Leaders in B2B Branding & Marketing

We empower transformative marketers in industries including technology, healthcare, financial services, and professional services. From research and strategy to design and brand experiences, we help engage customers, rally employees and inspire investors. Together, we build brands that drive change.

 
$75,000+
 
$200 - $300 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2002
Show all +
New York, NY
headquarters
  • 30 W. 21st Street
    New York, NY 11206
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Verifone, ICF, Lathrop Gage, OneSpan, Littler, SailPoint, DataXu, Egon Zehnder, Lincoln International, Guggenheim Partners, AACSB, Bond Dealers of America, Lewis Roca, Zelis Healthcare, CIT, CarePoint Health, Navigant, Playworks, RWJF, Stephens, PGIM Real Estate, CTIA, Pfizer SRM, Heidrick & Struggles, Quaker Chemical

Stephens

Stephens is the pre-eminent middle-market investment bank. Its target audience, C-suite executives, is one of the toughest to reach through traditional marketing channels. Following a rebranding by DeSantis Breindel, Stephens asked us for a strategy for reaching the C-suite. Our recommendation: a three-day, invitation-only summit for 100 CEOs. We named the summit Center Street, a reference to the centrality of the middle market in building our economy. Center Street, in its sixth year, attracts such luminaries as Bill Clinton, Condoleezza Rice and Louis Gerstner. It annually generates significant new relationships across all of Stephens businesses, from investment banking to wealth management.

Verifone

Once known solely for its ubiquitous point-of-sale devices, payments technology leader Verifone had expanded its offering to include a broad array of hardware, software and services. Facing market disruptors, Verifone needed a cohesive and consistent brand platform that could communicate a powerful value proposition.

While competitors focused on the features of their products, research revealed that customers were more interested in how payments technology could help them grow their business. Verifone had a unique advantage: its people's knowledge and problem-solving strength. The new brand is built on the ability of its engineers and product developers to transform payments technology from a cost of doing business to a driver of growth.

The brand was launched through a globally synchronized marketing campaign and employee engagement program. In the first year, the new brand contributed to a double-digit increase in market cap.

Guggenheim Partners

Following a series of significant mergers, including the purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Guggenheim Partners needed a new brand that could unite its disparate elements to engage investors and rally employees. Client and prospect research among both individual and institutional investors revealed that Guggenheim was admired for its innovative approach to investing, particularly in the fixed income area. But clients were also wary of taking on too much risk, and needed reassurance that Guggenheim’s innovation was grounded in strong values. Employee research revealed ambivalence about the company’s unique legacy, dating back to the 19th century. The research led to a brand positioning that married the company’s reputation for ingenuity with its storied past.

SailPoint disrupted the fast-growing identity and access management industry with a superior product and singular focus that contrasted sharply with the inferior and ineffective solutions offered by large IT providers.

Despite its position as the worldwide industry leader, the company struggled to connect with a significant portion of the market: large corporate buyers who did not prioritize identity management as a critical IT need. SailPoint needed a brand that would illuminate the importance of identity management while cementing SailPoint’s role as a leader in this space.

 

The “power of identity” concept informs the entire new brand, from audience-segmented messaging to a powerful design language that spotlights the power of identity to transform security into a lever for business success.

Lathrop Gage

Kansas City-based law firm Lathrop Gage expanded rapidly through organic growth and acquisitions. Yet despite gaining significant traction in areas such as IP and biotech, the firm still projected a Midwest-centric brand focused on traditional practices.

The new Lathrop Gage brand is built around the concept of “seeing beyond”—beyond purely legal and regulatory constraints, beyond siloed practices, beyond conventional approaches. It positions the firm as a proactive contributor to clients' success, trusted advisors who are consulted before a legal issue arises because of their unique perspective on how the law can be a catalyst for growth. 

Interviews with clients revealed that they appreciate how Lathrop Gage attorneys to put their legal issues in the context of their most important business objectives. They see the firm as one integrated team, able to work across practices to provide holistic, multi-dimensional advice.

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is a venerable organization whose members include most of the world's best-known business schools. As it embarked on its second century, it needed to reach a more youthful, global audience and communicate a value proposition that resonated beyond academia to connect with corporate development professionals.

