was completed in the second quarter of 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Thanks to Cohere’s work on realigning our brand, we are better positioned with more focused messaging. They helped to build an understanding of what our organization does, which is a testament to the quality of their work.

How did Cohere perform from a project management standpoint?

Cohere’s adherence to a straightforward, collaborative, and adaptable work ethic made their project management stand out. If we ever wanted to go in a different direction, they never hesitated to make the requested changes. Their team is in constant communication about their status, which allows us to see new designs, files, or copy in a timely manner. Additionally, their responsiveness throughout the process is a great strength, such that it feels like working with immediate colleagues rather than with a separate firm. Their consistency with meeting deadlines and communicating potential delays makes for an efficient management style.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their discovery process was both unique and impressive. To begin with, it involved interviewing key members of our staff, stakeholders, and board members. They also organized a brainstorming session with our team so that we could convey our ideas and goals for the brand realignment. In addition to giving them a greater understanding of our organization, it also allowed us to discover new concepts internally. This was central to the research they conducted to better understand our organization’s objectives prior to beginning development on the deliverables. Cohere is thorough in their work and invested in getting to know their clients and their goals.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There is nothing specific at which they could improve.

4.5
Overall Score Our relationship has been an absolute pleasure, and I look forward to our continued collaboration.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their prices are competitive with other similar firms.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We have been incredibly happy with their services.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have referred them to both colleagues and peers.

Branding for Maker Space

“I would happily have them work on any project that I could have them work on for the rest of time.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
June 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Cohere supported a multifaceted rebranding effort that included a website redesign with video components and the design of multiple physical spaces.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Laate Olukotun
Director of Marketing, NextFab
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Cohere successfully combined the visual and physical components of the client’s brand in a unique way that strengths the concept and delivers results. Membership has doubled and visibility has increased exponentially both in terms of website traffic and high-profile visitors to the spaces.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the Director of Marketing for NextFab, a makerspace network based in Philadelphia. Our makerspaces are a collection of different shops or studios where our members access facilities from woodshops to metal shops to a 3D printing studio to laser cutting suites, etc. We’ve been in business since 2009 and currently have 3 locations.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cohere?

I was trying to rebrand the company and launch a new website as a first effort to bring the brand to a new level. Visually, our colors were quite bright, and the original logo was a bit confusing for new customers. To me the logo is a symbol of the organization, so the way that people first interact with the company via the logo is critically important. People could see the “next” but not the “fab”, as in fabrication. The net result was confusion about our brand.

Conceptually, we needed to reposition ourselves as a space. We had historically tried to cater to a broad customer base, including enthusiasts, hobbyists, entrepreneurs, etc., and we were trying to hone in on specific customer groups. We needed to draw a clearer line between our spaces and our website. There was a disconnect with what people experienced when they visited versus what they found on our site, which didn’t clearly represent us. We wondered if we were losing out on opportunities as a result of this disjointed experience.

We were looking for a partner that could help both bring things visually to the next level and also help us reposition as a space or a series of spaces. We knew we needed to spend some serious time, energy and money to create something that was really relevant for our audiences.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our initial project focused on the website within a broader brand redesign. At the time, we only had two locations—in each North and South Philadelphia—and there was a big difference in brand between the two locations. It was critically important for us that Cohere could consistently connect the virtual space with the physical space.

The initial work evolved into two other projects. The second phase was essentially a marketing project but we also had them help us with the interior design of what became our third facility. Our dream of linking the virtual with the physical manifested itself in our third location in Wilmington. Our Wilmington location is literally our website brought into the real world. We developed the signage and designed the floor plan together. By the time we launched our new website, our whole brand was physically on display in Wilmington.

The third phase is ongoing marketing support. They support us with social media and across various touch points, everything from stickers to brochures.

What is the team dynamic?

We worked with multiple members of their team including a dedicated project manager and their CEO. They have built a very close relationship especially with me but also with our organization.

How did you come to work with Cohere?

I'd done an online search but hadn't come across their brand. I reached out to a number of other companies and started having conversations with them but hadn't found the right match. At that point, the former marketing director of our sister brand suggested them. We reached out and had a series of conversations. We were concerned about price but they came in at much more affordable rates than any of the other agencies we had spoken to. I reviewed a project they had done for another client, an architectural firm, and it was clear they had done a solid job. In the end, we felt confident that they were a good fit for us.

How much have you invested with them?

I would prefer not to say. 

What is the status of this engagement?

Cohere started with us in May or June of 2016. We continue to work together.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We have lots of evidence of impact. For one, our membership has doubled from when we originally started working together. We went from about 400 members in November 2016 to about 800 today. When we started, we were in the midst of building the Wilmington location and we needed to have 120 sustained members at that location by the end of the year in order for us to fulfill our grant requirements. We easily hit our numbers. Also, when our website launched, the number of online daily visitors went up tenfold.

