The antidote to the big agency experience

IdeaWork was founded on one simple principle: be the antidote to the big agency experience. We strive to produce the best work on time and on budget, without the traditional big agency bureaucracy.

IdeaWork Studios is a full-service branding, advertising, graphic design and website development firm with offices in Santa Barbara, New York, and Las Vegas. We love what we do and our work is impactful. We will build your brand.

IdeaWork works with a high profile list of prominent clients in hospitality, nightlife, gaming, luxury, retail, and entertainment. We start trends, chase new technology, and learn from each new challenge.

 
Undisclosed
 
$200 - $300 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
1999
Show all +
New York City, NY
headquarters
  • IdeaWork Studios
    1 Little West 12th Street, 2nd Floor
    New York City, NY 10014
    United States
other locations
  • IdeaWork Studios
    735 State Street, Suite 251
    Santa Barbara, CA 93101
    United States
  • IdeaWork Studios
    4045 South Spencer Street, Suite A51A
    Las Vegas, NV 89109
    United States

Reviews

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Web Design & Development for Hospitality Company

“They’re very detailed and they carry through. Building a website is tricky, but they made it a very easy process.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Aug. - Oct. 2017
Project summary: 

IdeaWork Studios is building a website for a hospitality brand. Based on creative input, they built wireframes and a holding page ahead of the finished product. After launch, they will help with SEO and PPC.

The Reviewer
 
201- 500 Employees
 
New York, New York
Barbara Lopez
VP Operations & Brand Standards, Eaton Hotels
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Though the site hasn’t launched yet, everything IdeaWork Studios has delivered is on-brand. They are easy to work with, communicative, and quick to respond. They explain the whole process and check in regularly.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We're a hospitality brand. I am VP of operations.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with IdeaWork Studios?

As a new company, we needed a website but lacked the technical expertise to build one ourselves. We decided to hire an outside firm to help.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We started with a kickoff meeting and they built the wireframes based upon our creative input. We made changes, then they provided an updated version and we moved from there. We decided to have a two-phase project and they managed the entire process. They started with a temporary holding page and then developed the finished site. Once the site is complete, they will provide marketing and advertising support.

What is the team composition?

We primarily worked with a team of three, but a fourth member joined us occasionally.

How did you come to work with IdeaWork Studios?

We knew about their work in our industry and liked their approach. We considered a few other teams, but our senior staff was familiar with them and we decided to work with them.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in summer 2017. They built an initial holding page within a few months and delivered part of the final website in August 2018. They’re still working on the finished product.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We haven’t launched the full site yet. The permanent site is partially finished and we just published what we have so far about a month ago. We’re starting work on SEO and PPC campaigns with them, but we don’t have any concrete results yet. We love working with them and the pieces they’ve delivered are on-brand.

How did IdeaWork Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re amazing and very on-point. They remind us when they need our input and are communicative. We have twice-weekly phone meetings to go over the project and email each other throughout each day.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They explain the whole process. They’re very detailed and they carry through. Building a website is tricky, but they made it a very easy process.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, they’re great at what they do.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

No, I don’t have any recommendations. 

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

Branding & Marketing for Real Estate Development

“We’re already gaining traction and starting to see inquiries coming from the sites.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

IdeaWork Studios is creating branding campaigns, marketing collateral, and websites to promote a series of housing developments. They assist with each step of the projects from design to implementation.

The Reviewer
 
Scottsdale, Arizona
COO, Statesman
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The IdeaWork Studios team’s approach to the project helps them accurately capture the desired vision in each deliverable, and the efforts are already beginning to generate results. Despite some scheduling issues, the team continues to provide consistent updates and properly research each assignment.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the COO of a real estate development company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with IdeaWork Studios?

We worked looking for a team to assist with our branding and marketing efforts.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

IdeaWork Studios is creating and designing brand messaging campaigns, websites, brochures, signage, advertisements, and other marketing collateral for our two condominium projects, luxury apartment complex, and senior living program. They’re fully involved in the scope of each project.

What is the team composition?

We worked with the vice president, COO, creative project manager, and head of creative services.

How did you come to work with IdeaWork Studios?

We chose them based on a recommendation from another sales and marketing organization.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in 2017 and the project is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

With their expert collaborative skills, IdeaWork Studios has helped us conceptualize our brand and translate it into various pieces of marketing literature. Of the websites that have been completed at this point in the project, each one favorably presents our product to our target audience. We’re already gaining traction and starting to see inquiries coming from the sites.

How did IdeaWork Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

We tracked the project using two timelines. The first detailed each deliverable and its expected deadline and the second specifically scheduled work on the websites. They provided consistent updates on each schedule. As we move through each project, there has been some timeline adjustments and we’re currently a little behind our targets.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I’m impressed with the quality of their work and services. Because they do the proper research, they are able to craft branding strategies that really align with the lifestyles we want to be reflected in our products. Additionally, they always provide multiple options so we can decide which design most resonates with our company.