A 360-degree research initiative, encompassing deans, students, corporate HR executives and AACSB staff, revealed that what members most appreciate about AACSB are the connections it provides: to colleges in other regions, to business executives, to new ideas and perspectives. 

Encapsulated by a direct tagline—“Business Education. Connected.”—the new brand positions AACSB as a community committed to developing leaders for a world that doesn’t yet exist. In words, images, and a new identity, the brand shows the real value of AACSB membership lies in the connections it makes.

Zelis Healthcare

Uniting four healthcare technology players under a new, unified brand.

The combination of four leading players in the fast-growing healthcare payment technology space positioned the new entity to become a healthcare IT powerhouse. But to realize its potential, the newly formed company, Zelis, needed an identity that reflected the shared strengths of the individual companies while laddering up to a united and compelling offering for its clients. Built around the concept of “Experience Zelis,” the new brand’s name, voice, visual identity, and extensive digital touchpoints all reflect the company’s passion for providing the best client experience possible.

New targeting and sales tools enabled the sales team to both show and tell the Zelis story. Empowered with a modular library of presentation slides, FAQs, an objection toolkit, and a competitive landscape analysis, the sales team can now effectively and consistently communicate its united value proposition.

Reviews

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Wireframe Design & Style Guides for Grant-Making Nonprofit

“We get regular compliments on the design, which is well laid out, thoughtful, and easy to use.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Aug. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DeSantis Breindel is the external design team for a nonprofit grant-making organization. Through an iterative refining process, they develop wireframes and implement designs for various systems.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
New York, New York
IT Director, Grant-Making Nonprofit
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

User feedback from internal and external audiences is positive. DeSantis Breindel is attentive, respectful, and sets realistic expectations. They honor requests and make suggestions for best practices.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve health and healthcare for Americans. Most of our work is based in the U.S., but we do some international work as well. I’m an IT director. I manage the systems and applications that support our grant-making process.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DeSantis Breindel?

We do a lot of custom in-house development for our applications and systems, but we wanted an external team to help us with the look and feel, design, and usability of our products.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We work together on a number of systems. We discuss the philosophy of each system, its internal and external audiences, use cases, personas, and other considerations. We then explain the functionality and features, and they develop wireframes. We have an iterative refinement process before they build the style guides and implement their designs.

What is the team composition?

We have one primary point of contact.

How did you come to work with DeSantis Breindel?

Our communications department used them for work on our public website, so they had an existing relationship with us. Based on that positive recommendation and their understanding of our company, we decided to work with them. We also felt they could maintain and extend the continuity of the work they’d already done.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent around $100,000 with them at this point.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in August or September 2015. We’ve worked with them on a number of projects, and they continue to act as an extension of our team as our acting design house. We’re just about to launch a new system, and they continue to support existing systems they’ve worked on.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We don’t keep metrics related to their work, but we do receive good feedback from our users, both internal and external. We get regular compliments on the design, which is well laid out, thoughtful, and easy to use.

How did DeSantis Breindel perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re very organized, and they deliver on a timely basis. They’re also very realistic about what they can and can’t do. We have a good working relationship, and we understand each other well. It’s a good collaboration.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re very thoughtful, they listen to what we have to say, and they respect what we’re trying to do. They try to incorporate everything we want into their work while guiding us toward best practices and away from user interfaces or designs that may cause issues in the future.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There are times when they are almost too accommodating. I would love to get more of their opinion on things at times.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would highly recommend them.

Brand Identity & Awareness for Financial Services Firm

“They’re strategic and hands-on, and they understand our business.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2010 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DeSantis Breindel is a long-term partner of a financial services firm. They established a brand identity, website, and marketing material, and they ideate new ways to feature the brand within the industry.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
New York, New York
Executive Vice President, Financial Services Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The collaboration with DeSantis Breindel is fruitful, and their work has won awards for the brand. Their design work and innovation are well received and have led to important transactions.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a privately held financial services firm. I’m the executive vice president and head of marketing and communications.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DeSantis Breindel?

They’ve partnered with us for the past ten years to develop our brand and drive brand awareness.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The first project we worked on with them established our brand identity, website, and related collateral material. Based on their research, they developed appropriate strategy and implemented project timelines. They’ve also worked with us to ideate innovative events to deepen our relationships with clients and prospective clients.

