Building strong brands to drive growth

We are a B2B Strategy and Design Firm relentlessly focused on delivering rapid business growth.

We're working hard helping our clients grow their business, build stronger brands, and ensure thriving cultures.

We spend our time inside the offices of high-growth tech companies, global professional services firms and purpose-led organziations that are creating truly meaningful stuff.

Clients include: Citrix, Slack, Western DIgital, Facebook, AppAnnie, Facebook, PubMatic, AWS, Unum, Pandora, Harness, Kleiner Perkins, Informatica, Drawbridge, PubMatic, VMware and many more.

When you work with us, you can expect:

- Positioning strategies that differentiate and accelerate growth

- Categories that stand out

- Brand Strategies aligned to business strategy

- Narratives that deliver impact

- Branding that is emotive and strategically aligned

- Marketing that works harder

- Tools that sales teams use and deliver results

- Internal activation of new strategies that actually make an impact

- Unexpected brand experiences 

 

 
$25,000+
 
Undisclosed
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2009
Show all +
Oakland, CA
headquarters
  • 580 2nd Street, Suite 245
    Oakland, CA 94607
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

We work in the c-suite with ledership teams of high growth tech companies, global professional services firms, and purpose-led businesses.

Key clients: Slack, Citrix, Facebook, Poynt, Rocket Fuel, AWS, Slack, Cadence, VMware, Moveworks, AppAnnie, Drawbridge, Western Digital, Cadence, BAL, Unum, Kleiner Perkins, Gibson Dunn, Pubmatic, UPS, Unum, Zynga, Chartboost, Coho Data, Informatica, and many more.

Reviews

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Branding & Mission Statement for Jewelry Company

“Since implementing their work, we’ve seen an increase in engagement and follower growth across our social media.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Oct. 2017 - Jan. 2019
Project summary: 

Emotive Brand conducted a brand foundation study, identifying ways to improve communication and customer engagement. They worked on the mission statement, brand emotions and values, and founder letter.

The Reviewer
 
11 - 50 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Meaghan Rose
CEO, Rocksbox
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Emotive Brand was highly collaborative, listening to feedback and creating a positive work environment. They were accommodating and adjusted to changing project goals, which optimized the partnership. They could’ve been clearer about the application of their work, but the partnership was great.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the founder and CEO of Rocksbox, a membership-based shopping service focused on the jewelry category.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Emotive Brand?

We wanted to do a brand foundation study that would help us codify our brand mission, values, and emotions.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Emotive Brand didn’t work on any visual components; it was more about taking what we already had and building more powerful communication around those concepts. We didn’t have a clear way of articulating our mission statement, founder story, etc., so they helped bring those together in a way that empowered our team to make better decisions in regard to our visualizations, such as photography and design.

For the brand emotions, they identified four specific emotions we want our brand experience to emote. So, whenever our customers interact with us, we want to make sure they feel a certain way about the brand and the interaction. Emotive Brand also worked on our founder story and company values.

What is the team composition?

We had three primary contacts and two other people that were involved at different points. We met with the senior manager in person and selected a team based on the people we had the best dynamics with.

How did you come to work with Emotive Brand?

We put out an RFP and met with a few different agencies. We wanted a partner in the Bay area who could collaborate in person, and Emotive Brand seemed like a great fit, so we hired them.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $50,000–$100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The partnership lasted from October 2017–January 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Since implementing their work, we’ve seen an increase in engagement and follower growth across our social media.

How did Emotive Brand perform from a project management standpoint?

They held in-person workshops and meeting, collaborating closely with our internal team to optimize the partnership. They also held lots of calls and video chats, creating a balanced communication structure. Unlike many other firms, they always met milestones and were flexible with our project goals. We initially had a few problems with them reporting milestones over email, but they listened to our feedback and began holding in-person meetings, which we appreciated.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They allow us the time to process their findings and come to a better understanding of their suggestions and recommendations. We were able to voice our opinions, and they listened to what we had to say, which made the partnership much more productive.  They’re great at what they do, especially copywriting; they were able to express things that we had a hard time constructing in the past. The engagement felt like a true partnership, with them supporting our team and business.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They could provide more discussion of the application of their work so that we could know how to bring things to life at the beginning of our partnership.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

Foster a transparent management style and be clear about your expectations.

5.0
Overall Score One of the highlights of the project was being able to collaborate across our teams.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Everything went as planned, and they supported any modifications we suggested.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They came in on budget and were reasonably priced.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They did an excellent job finding the heart of our brand and bringing it to life in the copy.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I've already recommended them.

Brand Positioning and Design for Tech and Policy Nonprofit

"I’ve always felt as if they were on our side and doing everything they could to push us in the right direction." 