Are there any areas they could improve?

IdeaWork Studios could be more mindful of their original estimates in terms of timelines and schedules. I also think they should work on better balancing the client’s vision and their own idea for the brand.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It was a significant investment for our organization, so we’re still digesting the cost.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Brand Refresh, Logo Design & Web Design for Restaurant

“They summarized our company in a way that we would never be able to do own.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Oct. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

IdeaWork Studios conducted extensive research to craft key messaging for an outdated brand. They’re now building two websites and updating the logo and other marketing collateral to match the refined image.

The Reviewer
 
5,001-10,000 employees
 
New York, New York
Managing Director, Restaurant Group
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

People are admiring the polished updates that have debuted so far. IdeaWork’s attentive team often produces quality deliverables on the first attempt. Their thorough brand evaluation helped formulate unique and compelling messaging, but their web-design services aren’t as innovative. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

As the managing director of a hospitality firm and restaurant group, I oversee the company’s marketing, events, partnerships, and promotions.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with IdeaWork Studios?

The brand personality that we established during our inception was effective, but it became more inaccurate as we evolved in the past 10 years. We wanted to revisit our key messaging from an outside perspective, so we searched for companies that could modify our brand statement, keywords, and imagery. We also needed them to redesign our websites, digital platforms, and physical materials used in our restaurants accordingly.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

IdeaWork’s first task was to refresh the brand positioning and logo for our overarching hospitality brand. Their founder started the process by interviewing eight of our key executives to get a balanced assessment of our company; interviewees included our CFO, our CEO, our head chef, a partner, a few members on the beverage and culinary teams, and myself. They collected notable descriptions that were mentioned by the entire group and pointed out conflicting information that would need to be addressed or considered.

Their second task was to develop a website for the hospitality firm and another for our flagship restaurant. They spent a lot of time at the restaurant to get an authentic experience. To avoid making mistakes post-launch, we asked for a collaborative design process. We gave them examples of elements we wanted to mimic on our new sites, and they created clean designs from our suggestions. They listened to our feedback, but they didn’t hesitate to inform us if our vision wouldn’t translate well. When our ideas were valid, they quickly followed through with edits to meet our expectations.

What is the team composition?

We were assigned two people to the rebranding initiative and two people for the website development.

How did you come to work with IdeaWork Studios?

Among the many recommendations I received through my network, a close friend suggested IdeaWork after having worked with them for years. We interviewed them and decided that they were the best fit in comparison to the others.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent around $60,000 on brand and website development.

What is the status of this engagement?

We first met them in August 2017 and made the partnership official in October 2017. They finished the rebranding efforts in February 2018 and have been working on developing the two websites since then. We plan to have everything completed by the second week of June 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We scheduled the official debut in June 2018, but people are already paying compliments to the sophisticated updates that have rolled-out so far. We asked them to retain our identity as a hospitality firm, but incorporate an intellectual, business-minded brand personality. They delivered what we wanted without including any odd shock-value or dramatic effects. Their rebranding methods for our overarching brand and flagship restaurant restructured our approach to presenting our other brands as well.

How did IdeaWork Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

Their team adhered to the original timeline and made sure our group did the same. They work with other clients, so there are occasions when their pace of work slows down. Using an in-house team could have cut the time spent on this project in half, but we wanted to take time with this project and get the best possible results.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their brand positioning and statement deliverables were spot-on during the first attempt, which proved that they understood what we were looking to achieve. They summarized our company in a way that we would never be able to do own, which impressed our CEO tremendously.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

They are remarkably skilled in brand development, but their web-development isn’t as noteworthy. Consider saving money and building a new website in-house; if that isn’t an option, find a company that has experience creating sites tailored for your industry to make it worthwhile.

5.0
Overall Score They’re delightful to work with and always responsive to our needs.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They are usually prompt in sending deliverables, but overwhelming work slows down their process on occasion.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their brand positioning and logo design services are reasonably priced, but the cost of their web-design services outweighs the value.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Their collaborative nature helped them meet our expectations.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would recommend their services to anyone looking to reimagine their company’s brand.

Web Design for Event Service Company

“The quality of the designs and ideas they had were impressive. We had a great experience working with them.”

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Mar - July 2017
Project summary: 

To strengthen reservations and public interest in a new restaurant in a heritage property, IdeaWork designed and developed a website from scratch, including gallery features and built-in SEO.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 employees
 
Toronto, Canada
Director of Marketing, Hospitality Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Guests comment on the site’s user-friendliness and striking visual imagery. IdeaWork presented strong options in the design phase, and was efficient and responsive throughout the process.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We own 14 hospitality and event venues, including restaurants, banquet centers, and heritage attractions. I am the director of marketing and handle advertising and public relations for all of our properties.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with IdeaWork Studios?