They continue to keep us relevant and contemporary in our market. Current projects include more video content and a specific thought leadership platform. We work very closely together on new ways to market the brand and tell our story.

What is the team composition?

We work with one of the owners, three other direct points of contact, and a couple members of their creative team.

How did you come to work with DeSantis Breindel?

I knew DeSantis when they first started working with us, and they were referred in by a prior firm. My business partner had a prior relationship with the owners and thought they would be a good fit for our needs.

How much have you invested with them?

Over the course of our partnership, we’ve spent in excess of $600,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve worked together over the past decade. We work with them every day, and they are still very involved in our brand identity and reputation.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’ve won several awards from the campaign work they’ve done with us. Some important transactions came out of events they ideated, and general reactions to their collateral design work are positive.

How did DeSantis Breindel perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re very strong project managers. We mainly correspond via email and phone calls.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re very detail-oriented. They’re strategic and hands-on, and they understand our business.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don’t have any recommendations for them; they do their work well.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They do cost more than some of their competitors.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Branding for Property Technology Startup

“They were active listeners and able to incorporate new ideas into their work.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
July–Oct. 2018
Project summary: 

DeSantis Breindel provided branding services for a startup. They worked with the team on the discovery phase, logo design, and overall brand guidelines.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New York, New York
Co-Founder & CEO, Property Technology Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The branding materials have contributed to increased engagement and performance on social media channels. The team at DeSantis Breindel showed efficiency and dedication with their strategic, detailed approach. They were open-minded and receptive to feedback.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CEO and co-founder of a property technology startup. We’re focused on the residential rental market.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DeSantis Breindel?

We were in the process of creating our brand. We needed their help in bringing our concept and visual identity to life. Additionally, although we’re a B2C focused company, we also needed our brand to appeal to others in the real estate owner market.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We began the project with a discovery phase. To help with the positioning efforts, we provided them with our market research and information on our core values and purpose as a company. They refined these concepts and developed several mood boards.

Once we decided on the visuals, their team moved onto brand exploration. They created a logo and other corresponding materials. In total, they created a brand guideline, purpose statement, and examples for using the visuals on video, digital, and social media platforms.

What is the team composition?

They provided a large team, but Clinton (Creative Director, DeSantis Breindel) was the main creative force working on the project. There were a few others dedicated to the project who I interacted with directly, as well.

How did you come to work with DeSantis Breindel?

I’d admired their work for a long time, even before they founded DeSantis Breindel. I had referred several of my own clients to work with them and was impressed with the rigor and skill they brought to each project. We wanted a branding firm that could understand the challenges a young startup faces, while also being capable of developing visually stunning work.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent around $300,000 on their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from July–October 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our performance on Instagram is substantially improved when we use the visuals that DeSantis Breindel created. Compared to other real estate ads, ours have higher engagement due to the branding imagery. The simple, effective template their team produced has allowed us to earn conversions more effectively.

How did DeSantis Breindel perform from a project management standpoint?

They were very easy to work with. Even when we had an established timeline, they were willing to pivot if we needed to change something. They kept us focused, on track, and manage the project.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They were active listeners and able to incorporate new ideas into their work. They didn't attach themselves to one option and stick to it, they were willing to try multiple options. Also, their strategic approach was impressive.

Are there any areas they could improve?

It’d be helpful if they could perform more user research. However, our team came into the project with a substantial amount of information already gathered, so there was plenty to work with. I think most branding agencies could do more audience research, overall.

5.0
Overall Score We got the product that we needed and had a pleasant experience.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They stuck to our schedule and I was never worried about meeting our deadline.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were a premium firm that produced high-value work.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Their work was highly strategic yet simple and clean.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve recommended them many times.

Report Design for Aerospace Industrial Distribution Company

"They have always produced an exemplary product that represents us, and our message, perfectly."

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

For over a decade, DeSantis Breindel has helped design, draft, and produce an annual report for print and digital delivery to existing and potential shareholders.

The Reviewer
 
5,001-10,000 Employees
 
Suffield, Connecticut
Eric Remington
VP of Government Relations, Kaman Corporation
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Every year, DeSantis Breindel navigates the unique complexities of communicating the previous year’s unique goals and achievements to stakeholders across the country. Their exceptional work has received positive feedback from shareholders and CEOs, as well as established them as a recurring partner.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the vice president of government relations and communications for a publicly traded company in the New York Stock Exchange. We operate an aerospace business, a legacy helicopter business, and an industrial distribution business. We work with military platforms and 240 different branches around the country.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DeSantis Breindel?