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
June 2018 - Mar. 2019
Project summary: 

Emotive Brand developed positioning and messaging based on stakeholder interviews and discovery workshops. They’re currently designing a logo and visual identity. The full brand is set to launch soon.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Oakland, California
Chief Communications Officer, Technology Nonprofit
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Working in phases, Emotive Brand created a stable foundation of positioning and messaging that supports ongoing creative production. Their flexibility has empowered them to keep up with shifting requirements and clear up misunderstandings. They possess top-level writing and design services.

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I’m the chief communications officer (CCO) of a technology and policy nonprofit. We design solutions for state, county, and local agencies that connect people to services and support.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Emotive Brand?

We hired Emotive for brand positioning, messaging, naming, and logo/visual design.

What were your goals for this project?

Our organization has been around for almost 15 years, but we’d recently strayed from our nonprofit orientation. To combat that, we underwent a broad vision exercise to align ourselves with our mission. Afterward, we decided to further refine our point of differentiation, create a business development strategy, and communicate more powerfully.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

I did research on Clutch and other websites that reviewed branding agencies. We screened five potential vendors and interviewed three. Emotive caught our attention as they’re both local and woman-owned and understood that even B2B decisions are emotion-based. Their track record in technology was appealing to us, and Tracy (Co-Founder, Emotive) was enthusiastic and discerning from the very first meeting.

Describe the scope of their work in detail.

Emotive started with a discovery phase, conducting a competitive audit, holding internal/external stakeholder interviews, and participating in a workshop with us alongside our innovation consultant. They then presented us with insights into our business, which we transformed into positioning during a second workshop. After testing the positioning with external stakeholders (clients, future clients), Emotive developed messaging, narrative, tone, and voice for us. We continued by holding internal brand activation workshops to generate ideas regarding brand alignment. Currently, we’re working on naming and logo/visual design.

What was the team composition?

We started with a group of six, led by Tracy. We also had a designer, two strategists, several copywriters, an account manager, and an art director. Personnel changed a bit as we were getting to know each other, as well as when people went on vacation during the summer. This led to some confusion regarding who was doing what initially, but it settled down during the final positioning phase and beyond.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

We haven't launched the brand yet, but it's coming in a couple of months. Already, I’m very impressed by the logo/visual design and the foundation of understanding and positioning that informs it. We’ve shared the brand work with our board and some clients, and there’s a lot of excitement about it.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

We haven't been an easy client to work with. We didn't have a product roadmap or a 5-year plan to give them, and we've frequently changed our minds. Emotive was able to adapt their processes alongside us as we struggled to find the right path. I’ve always felt as if they were on our side and doing everything they could to push us in the right direction. There were some miscommunications regarding expectations or what we meant by certain brand terms, but we caught up to each other eventually. Emotive has been very responsive and open to feedback.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

I was impressed by their ability to stay on schedule, pivoting and adapting when things weren't going according to plan. They have excellent business strategy instincts, and I’ve also been impressed with the level of writing and design.

Are there any areas for improvement?

The area with the most untapped potential was the activation workshops. Emotive had a tough time explaining/translating the activity for non-marketing people.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They worked mostly on our timetable.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It was higher than other candidates we screened, but we've received tremendous value.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They're focused and imaginative.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely recommend them, and share my suggestions for how to make it an effective partnership.

Branding Strategy for Software Company

“Emotive Brand managed to deliver high-quality work under extremely challenging conditions.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
July 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Emotive Brand developed a unique brand identity and used the new theme to create a logo and several webpage templates.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Greg Howard
VP of Marketing and Growth, Harness
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new branding initiative has generated a ton of interest from prospective hires and media outlets. Emotive Brand effortlessly adapted to the stress-inducing work environment and produced excellent work. Although they’re not a full-service agency, their brand development services are unmatched.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Harness is a Series A startup that produces production-enhancing software for the engineers. As the vice president of marketing and growth, I oversee our corporate marketing, demand generation, and website.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Emotive Brand?

Our company was virtually unknown, so it was hard for us to show talented engineers why they should work for us. We needed a company that could develop our brand identity and quickly establish our online presence.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We needed Emotive Brand to develop our brand identity, create our company logo, and design eight page templates for our website. They initiated the process by capturing our client profile through several interviews. Once they identified our preferences, they produced a few branding initiatives that genuinely reflected our company’s culture. We selected the best option, and they enhanced the concept to meet our requirements.

What is the team composition?

I was in close contact with the assigned project manager and two of their principals.

How did you come to work with Emotive Brand?

We reached out to several brand development agencies, but Emotive Brand was one of the few companies that were comfortable with our strict timeline. Their prices were affordable, and their philosophies were in line with our own, so we decided to hire them.

How much have you invested with them?

The original quote was about $40,000, but the price increased to more than $55,000 when the scope grew.

What is the status of this engagement?

We signed the contract in July 2017, and they completed their work in August 2017 so that we were able to launch in October 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’ve received a lot of media coverage since launching our brand, and we’ve also attracted a ton of talented prospects. Emotive Brand was a key contributor to our maximized growth. 