How did Cohere perform from a project management standpoint?

I’ve seen an upgrade in their efforts of late. They’ve always been very responsible and responsive, especially with the website. I believe they started as a web shop so it was clear that they could support that. What was a little less certain was how they were going to support us with our internal marketing efforts. We found they've gotten better and better over time. Part of it is that they put in place Risa [Director of Operations] as our project manager, who's done a nice job of supporting us. They use Asana and they give us reports when we require it. We had standing biweekly meetings which just changed to 30 minutes every week to push things faster and farther.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Cohere is focused on placemaking, which gives them a specific lens through which they make decisions. Because we are also in the placemaking business, they represent exactly the kind of organization that is appropriate for our brand. We create places that people congregate in and work from in a way that supports the community. That alignment between our mission and theirs is critically important to me. They might not be the right partner for a company that's solely focused on virtual goods, but that's intentional and that's what makes them really unique. When it comes to branding physical places, it would be hard for anyone else to compete with them.

Are there any areas they could improve?

At the same time as launch of our Wilmington location, our Cohere project manager was getting married and unavailable to support us at that specific time. Without her, things were a bit disorganized. I had the sense that the rest of the team wasn’t certain if we were handling some components of the launch or if they were. We didn’t get the level of support we had hoped for. The timing of the two events was coincidental and the issues could have been specific to the situation, but we felt that they could have been more proactive in addressing our needs.

5.0
Overall Score I would happily have them work on any project that I could have them work on for the rest of time.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I'm giving them a 4.5 because we want more great stuff from them.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The initial work (the website and interior design) was very affordable but as project work continues, knowing their hourly rates, I would say that it can be expensive.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They've brought NextFab to that next level. We have started to emerge on the international stage—for example, we now regularly receive congressmen and women and international visitors—which is really important to us.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I think I refer them every single day in conversations.

Branding for Real Estate Company

"Many times, marketing firms can come up with what they think is cool, but Cohere is living it."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Feb. - Oct. 2016
Project summary: 

Using an existing name and logo, Cohere developed a new, cohesive brand. Their work included a website, video, and print collateral. The team is being considered for additional work in 2018.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Development Director, Real Estate Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new brand pops, and it successfully conveys a story. Cohere understands and can execute the "cool factor", and their team demonstrated a clear understanding of the goals of their work. They were agile and easy to work with. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a real estate development company. I work on a project that partners with a non-profit economic development organization. We’re partnering on creating a mixed-use development anchored by several neighboring universities, with a number of components, including residential and commercial space for pharmaceutical and biotech companies, as well as retail, hospitality and public spaces.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cohere?

We had purchased a large piece of land in the past 3 years in partnership with one of the neighboring institutions. We had built a number of buildings over the past 10-15 years, and were looking to combine these assets with the land we had just acquired, and the buildings we had developed to date, creating an even larger development project.

With this acquisition, we felt it would be a good opportunity to step back and think about what the place should be called and how it should be branded. Cohere was specifically hired to help us with the branding aspect of our project.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Cohere helped us create a website for the project, an overview video, and print materials. They applied the brand to a pitch book, which was something we could use when meeting with prospective tenants to describe our project.

They also helped us with insular items, including printed materials specific to a groundbreaking event we held, tied into the same brand.

Cohere came up with the social media strategy we’re implementing today, and made a number of recommendations in terms of media opportunities. We weren’t ready to invest money in more traditional marketing, but Cohere presented a number of great recommendations, tailored to our business. We may implement those at some point.

How did you come to work with Cohere?

Our partner had used their team on a different project. This partner was involved in our rebranding effort and suggested Cohere as a possible fit. We met with them, and the rest is history.

I believe that one of the deciding factors was Cohere’s local presence. We’re renaming a place in a city which is passionate about what certain neighborhoods and places are called, so we needed a local team of people who live here and know the city in order to really give it the creative juices it needed. Most of the firms we spoke with had real estate experience, but Cohere was local, and we liked their creative thinking.

How much have you invested with them?

The cost of their work was between $10,000 and $50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Cohere in February 2016. Since then, we’ve hired them for a prospect-specific pitch, as a one-off project. They took the existing video assets and refreshed them. We’re also working on potentially branding some public spaces that are part of the project master plan. Our partner has also explored new work with them, so it has been an ongoing relationship since the initial project was completed in October 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Most of the feedback we have is anecdotal. We’ve found that, when clients and prospective tenants see our material, it pops, and they get our story.

How did Cohere perform from a project management standpoint?