For over ten years, DeSantis Breindel has helped us produce our annual report. This is mostly design work for the document, but it also includes marketing and strategy.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

DeSantis Breindel has designed and produced our annual report for many years. They produce the design concept for the entire report, draft the annual shareholder letter, and prepare the report for print and online publication. They have to be involved in every aspect of production, even having someone present during photo-shoots and while the document is printing to make sure it is up to standards.

The report is our primary communication with existing and potential shareholders. It’s also shared internally as a marketing or business development tool.

What is the team composition?

We work directly with one of the co-founders, a strategy analyst, and a program manager.

How did you come to work with DeSantis Breindel?

They began doing our annual report before I was responsible for any part of the process, so I’m not sure about the history of the relationship and how it began. I can say that they do an outstanding job every year. They deliver a high-quality product that exceeds our expectations, and that’s why we continue to use them.

What is the status of this engagement?

We have been working with them for over a decade, since before 2008, and are currently working on the 2018 annual report to be issued in February 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The annual report and shareholder letter are ultimately signed and sent out by our CEO. He has always been complimentary of DeSantis Breindel's work and praised them in multiple meetings. If he didn’t think the document met our standards or presented a positive reflection of the company, he wouldn’t sign it, and we wouldn’t continue to use them. Additionally, we have had positive feedback from our shareholders who look at the document.

How did DeSantis Breindel perform from a project management standpoint?

The annual report is produced during a very busy time for our company, so we usually have many project ongoing at the same time as their development. DeSantis Breindel excels at making sure everyone adheres to the schedule, and that all milestones are met. That’s especially important for this report because, under FCC stock exchange regulations, we have a non-negotiable submission date. They’ve made sure that we are never late in sending out the report.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We produce a new report every year, and we’re not always sure what direction we want to pursue when we begin (e.g. what theme or message). DeSantis Breindel always finds a way to communicate what we’re thinking, even if we aren’t able to perfectly verbalize it. They have always produced an exemplary product that represents us, and our message, perfectly.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of anything. Evidenced by the longevity of our relationship, we’ve had a terrific partnership with them, and are extremely pleased with their work.

5.0
Overall Score It’s always a pleasure to work with them. They always deliver the highest quality product.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They always find a way to maintain the schedule and make it work, even when our internal processes fall behind.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    There are cheaper alternatives, but when we weigh the cost against the quality they deliver, we get a great value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Every annual report is different, but DeSantis Breindel always makes sure it’s exceptional quality.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They’re great to work with and produce quality products. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to others.

Branding for Global Consulting Firm

“They’ve been a true partner in our journey, and we trust their counsel.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Sept. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DeSantis Breindel led a comprehensive rebranding. Based on insight from stakeholder interviews and focus groups, they designed a new brand essence, messaging, visual identity, and launch plan.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Emeryville, California
VP of Marketing, Global Consulting Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

DeSantis Breindel thoughtfully crafted high-caliber branding deliverables that stakeholders and employees can’t wait to launch to the public. The assets they created were enthusiastically received internally.  Dedicated and dependable, the team collaborated synergistically and seamlessly.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the VP of marketing for a global consulting firm with 43 offices globally. We segment our services in three areas: disputes and investigations, corporate finance, and strategy and operations.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DeSantis Breindel?

As a rapidly growing firm, we needed help with our branding. By distilling our value proposition, we hoped to showcase what made us unique. We were growing so quickly that we wanted our organization to be backed by compelling messaging. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The process began with a discovery period that included interviews with stakeholders across the organization. Subsequently, we held several focus groups and met with our key stakeholders. 

We used a very iterative process to create the visual identity, brand essence, messaging, and launch plan deliverables. Since our rollout, we’ve continued to work on creative concepts with DeSantis Breindel to sustain momentum.

What is the team composition? 

I worked with Julia (Senior Brand Strategist, DeSantis Breindel), Shelley (Managing Director, DeSantis Breindel), Sanjay (Program Management, DeSantis Breindel), and Howard (Co-CEO, DeSantis Breindel).  We have a dedicated project manager.