How did Emotive Brand perform from a project management standpoint?

We gave them a long list of demands and a limited amount of time to complete them, but their project manager was resilient throughout the entire process. They established their boundaries, but they were also flexible enough to accommodate our needs.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Very few companies can perform well under pressure, but Emotive Brand managed to deliver high-quality work under extremely challenging conditions.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We were very surprised when they asked us to create our own wireframes. Most of their clients are small businesses with limited resources, so it would benefit them to start offering a wider range of services.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Having clearly defined business goals is crucial to any project’s success.

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
    We’ve already recommended them to our leasing firm; they plan to rebrand their site with Emotive Brand soon.

Branding for Staffing Agency

“Emotive Brand created a logo and branding elements that effectively tell our story.”

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

Emotive Brand provided complete rebranding services, including a new logo, branding guidelines, and website design guidance.

The Reviewer
 
1001-10,000 Employees
 
Salem, Oregon
Nancy Geenen
CEO, Galt Foundation
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Emotive Brand created new branding elements that have received a tremendous amount of positive feedback across the board. Their work has led to an increase in the organization's brand awareness and success in the industry. They were also highly responsive, proactive, and professional to work with.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the CEO of the Galt Foundation, a temporary staffing services provider for individuals with disabilities.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Emotive Brand?

We were looking to rebrand ourselves and needed help creating new guidelines and design elements for our company to reflect our core values and services more effectively.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Emotive Brand started from scratch on our branding strategy. They performed initial industry research and interviewed our staff, as well as some of our placed workers at their places of employment. They held a workshop with our team in order to develop a message board, logo, and branding guidelines.

They also worked directly with our website developers and designers to ensure that our new site met Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), so all persons with varying disabilities would have full access to it.

What is the team composition?

We worked closely with six people, including a project manager and additional graphic designers as needed.

How did you come to work with Emotive Brand?

I'm a member of the Women Presidents' Organization (WPO) and met Tracy (Founding Partner, Emotive Brand) when I was trying to get her to join the organization almost ten years ago.

How much have you invested with them?

We invested $120,000–$150,000 in total.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in June 2017 and completed most of the work by the end of the year.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Emotive Brand created a logo and branding elements that effectively tell our story. Our board of directors, partners, and internal staff are all extremely happy with the work they've done. Thanks to some of the recommendations they've made for our website, more people are able to find us online and we're able to fill more orders for job seekers and employers.

How did Emotive Brand perform from a project management standpoint?

They were very responsive throughout the engagement and delivered on time and within budget. Our project manager was proactive about scheduling check-in meetings and following up with me to ensure they were meeting our expectations. We recently reached out to them to make some minor changes to our website, and they were able to get it done at no cost to us.

We mostly communicated through email, video conferencing, text messaging, and occasional in-person meetings.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're extremely talented at learning about a client's targeted audience and perspective. They've developed a great staff of both creative and business-oriented individuals.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don't think so. Perhaps, they could expand their services to include web development, but I think they're more focused on doing one thing and doing it well.

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 for Software Company

“They adjust structures, processes, and people to give additional attention where there are gaps.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Oct. 2017 - May 2018
Project summary: 

Emotive Brand led a brand positioning initiative to help conceptualize reliable and lasting messaging strategies that properly addressed the needs of the target audience, employees, and the internal leadership.

The Reviewer
 
5,001-10,000 Employees
 
Santa Clara, California
Christine Harkin
Senior Director Business Strategy, Citrix
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Praised by all markets, the brand positioning strategy informed a variety of marketing collateral, strengthening visibility. With a model leadership approach, the Emotive Brand team communicated efficiently and worked collaboratively. Despite missed deadlines, they delivered high-quality work.

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

At the time of this project, I was the senior director of brand strategy for Citrix, a B2B software and cloud services company. We power a better way to work, helping organizations unlock innovation, engage customers, and boost productivity, without sacrificing security. Our solutions are used by more than 400,000 organizations, including the majority of Fortune-recognized companies.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Emotive Brand?

We engaged Emotive Brand to conduct competitive research and lead a brand platform initiative. We wanted them to guide our executive leadership team in determining a sustainable, relevant, and differentiated brand position and create aligned messaging strategies for each of our target audiences.

What were your goals for this project?

We wanted to update our platform and messaging to achieve full and sustained support from our leadership.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

After a request-for-proposal process, we narrowed down our list to agencies that offered bullet-proof strategies to balance our market, industry, and audience needs and address any market trends. Emotive Brand had this skillset, in addition to a lyrical writing style, sharp intelligence, and previous experience. With all of this in mind, we were confident that they could deliver a usable brand platform.

Describe the scope of their work in detail.