Chris Richards [Director of business development] was our main point of contact, and he was very responsive. Cohere is not a huge shop, which makes them lean and nimble; they can adjust timelines and make things happen because of their size. They were great from a project management standpoint, have a nice team in place, and met our deadlines.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Our business is generally focused on urban markets and trying to create interesting places. Cohere has understood what we’re trying to do, and have a niche in terms of creating brands for real estate places. They’re urban and understand the cool factor, staying one step ahead of it. Many times, marketing firms can come up with what they think is cool, but Cohere is living it.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They are a smaller shop, so, if one of their web designers left the company, it would lead to a resource issue. We haven’t run into this with them, but my only concern moving forward is whether they can staff up appropriately, from a bandwidth perspective.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were great, but things got pushed back at times, mainly because of client feedback.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were much more affordable than some of their competitors.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Excellent quality. They delivered what they said they would.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Cohere exceeded our expectations, so, if a colleague asked for a creative firm, I’d refer them.

Rebranding for Architecture Firm

"They commit themselves to projects that are meaningful to them, and it shows in their work."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Nov. 2014 - May 2015
Project summary: 

Cohere updated a stale and unclear brand. Beginning with branding elements such as positioning statements and brand guidelines, the team ultimately delivered a logo, a new website, and branded collateral. 

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Mike Izzo
Director of Marketing, JKRP Architects
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The updated brand has helped to recruit higher-profile clients, and the new website wins projects that the previous website was unable to convert. Cohere was responsive and aligned the project's stakeholders excellently. Overall, the team and their work were both well-received. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

JKRP Architects is a 50-person architecture firm in Center City Philadelphia. We specialize in multi-family residential, health care, retail and entertainment architecture. Licensed in 42 states and work nationwide. I started as an architect here for the first eight years of my career, and the last I have been directing the marketing department for the last four years.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Cohere?

Our branding materials were stale. Our old marketing was so overly focused on people and relationships to the point that potential new clients didn’t even know what we did. It didn’t help that our name didn’t have “architects” in the title. People often mistook us for a law firm. Our marketing is still focused on people and relationships, but it’s now clear that we are also architects.

We were planning to change our name, and we were almost sure of the name that we were going to choose. As part of that effort, we needed a partner to support us with collateral, logos, website and materials that could change our efforts.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

When we approached them, it was a carte blanche. We let them know our intentions and gave Cohere the freedom to do whatever it took to successfully update our brand.

In the end, their work involved broad branding elements such as positioning statements and brand guidelines, as well as more specific deliverables. Those included our logo, business cards, capability brochures, and a new website.

For a significant amount of these deliverables, Cohere provided the copy as well as the design elements.

In terms of the website, we didn’t have any initial designs or concepts. We only knew that we wanted it to be easy to navigate and modern. Cohere took that forward and built a WordPress website that showcases our firm. Another requirement is that the website had to be user friendly enough that we could update it easily in house. We now use Cohere for the ongoing maintenance of the site.

How did you come to work with Cohere?

We were referred by a mutual connection. They were hired by a client we were working with at the time. The project we were working on was a tough one and the client really lacked focus and a clear direction for his building. When Cohere came on board, they righted the ship and were able to provide a clear direction for their project. That impressed us and lead us to consider them when were planning our rebrand. We did consider other companies, but Cohere won us over based on their body of work and the positive referral.

How much have you invested with them?

In full, the project cost around $35,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in November, 2015. The bulk of the work was completed in May, 2016, and we currently engage them on a monthly retainer for website maintenance.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We have seen more success since the launch of our new brand. We’ve had types of projects coming in through our website that we were unable to win through that medium before the website redesign, and we have also been able to win higher profile clients.

We’re happy with their work, and we’ve received consistently positive feedback from clients.

How did Cohere perform from a project management standpoint?

Cohere was very responsive. They always answered the phone or replied to emails immediately if we had any questions or concerns or even suggestions. It was a tough task to manage 7 principals with a design background and they handled it really well. They had everyone on the same page from the first meeting.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They took the time to understand our business and make suggestions that were suited to our needs and our industry.

Cohere seems to have focused their efforts on projects they really want to work on, which is great. They don’t have to rebrand a heating company if they don’t want to. They commit themselves to projects that are meaningful to them, and it shows in their work.

I like that they are all young, go-getter types. It seems like a great place to work, too.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They could have pushed the envelope a little more. In the end, the deliverables met our needs and are performing well, but it would have been nice to see some options that were a little edgier. However, that was no fault of theirs. We probably told them we were a little more conservative than we really were.

4.5
Overall Score I hesitate to give them a perfect score, but we had a great experience working with them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We didn’t have any problems with deadlines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Cohere offered cheaper prices than most, and we were able to haggle with them until we found a price point that we were comfortable with.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I refer them all the time.