How did you come to work with DeSantis Breindel?

We found DeSantis Breindel while researching recommended branding firms with a notable presence in various capacities. We chose them because they specialize in professional services. 

The team’s level of familiarity with the industry showed they were equipped to solve specific challenges to different degrees. Our interactions with the CEO made a positive impression on us. He’s extremely knowledgeable.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working together since September 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’re just beginning the rollout and have already experienced substantial engagement internally, which has been great. People are very excited about the work we’ve done with DeSantis Breindel. Our in-house personnel has been very eager to go to market with the new deliverable we produced together.

How did DeSantis Breindel perform from a project management standpoint?

DeSantis Breindel handles project management very well. We maintain regular communication including weekly calls along with email.

What did you find most impressive about them?

DeSantis Breindel has really stood out from the competition. They’ve been a true partner in our journey, and we trust their counsel. The team works very effectively with our senior executives. They inspire confidence. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. DeSantis Breindel has done an outstanding job.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Their biggest challenge was accommodating our internal delays.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    This was a valuable investment. They weren’t much more expensive than other vendors. I doubt many costlier agencies could have provided more value.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We’ve been very impressed with everything DeSantis Breindel delivered.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Client Experience Initiative for Law Firm

"Whenever someone new started working on our account, they never missed a beat.”

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
3.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
June 2017 - June 2018
Project summary: 

DeSantis helped develop and deploy client service principles, created journey maps, produced collateral for internal/external use, and provided comprehensive training to the in-house team.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Phoenix, Arizona
CMO, Law Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The internal team is highly satisfied, and an NPS survey is going out to clients. DeSantis went above and beyond to meet all needs and minimize the learning curve for new team members, while their expertise was instrumental in raising the project to the next level.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the CMO at a law firm.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DeSantis Breindel?

We were looking for a company to help us create client experience initiatives.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They helped us develop client service principles and deploy them both internally and externally. When we started working with DeSantis, most of the client service principles have been defined by our group of lawyers, but once DeSantis joined our team, the project became much clearer. They helped us create client personas and journey maps for different transactions. They also produced a set of internal and external collateral materials on what our program would look like and what it would entail. In addition, they provided comprehensive training for our attorneys and staff. We want to bring them in to help us with some website language and design.

What is the team composition?

We mostly worked with a project manager and one other team member.

How did you come to work with them?

We found them through an RFP process at my prior firm (we were looking for someone to help us with brand strategy as we were going through complete rebranding). They didn't have much experience working with law firms, so they could bring a fresh perspective. For this project, we liked the fact that they had worked on journey mapping and client experience programs before, so they could help us make our program more comprehensive.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them between June 2017–June 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our internal team was enthusiastic about the training and satisfied with their work. We're getting ready to roll out a baseline NPS survey to our clients, so we don't anticipate any benchmark at least a year after we do the first NPS.

How did they perform from a project management standpoint?

I'd rank them pretty high compared to the other firms I had worked with.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I knew that there would be turnover because that's the nature of their industry. But whenever someone new started working on our account, they never missed a beat. I usually assumed that a new team member would start all over again, but DeSantis did their best to avoid a learning curve.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They did a great job. Knowing their strengths and making use of them is the best thing they can do for their clients.

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

Brand Positioning for Executive Search Firm

"They came up with a positioning that was unique among a challenging, competitive landscape."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Aug. 2017 - Jan. 2018
Project summary: 

DeSantis Breindel worked with a management team to launch a business unit. They identified its unique advantages through client interviews, classified key themes, and developed positioning options.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Chief Marketing Officer, Executive Search Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

DeSantis Breindel’s work helped to double share prices. Their interview processes were praised both internally and externally. They had a deep understanding of the professional services sector and had creative solutions. They communicated consistently in a professional and personable manner.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the former chief marketing officer for an executive search and leadership development firm that is global in scope and scale. We placed executives in top-tier roles and helped leaders position themselves to make a bigger impact in their roles.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DeSantis Breindel?