To start, Emotive Brand appropriately researched our brand and market and processed previous revisions of our platform and messaging plans. They interviewed internal stakeholders, customers, and prospects, and held a workshop to determine the scope of the project. Through an iterative approach, they submitted a few development rounds and made the necessary edits for final approval.

Beyond the core platform work, we collaborated on several creative deliverables to help us embed the new positioning and messaging strategies into our corporate teams’ work.

What was the team composition?

We worked primarily with the founders, who put together a full team for the project. Tracy (Chief Strategy Officer, Emotive Brand), Bella (CEO, Emotive Brand), tech-savvy strategists, and a writer were also involved with our project. When necessary, they also tasked their in-house creative team for specific deliverables.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

Having activated our brand platform across the company, we’ve received positive feedback from employees, analysts, customers, and the press. Emotive Brand’s work instilled a sense of confidence in our leadership team because they can clearly see how it fits our corporate strategy and plans.

The positioning itself completely aligns with our vision, and we’ve used it to create our brand book, messaging handbook, several storytelling initiatives, other campaign strategies, sales decks, training materials, and other creative marketing collateral.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

Our dedicated project manager worked hard to keep our project on schedule. Communication was consistent but not intrusive. In terms of scheduling, we often underestimated the time the creative team needed, so any additional discussion sessions happened behind the scenes.

With her strategic experience, Tracy avoided project delays, anticipating when we needed to pivot away from our original plans or standard operating models. We did have to run through more cycles for the creative deliverables than I initially expected. Because of that, final products were frequently submitted after the established deadlines.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

Tracy's strategic thinking is highly advanced. The team listens to one another, develops solid work, and rolls with the inevitable hiccups of large-scale, high-stakes projects. Tracy and Bella complement each other well and offer a strong leadership model that I often recommend to colleagues.

Are there any areas for improvement?

The co-founders are active participants, bringing a solid sense of what's working and what isn't to the creative process. They adjust structures, processes, and people to give additional attention to areas where there are gaps.

While we worked together, they pushed to find the right cadence between the strategic and creative work. With an understanding that each project is different, they realized that they needed to place extra focus on connecting strategy and creativity in our partnership because our creative team was in flux. The Emotive Brand team addressed problems quickly, and course corrected when we were headed off target, but even with their tailored strategy, many deliverables were late.

4.5
Overall Score Taking into account all aspects of the project, they're a 4.5 overall.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Generally, they delivered on time, but occasionally there were glitches.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They're priced higher than competitive prices, but it's worth it for their brains and strategy.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Their core strategy was phenomenal, willingly solving any problems.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    For this type of project, they're at the top of my list.

Repositioning for Predictive Marketing Platform

“I was impressed with Emotive's research ability and I appreciated the thoroughness.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
June 2016 - July 2017
Project summary: 

Through a multi-phase process of research and analysis, design, development, and launch, Emotive helped the client reposition themselves in their target market.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
Redwood City, California
Eric Duerr
CMO, Rocket Fuel
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

A market survey and news stories evidenced a successful repositioning within only 6 months. Emotive’s thorough research enabled effective design and development. They maintained client support even after the budget was reduced in advance of selling the company.

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 was the CMO at Rocket Fuel, which sold a predictive marketing platform aimed at large agencies and marketers who were seeking to bring more predictive, AI-driven capabilities into their marketing.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Emotive Brand?

When I came in as CMO, the company was positioned as a programmatic advertising company. The challenge was that this category was becoming commoditized and didn't reflect the business challenges that our technology solved. When I looked at the technology and the go-to-market strategy, I came to the conclusion that we were in the wrong category and that we needed to move into a new category called predictive marketing.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I called upon Emotive to help me with the repositioning from programmatic to predictive. We went through 4 processes. The first one was the analysis and research. They spent a lot of time talking to customers and analysts and watching our internal work. Then they went into the design phase. My team designed iteratively with them and we went through multiple iterations.

Phase three was the development. They worked closely with our team. They were creating things that we needed to change like web copy, campaigns, our PR and research. They didn’t just give us branding assets but they also really elaborated on what it was going to take to reposition the company across reputation, demand, and sales enablement.

What is the team composition?

One of the founding partners was my main point of contact.

How did you come to work with Emotive Brand?

Word of mouth. My CEO had worked with them before and had suggested I work with them. I met the founding partner and within a few seconds figured out that I wanted to work with her. Their team has a contagious energy.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $200,000 and $1 million.

What is the status of this engagement?

The first wave was completed from June to September 2016. They did ongoing work in 2017 and stopped in July 2017 because at that point we were selling the company.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We did a brand awareness survey that ran in Market Quarterly. With the repositioning, we went from being known for programmatic to being known for being a predictive platform. We were able to shift that much in about a 6-month period.

The results were incredible. An example of the measurable impact was an NPR message that was published. I cared about our story landing with reporters. We saw that happen, and we got an increased perspective.