The firm was launching a new business unit that was more of a leadership development consulting, as well as corporate culture consulting and shaping. The challenge with launching the new business was positioning it properly to get the right value proposition to stand out in a competitive business landscape but still fit our brand.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We hired them to help us understand what the unique value of the consulting business would be and to come up with the positioning—mostly the words and structure—to effectively describe this business in the marketplace. They interviewed 15–20 clients of the consulting business and 5–10 stakeholders to comprehend how they perceived value within consulting services. They used those interviews to identify what could make our service unique.

After the interviews, they presented the team and stakeholders with the key themes they found and introduced five exploratory positioning statements and architectures. We worked in a collaborative process to decide on the one that was the best fit and they worked with our management team to launch that positioning through all our marketing channels. They came up with the right positioning and the right words to express our leadership consulting and human capital management in unique and impactful ways.

What is the team composition?

I worked with the CEO, who is also one of the founders, and with a creative account leader.

How did you come to work with DeSantis Breindel?

I had seen some of their work in the executive search and consulting firm space, which was exactly the combination I was looking for. I wanted a firm that understood the dynamics of professional services as opposed to consumer packaged goods, which they showed through something as simple using the word “client” as opposed to “customer”.

A former colleague had worked with them and was satisfied with their work. They also popped up quite a bit in my online searches. They knew the business, the language, how to deal with the intangibles of professional services firms, and the value proposition of talking with clients

How much have you invested with them?

We spent less than $250,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

I met with them in Summer 2017. The project began in August 2017 and ended in January 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The deliverables and positioning came to life in March or April, which was around the time I was leaving the firm. However, I can say that the difference in the share price from last fall through this spring has increased, which is due—in part—to DeSantis Breindel’s positioning work and messaging to clients and shareholders. I can’t give exact revenue numbers, but the share prices have increased 10%–20%.

Several people in the firm remarked on the effectiveness of their processes. They were good at interviewing our clients and getting the right quality of work. It could be nerve-wracking to ask our clients, who are all CEOs, to take 30–45 minutes out of their days to talk to a firm that was just hired. However, DeSantis Breindel didn’t waste anyone’s time. They were able to ask the right questions and get exceptional interview results.

How did DeSantis Breindel perform from a project management standpoint?

They had the right resources at the right level, and that made for exceptional project management. The account manager kept everybody on track and made sure that all the deadlines were met. They were communicative, personable, and professional. Project management is one of their biggest strengths.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They knew and understood the professional services sector. Their team related very well to our partners. They can speak our language, which makes the whole project easier, and gave us more confidence that we were getting the right answer.

Their creative solutions were also deeper than I imagined. They came up with a positioning that was unique among a challenging, competitive landscape.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There were no deficiencies, so not really. They’re attracting more clients and doing great work, so keeping up with their own success rate might be the biggest challenge for them in the future.

5.0
Overall Score They understood our business, related with stakeholders, and came up with a unique solution that differentiated us from other consulting businesses.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They never missed a deadline.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their pricing was definitely fair.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They had very high quality, especially with interview results. We were very satisfied.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have already recommended them to several people.

Branding for Major Financial Services Company

"The fact that we worked with DeSantis Breindel for more than a decade really says something about the value they bring..."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
May 2007 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

As a branding/creative agency of record, DeSantis Breindel provides brand strategy, advertising, design, thought leadership, and creative development. Advertising services range from traditional print to radio and digital marketing.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
New York, New York
SVP of Marketing & Advertising, Large Financial Services Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Based on annual brand survey results, DeSantis Breindel’s brand/advertising services improved how customers perceive the brand, senior management, and sales teams after the critical financial crisis in the industry. The team’s comprehensive outreach ideally positions the company and its product offerings.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I just retired from a major financial services company after a long tenure as SVP of marketing and advertising. This past year, it was highly ranked on both the Fortune 1000 and Forbes Global 2000 lists. We have a significant B2B business as well as a retail bank based on the West Coast. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DeSantis Breindel?

DeSantis Breindel was our primary partner agency for all ten years I worked at the company. We resolved many challenges together throughout those years. Most significantly, the financial crisis in 2008-09 drove the company into prepackaged bankruptcy from which we emerged in 38 days. We had to not only maintain but also expand our brand strength and presence. It isn't easy for a financial institution coming out of bankruptcy to regain and build trust from their customers and the public. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

DeSantis Breindel handles virtually all our advertising, brand strategy, and creative work. While they didn't conduct the actual media planning or buying, they provided direction and insight. Using a detailed methodology, they planned impactful strategies for growth.

The team held in-depth discussions with myself and other members of our marketing team, sales staff, senior executives, customers, etc. Having cultivated a thorough understanding of our business, they translated those findings into excellent brand strategy, creative development, design, thought leadership, and sales support. 

What is the team composition? 

The team always included a perfect mix of teammates who looked at the big picture, specialists within respective disciplines, and resources who could adhere to the schedule and budget. Throughout the years, the agency principals were always actively involved in our account for both the creative side and business strategy. The layer below them included highly qualified senior level staff, a brand strategist, and a dedicated account supervisor and account support. They'd pull in more resources as needed depending on the project or challenge at hand. 

How did you come to work with DeSantis Breindel?

Just before I joined, our company went through an agency review and brought on several agencies with focused areas of expertise. It was clear to me that DeSantis Breindel was more than capable of handling all our branding/creative needs, so we narrowed our partnerships down to just their team.

What is the status of this engagement?

I started working with DeSantis Breindel in May of 2007. They had already been working for my company for 1-2 years at that point and continued after I left. The partnership is still ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The financial crisis was a difficult time to work in the financial services industry. DeSantis Breindel was a critical source of support to build and stabilize and build our brand. We conducted an annual brand survey through a significant third-party research firm to measure brand perceptions and evaluate our senior management and the quality of our sales force among many other company attributes. The survey asked customers if they were willing to recommend us and whether they understood our company, product offerings, and the vertical markets we compete in. I can't release specific numbers, but I can confirm that all these metrics improved each year from the financial crisis until I left the company in 2016.

To their credit, we had three senior management changes over the years, and each new senior management team retained them. When a new senior team comes in, they usually want to change everything and replace all the existing agencies. DeSantis Breindel proved themselves to each new team that came in along the way. 

How did DeSantis Breindel perform from a project management standpoint?

Project management is one of their greatest strengths. Their agency always succeeds when given a difficult deadline or budget constraint. Regardless of the challenge, they always seem to come through. As a fast-paced business, we regularly experienced changes that required quick response. Our internal marketing staff isn't too large, so we truly relied on DeSantis Breindel as a close partner and a member of our internal team. Our dedicated point of contact handled everything seamlessly and excelled at connecting us to the right people throughout the agency. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

I appreciated that they kept the team we worked with consistent, since so many agencies have a high staff turnover rate. While some new talent came and went at times, the core teammates stayed onboard which was very helpful to us. Our company is very active in lending, leasing, and other financial services offerings. We work with midmarket companies across 30 different industries, from healthcare and equipment to retail and entertainment. 

DeSantis Breindel keenly understands the specific needs of each of these vertical industries. They seamlessly integrate these takeaways to support our enterprise as a whole, which is a rare skill among B2B agencies. Many comparable agencies can support specific vertical markets but struggle to take on a greater perspective from an enterprise perspective.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Nothing comes to mind. The fact that we worked with DeSantis Breindel for more than a decade really says something about the value they bring to our company. Had anything significant needed improvement, we probably would have changed agencies along the way.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    During the severe financial crisis, time was of the essence, and they always came through. Unlike other agency partners, timing was never an issue.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    As a small to midsize agency, they produce better work than larger competitors for lower prices; a big reason for our long-term partnership.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The quality was always good, whether we were producing video, print, radio or digital advertising, or just brand positioning work.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I've recommended them to other friends and colleagues along the way and wouldn't hesitate to do so again.

Rebranding for Management Consulting Firm

“The DeSantis team actively provided feedback and communicated with consistency and transparency.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
July 2015 - Sept. 2016
Project summary: 

DeSantis Breindel guided the rebranding efforts for a management consulting firm. The team assisted with market research and workshopping, brand conceptualization and design, and its final implementation.

The Reviewer
 
5,001-10,000 Employees
 
Washington, DC
Sr. Director of Brand & Marketing, Management Consulting Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The rebrand was well-received both internally and externally. DeSantis’ team had a part in the efforts responsible for gaining the recognition as a fast-moving brand from a regional trade publication. They showed a real interest in the project through active feedback and constructive communication.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the senior director of brand and product marketing for a management consulting firm.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DeSantis Breindel?