How did Emotive Brand perform from a project management standpoint?

They were on time and on budget. The team seemed to really get things done. I never worried about them missing a deadline and they never came back and asked for more money unless it was for a new scope. They treated me as if I was the executive.

What did you find most impressive about them?

At the end of 2016, as we were getting ready to sell the company, we were preparing to reduce our marketing spend. I called them and told them that we were going to stop the work. They responded that they weren’t done with the project and wouldn’t let go of it until it was done. They were with us from beginning to end.

I was impressed with the analysis and research, which was really helpful. That got us to a great space on design and then we really collaborated on the development. I've worked with a lot of branding agencies before and most of them listen to what you have to say for a little bit, and then they come up with the ideas. They feel like they're in the business of just generating ideas. I was impressed with Emotive's research ability and I appreciated the thoroughness. One of the guys actually flew out to New York to watch me on a panel and shadow me in meetings. That was pretty cool for a marketing firm.

I also liked that the first thing they did with the design was too bold. I appreciated that they were willing to go there.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The only place I think is tricky for them is that they need to figure out how to describe value to non-marketing, non-brand people. My CEO knew them and still didn’t really understand what they were doing when he looked at statements of work. Articulating the business impact of their work is important and they can improve on that. Otherwise, the quality of work was great. The team was good.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They never missed a deadline.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Brand Refresh for Software Consulting Company

"Their thought leadership sets them apart."

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

As an IT company changed business models, they looked to Emotive Brand to help refresh their brand positioning and tagline to distinguish themselves as the ethical leader in custom software development.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Portland, Oregon
Tim Winner
COO, Metal Toad
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Energetic and supremely creative, Emotive Brand stands out from other agencies through their ability to keep teams on task and achieve objectives in a thoughtful way. They put people first and understand the importance of having the right leadership in place for projects to be a success.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Metal Toad is a software consulting company based in Portland, Oregon. We do everything from telematics to wind power, working with some of the biggest entertainment brands in the world. I'm the COO.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Emotive Brand?

We were trying to establish a brand refresh on our tagline and positioning. Our business had pivoted from doing less CMS work to doing more custom software solutions. With our changing business, we were unsure of how we wanted to position ourselves. We engaged the team at Emotive to come in and help us with a process that they call Fast Forward.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Emotive Brand did a lot of pre-interviews and research. They came to our office for an entire week to meet our leadership team. Emotive came in with their team and helped us define what we were trying to say, what was important to us, and what differentiated us in the market. They really helped us develop our leadership. I was amazed by their thoughtfulness, their approach, and the way they were able to turn things around. When we would go home at the end of the day, Emotive would stay up and work. In the morning, they'd have new ideas and be ready to go. It was a super collaborative process.

We came up with a new tagline: "We live by a different code." Metal Toad leads the ethical software movement and they helped us with how we were going to roll out our new statement to our company and to our clients. We produced a video, we bought t-shirts, and we really just brought our team together. Emotive Brand helped us throughout the entire process.

What is the team dynamic?

We worked with Tracy [Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Emotive Brand]. Taylor [Strategy Director, Emotive Brand] was there and they had a writer. It was a team of three that came on site.

How did you come to work with Emotive Brand?

Emotive was my first provider at Metal Toad. Our founder met with Emotive. We had already done a project with them for another client. We also worked on their website for them. During that engagement, I really enjoyed working with them. I enjoyed Tracy's energy. They have a "people first" approach. It was a wonderful engagement.

How much have you invested with them?

We've spent around $150,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in January 2015 and the work is ongoing. We rolled out the new tagline and changed all of our collateral in October 2015.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our business has grown by 40%. Our team is very proud of our rollout of the new brand and tagline. Differentiating ourselves as an ethical software company and living by a different code has been very well accepted throughout the organization.

How did Emotive Brand perform from a project management standpoint?

Flawlessly. I was blown away. It was impressive to watch. It was mainly my creative director who dealt with the tools that they used. I never heard of any complaints. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

It's their energy, their thought leadership, and the way they approach the brand of any company. A lot of branding agencies come in with great ideas, but the foundation isn't there. Emotive spent a great deal of time with us, making sure that our leadership was able to implement what we were trying to do. Their thought leadership sets them apart.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Bella [Co-Founder & CEO, Emotive Brand] could be a little more forward-facing. They've had a bit of turnover within their own company. Taylor [Strategy Director] is no longer with them and we really enjoyed working with him. Every company is going through that in this market.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They kept us on track.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We got great value for our money. They were really invested in our company.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We had a very condensed timeline and they exceeded my expectations.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I already have.

Employer Branding for Multi-National Tech Firm

"I always feel like we come away with something that’s really unique, not sounding like every other company."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Emotive Brand assisted in two brand development/internal culture projects. They performed research and worked with leadership to build brand strategies and visuals to help the company stand out in the market.

The Reviewer
 
5001-10,000 Employees
 
San Jose, California
HR Director, Large Tech Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Emotive Brand is creative and innovative. Their process for determining brand strategy runs smoothly and flexibly, and they collaborate professionally with internal teams. They lent expertise in design, copywriting, and strategy, and the number of applicants per listing has risen significantly.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work at a multi-national tech firm, and I’m an HR manager focusing on communications.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Emotive Brand?

We were in the process of developing our employer brand, which is important for us, as we compete for a lot of talent in Silicon Valley and around the world, especially in our niche technology industry. It was critical to have a stronger employer brand to be able to compete and hire the best people.

Having an employer brand also helps with engaging current employees and helping to reinvigorate the pride they feel in working for us. Our average retention here is about 10 years. People work here a long time, and sometimes they can lose sight of what makes this company unique and special. Refreshing the employer brand was a way to also communicate with them and remind them what makes this a great place to work.

It was part of a broader strategy for us to elevate our brand in general, not just for candidates and employees. As a 27-year-old company, it was an opportunity to reinvigorate and refresh who we are.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Their process is great. I’ve now worked with them on two different employer brand development projects. They are super creative, they get involved with the leadership team, and they’re incredibly professional. They do a lot of research first into what makes the company genuinely and authentically unique in the industry. They look at what employees are saying about it, find those special nuggets, and then look at how those special things differentiate us from the market.

They begin with really broad-based research into who we are, what our employees and partners love about us, and how that compares with our competitors. They find the special place that combines all those things to make us stand out in the market, and they speak very authentically to who we are. The process itself starts with that research, working with our leadership and our people. From that, they develop a brand strategy, then follow with the creative to build an identity and a visual identity.

In the initial phase of the project, the first deliverable was an employer brand guideline. This was the foundation of our employer brand, who we are, what we sound like, how we make people feel, and then what we look like. Using that, we also worked with them on additional creative assets, such as social media, banners, website collateral, and print collateral, like recruiting flyers. We did a big poster campaign to launch the brand. They also helped us choose custom photography for our brand.

The co-founders, Tracy and Bella, were very involved in the project and led the strategy. We also worked with a few account managers. They have a creative writer and a creative graphics team. They have a few strategists and writers, so we probably worked with six or seven people at Emotive.

How did you come to work with Emotive Brand?

I found them five years ago when they were quite small. They had been written up as one of the cool, upcoming agencies in the Bay Area. I worked with them when I was at a startup, and it was a very successful partnership. I really loved them and, since then, I’ve always come back to them for any type of employer brand or creative agency needs.

How much have you invested with Emotive Brand?

We’ve spent about $250,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together five years ago, and our relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We’ve gotten more people applying to Cadence jobs year over year. That could be attributed in part to having a stronger employer brand. We’ve gotten a lot of informal feedback. People want more of it all the time. They’re always asking me to put things in this style, even over our corporate brand style. Internal feedback has been very positive. Externally, we’ve seen a steady increase in the number of applicants per position.

How did Emotive Brand perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re great; they’re really on top of it. They always provide us project plans to get started and then update it as needed. I really appreciate that they’re flexible. Often, they’ll put a very aggressive timeline in place, which is fantastic. Smaller companies can often move quickly, but right now, I’m at a very large company and sometimes things come up, and that project timeline has to be pushed. They’ve always worked with us really well on being flexible and being able to adapt to our needs at the moment. I’ve always really appreciated that. They’re very structured in terms of how they approach the project, so I know where we stand. If we need to adjust, we can go back to them and have that conversation.

What did you find most impressive about Emotive Brand?

They’re really good at building authentic brands and collateral that are very unique. I’ve worked with them at two very different companies, doing two very different products, and approaching two different audiences. Each time, they were able to come up with something that was very true to that company and also differentiated in that market. That’s why I go back to them. They’re able to make something beautiful out of whatever is already there and true without making things up. Their writing is fantastic and it’s differentiated in the market. I always feel like we come away with something that’s really unique, not sounding like every other company. They’re able to do that by finding the things that are true and special. They’re also great to work with and super fun.

Are there any areas Emotive Brand could improve?

I can’t think of anything.

5.0
Overall Score It’s awesome 95% of the time, but they miss the mark a little bit the other 5%. Everyone has good days and bad days, and they’ve also had some internal changes. It’s generally fantastic.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I’m generally the one pushing the timeline out, but they will push it out occasionally due to other projects. They’ve always been super flexible with us, so I’m happy to return the favor, but there have been a few times where they needed to push it out.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I originally looked at other agencies to get comparative quotes. They were very affordable at that time. Now they’ve gotten bigger and a bit more expensive, but they’re still incredibly affordable. They provide high-quality, amazing work.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The quality of the end product is extremely high. They often hit it right on the mark the first time. Sometimes they don’t, so you need a few iterations to get to an end product that will resonate. I’ve always been happy with what comes out of it.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have recommended them many times.