We were looking to rebrand a consulting firm to better reflect its capabilities and offerings.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We split the project into three phases: discovery, exploration, and execution.

The discovery phase was largely internal and external research. Employee and client surveys allowed us to determine specific expectations associated with our brand and the best way to articulate them. Then, we held workshops to review our findings and formulate a few options for our new brand and its positioning methods.

We narrowed the discussion to a single strategy, then began working to narrow down our identity. DeSantis advised us on developing the brand identity including logo, brand language and style guide.

Finally, we moved into the execution phase. DeSantis used work from the previous stages to inform a completely updated visual identity, digital and print messaging templates, social media content, RFP templates, PowerPoint templates, and various case studies and white papers. In addition, they provided guidance on how to effectively activate and manage the new brand through an employee portal.

What is the team composition?

I worked with around six representatives from DeSantis.

How did you come to work with DeSantis Breindel?

I was looking for a small to medium-sized agency, either local or national, to help with the rebrand and found DeSantis through my personal network. I ultimately decided to partner with them for three key reasons. First, they were intellectually curious about our company and our goals. Second, they had experience in professional services and understood some of the challenges we were trying to overcome. Third, they were prepared to act as an extension of our team.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from July 2015—September 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our employees and clients connect with the new brand. In 2017, we received recognition as a fast-moving firm from our regional trade publications for our brand effort.

How did DeSantis Breindel perform from a project management standpoint?

The project manager was outstanding. The DeSantis team actively provided feedback and communicated transparently and consistently. They kept my team on pace and provided updates as we moved through each phase.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We were impressed by their dedication to learning about our business. They encouraged us to push our limits and, at the same time, understand our relationship with the legacy brand. DeSantis provided informed, relevant and pragmatic ideas to help our company move forward strategically with the new brand.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were accommodating of any scheduling or time frame changes we needed to make.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They aren’t as expensive as other agencies, but there is still a small markup.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The brand strategy they delivered was phenomenal, but it was a little difficult to pin down our creative identity.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have recommended them—and will continue to recommend them.

Rebranding for Global Asset Management Firm

“They’re a great agency to work with because they know how to professionally execute a branding strategy.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Mar. 2013 - Nov. 2014
Project summary: 

DeSantis Breindel conducted market research to understand asset management and how to craft a unique message. They analyzed employee, client, and advisor impressions, then created a design and messaging guide.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
New York, New York
Global Head of Institutional Marketing, Asset Management Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

DeSantis Breindel collaborates on projects, providing creative and effective solutions. They’re responsive and reliable, available whenever you need them. Unlike many similar firms, they're small enough to offer personalized advice and have a team of well-versed experts.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the global head of institutional marketing at an asset management firm.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DeSantis Breindel?

Our firm mainly managed assets for insurance companies, and we wanted to establish ourselves in the institutional retail asset management marketplace. We needed to clearly differentiate ourselves from others, so we began looking for a partner to create our unique identity and messaging.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

DeSantis Breindel did a significant amount of both internal and external research. They wanted to understand how our firm viewed itself and the message we wanted to put into the marketplace. They also analyzed how clients, consultants, and advisors view us to clearly identify what made us stand out from other agencies that offer similar services.

They took all that data and created a design and messaging guide, enabling our firm to establish itself in a unique way relative to the rest of the market. The guide contains all of our graphics and other collateral material we use in both online and print media.

What is the team composition?

We worked with DeSantis Breindel’s co-founder and a team of strategists.

How did you come to work with DeSantis Breindel?

I’d worked with them before. They have a strong understanding of financial services, particularly the asset management space. They’re small and easy to work with, so we hired them again.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from March 2013–November 2014.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We received positive feedback on the work. They didn’t make large changes, but the design and style of the messaging were greatly improved.

How did DeSantis Breindel perform from a project management standpoint?

We had regularly meetings, and they provided periodic written updates. They were responsive and maintained close contact during the project.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re smart and reliable people who understand the different vertical markets they operate in, which isn’t always the case with other firms. They have great ideas and come up with constructive, out-of-the-box solutions. Because they’re not a large firm, we were able to work with the principals who really understood our business. They’re a great agency to work with because they know how to professionally execute a branding strategy.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They generally stayed on track and sometimes finished early.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They price very competitively.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They delivered excellent work.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I'd use them again for future projects.