Branding & Messaging for Digital Advertising Startup

"They deliver excellent quality."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Aug. 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Emotive Brand initially provided complete branding and corporate messaging guidelines for a digital advertising firm. The team now provides external marketing strategies via product positioning. 

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
San Mateo, California
Brian Ferrario
VP of Marketing, Drawbridge
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Since the start of the relationship, the brand’s revenue has grown by several thousand percent. Emotive Brand’s ability to clarify campaign ideas and tailor messaging to a specific audience continues to boost sales and strengthen 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.

Drawbridge is a Silicon Valley privately-held digital identity company. I’m the head of marketing.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Emotive Brand?

Our first engagement with them was to set overall corporate messaging, positioning, and brand guidelines to rebrand ourselves. They did everything soup to nuts, except the name. They did a new logo, a new tagline, and a new look and feel. The second engagement is more of product level engagement to delineate our product lines and do messaging and positioning for those. We wanted to also turn that into external campaigns including words and pictures and the look and feel. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Emotive Brand started off with a discovery workshop where all the stakeholders got together to talk about the project and what we want our messaging to be. Their value add is looking through what we provide and clarifying it. They provide insights and craft the deliverables, including the brand guidelines document and a messaging and positioning document. They provide guidelines on the physical dimensions, font, logo usage, and color palette and showed us mockups of the analog and digital advertising. They showed us what banner ads, print ads, and billboards would look like, along with top-level messaging and sub-messaging by audience. Each product has a certain audience or certain vertical they deal with. This helps our sales people know what to say and how to describe it.

We’re in the middle of our second project. The first deliverables were messaging and positioning through that same process of discovery where they talked with business line leaders, product line leaders, and executives. They also did customer outreach to see what they valued. Emotive Brand makes sure that the deliverables hit home and that the nomenclature of the customer matches that. This project was more on the brand palettes on a product-by-product campaign basis. They came up with a campaign theme and an overarching statement with language that drills into that. It’s more external facing marketing speak that could influence a presentation or deliverables like collateral, etc.

How did you come to work with Emotive Brand?

I found them through one of our venture capitalist investors. They had a directory of services that people had approved. They had good reviews, which was a good reference check on them. We used them the second time because of the work they provided us on the first engagement.

How much have you invested with Emotive Brand?

The first engagement was $110,000. So far, the second engagement has been $135,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in August of 2014, and the work is ongoing. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or impact of the engagement?

In terms of revenue, we’ve grown by a couple thousand percent since we’ve engaged them. We’ve been on the Inc. 5000 fastest growing marketing and advertising technology companies for two years in a row. We haven’t done a brand study, but we’ve seen huge influence in recall, recommendation, and awareness based on that work. Website traffic has tripled over three years.

How did Emotive Brand perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re super responsive. They have a project management leader who does the calendar and is a super value add to make sure the pitch is going to go well with the broader executive team. We can send feedback and recommendations back and forth and do editing, sanity checking, etc. We’re able to communicate with the senior people or whoever we need to.

What did you find most impressive about Emotive Brand?

They give you access to senior leadership. I’ve priced out other Bay Area firms, and they’re pretty frugally priced.

5.0
Overall Score So far, it’s been great. Their external guidance and consultation is getting us where we need to go faster.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’re good at keeping projects moving and working within the constraints of busy client scheduling. There’s a lot of moving parts.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re extremely good value for what these services cost in the Bay Area.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They deliver excellent quality.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We’d definitely recommend them.

Rebranding for Marketing Automation Platform

"Their strengths lie in their smarts, fiscal responsibility, and project management."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Mar. 2015 - Jan. 2016
Project summary: 

Emotive refreshed an obsolete corporate brand and employer narrative, which had an impact on customer and employee satisfaction. The project team updated the company’s logo and other visual elements.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Redwood City, California
Matt Wolfrom
VP of Corporate Communications, PubMatic
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The brand evolution led to a vast improvement in the company’s image, demonstrating Emotive’s smart design and insightful research. Other highlights include fiscal responsibility, savvy client management, and dynamic leadership.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

PubMatic is a marketing automation platform for publishers, which allows them to get the most value for their audience relationships now that advertising has moved to a programmatic model. It’s a global company with offices in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Pune, and Germany. I was VP of corporate communications when I worked for PubMatic.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Emotive Brand?

We were in a crowded, devalued ad tech space, and we were looking to reinvigorate the brand. Since the company started ten years ago, our corporate brand had not evolved. We weren’t getting recognized as a true technology company; instead, were viewed as an old ad tech company. Recruitment in employee relations was a challenge. We had a high dissatisfaction among employees on where the company was going, the vision, and their perceived value.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They worked on two things. There was the corporate narrative of the company and how that strengthened the corporate brand. In addition, we had to look at the employer brand narrative. The first step we started with was determining the narrative of the company. How are we different? Who are we? What do we do? If we weren’t here, why would that matter? We started by engaging the senior team. Emotive did a lot of research, and they mastered our industry quickly. I can’t stress enough that the ad tech programmatic space is full of jargon. It is dense and complicated and everything looks the same. They took the time to understand the market and where we fit in. They got the information through interviews with both external and internal people. We have a complex business, and they were able to break it down.

The biggest thing they helped us to do was talk in human terms. In ad tech and marketing tech, we tend to talk to ourselves instead of talking to the customer. Emotive’s work helped people truly understand our value proposition, how it was going to impact them, and why they should consider talking about it. We were helping provide technology solutions that are independent, open, and transparent. However, that message wasn’t getting across. Emotive helped us do that from a narrative standpoint.

We didn’t change the logo. Instead, we revamped it by putting a chiclet in front that showed what we were becoming—a platform that customers could use to consume the technology and services that aligned with their business strategy. We showed the difference between our platform and taking a rigid off-the-shelf solution. Emotive Brand’s work on the logo brought the platform into focus and they gave us a fresh color palette. They also inspired strategies on how to bring that to the company, both internally and externally. We also revamped our sales decks. As a result, the sales teams were excited and it gave them new energy. People started looking at us in a different way. We became a sophisticated platform and solutions provider that people saw as innovative versus old.

The employer brand side is just as important. We wanted to help the publishing industry survive and thrive. That became the rallying cry for our employees. They really believed that what they were doing was important—not only to themselves but beyond ad tech. Our tagline was “What you do @PubMatic matters.”

Finally, PubMatic has a diverse employee set with all different cultures. A lot of the offices were distant and disassociated with the brand. They felt the company revolved around our RedWood City headquarters and our New York office where the president is located, and that it wasn’t inclusive. When we landed on the “Helping Publishers Thrive” motif, we brought that to life visually through elements with the old publishing aspect. We took images of our employees, and they became the brand. This made them feel that they were part of a bigger company. It was really impactful, especially on retention and recruiting. Emotive gave us a fresh look, and it’s still being used today. I’m proud of both elements, even though I’m no longer with the company. You know something is having an impact when elements of it still exist and thrive. Emotive was a tremendous partner in helping us get there.

How did you come to work with Emotive Brand?

We found Emotive Brand by word of mouth in the Bay Area. Our head of HR heard about them. They fit our ethos—hardworking and smart. Plus, they weren’t too big of a company. They were agile, adaptive, high-energy, and collaborative. They also had a good portfolio that helped put them over the top.

How much have you invested with Emotive Brand?

We spent between $50,000 and $200,000 over the course of our relationship. They weren’t cheap, but they weren’t overly expensive. They were smart about how they structured it. We got our money’s worth and more.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in March of 2015 and we rolled everything at our sales conference in January of 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We saw an improvement in our customer satisfaction scores. That had a lot to do with Emotive’s work because of the energy that came out of it. We saw a decline in the attrition rate and a massive improvement in our net promoter score among customers.

How did Emotive Brand perform from a project management standpoint?

They were dogmatic. Paige was the project manager, and she was on me on certain things when we were getting close to the redline. They manage the client extremely well, in a way that was kind but stern. They kept us on point. Also, they have the ability to let the project sit for a while if we have something else we need to do, and then pick it up later. They were great partners.

What did you find most impressive about Emotive Brand?

Their strengths lie in their smarts, fiscal responsibility, and project management. Their design work is great too. They took the time to understand our space. Tracy, one of the co-founders, is very smart, full of energy, and willing to tackle any problem. Bella is the other founder, and she is an operating dynamo. She puts processes in place to make sure that they manage their diverse client base well. That means Emotive has a process that helps keep the trains running. Tracy can get the creative teams and strategies in place, and she doesn’t have to worry about the details because Bella is doing that. They have a great partnership.

Are there any areas Emotive Brand could improve?

The design work was great, but their team could have been stronger. I think it is stronger now. They had a great design guy who was working with us, but then he moved on. They should add more services under their belt. For example, they don’t have website design. They’re not a one-stop shop. Sometimes that’s good because you don’t have to cover the costs associated with that. I think they do what’s right for them.

5.0
Overall Score They became good colleagues and friends, and I still keep in touch with them even beyond trying to work with them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    As a testament to Bella, the process they have in place is fantastic. Their project management was outstanding.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Initially, our boss said we didn’t have the budget for it. He asked me what I wanted him to do, and I told him to find the money. I said the return on the investment would be ten times, and it’s true.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They were smart and efficient and helped us move quickly.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’m trying to get them to work with me at the company I’m at now. I’d recommend them to anybody who has a branding issue.