We were developing a new website for a restaurant in one of our heritage properties. We wanted something visually striking to match the décor of the restaurant itself.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We developed the design together through a series of calls. Once we finalized and approved everything, they developed the site and we launched shortly after. They designed the website from scratch, with some SEO built into the site itself. They built gallery features for us, as well as ways to drive traffic to reservations, two key elements we wanted.

What is the team composition?

We had a team of about three people. They onboarded us through their business development, then we entered the design phase and troubleshot add-ons. About three quarters of the way through, we were assigned a project manager.

How did you come to work with IdeaWork Studios?

We did some online research of comparable venues in our markets that matched our style and aesthetic. We found out who those venues worked with and narrowed our search. We had worked with other designers, but IdeaWork’s client roster was at the caliber we wanted.

We started with a very basic call with the company to give them what we were looking for. They provided a proposal and an estimate which we reviewed and approved.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in March or April 2017 and launched the site in late July or early August of that year.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We get great feedback from our guests regarding the ease and usage of the site. It’s user-friendly, and the visual presentation and imagery is quite striking. The site highlights that, and the metrics match our goals.

How did IdeaWork Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

They were always very efficient and responsive. They moved very well through the proposed timeline. We communicated primarily through phone and email, with some web conferencing for design presentations. We spoke less while they were working on the design and development, but we initially had weekly talks to give them content to build out.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The quality of the designs and ideas they had were impressive. We had a great experience working with them.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We did have a bit of a challenge with personnel changes throughout the course of the project. They addressed it, and it wasn’t an issue at the end of the project.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

The more straightforward you can be about your goals will make everyone’s job easier. They’re more likely to provide something you’re happy with if you’re very clear with your expectations.

4.0
Overall Score We were very pleased with the results. Working with them was a great experience.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were very good at meeting deadlines.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They gave us a higher quote than other companies we considered but the quality was definitely there.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The quality of their services and deliverables was great. There were hiccups in the team members we worked with.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We’re very likely to recommend them.

Sitecore Website Redesign & Brand Refresh for Hotel

“IdeaWork’s design helped us as we’ve evolved and refreshed the brand.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Mar. - Nov. 2017
Project summary: 

IdeaWork refreshed a hotel's brand with creative website designs and digital assets. They branded for the main property site and separate individual property sites.

The Reviewer
 
1,001 - 5,000 Employees
 
Washington, DC
Paolo Torchio
VP Digital Marketing, Two Roads Hospitality
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Although the site has only been live for two months, bookings, as well as the number of consumers who go to the site’s shopping cart or booking engine, are on the rise. IdeaWork's expertise and deep understanding of the brand helped them deliver a full refresh.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the VP of digital marketing for Two Roads Hospitality.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with IdeaWork Studios?

We were looking to refresh one of our hotel brands. As part of it, we needed help with the creative design and development of a website. Our measurements of success were conversions to hotel room bookings and increased engagement with the brand’s target customer base.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

IdeaWork initially conducted an online survey of our consumers and brand stakeholders, the operators of our hotels and our marketing team. They made visits to our hotel locations and conducted in-person interviews with the key stakeholders of our brand from different locations. They came back with ideas around the visual language and the information architecture of the future website.

We had a workshop with the broader marketing team, some of the stakeholders, and the company that handled the development of the site. IdeaWork did a series of creative design comps and presented them to us. We started with brand-level assets and evolved those into property-level assets. The project involved a brand website along with individual property sites as part of the overall platform.

As part of the branding, we wanted to highlight the neighborhood and the local environment of the hotels. We also wanted to bring in a lot of social content and showcase the partnerships of each hotel with food and beverage outlets and other local businesses. All of this had to be brought together so that we wouldn’t just have another website about the hotel and its rooms; a connection with the local community had to be brought out as well.

IdeaWork handled all our creative design and development and created all the digital assets, but they didn’t develop the site or provide marketing. It was built using Sitecore.

What is the team composition?

We had an account executive and a project manager. Jay Schwartz [Chief Creative Officer, IdeaWork Studios] handled much of the creative direction. He had different team members helping out during the discovery and analysis phases.

How did you come to work with IdeaWork Studios?

Finding the right vendor took time. We wanted to be thorough and spoke to a number of different agencies. We had worked with other brand design agencies in the past, and someone in our organization had used IdeaWork on some small, one-off creative projects. We went through an RFP and talked to at least three groups. We chose IdeaWork based on their understanding of our brand. They were familiar with our hotels and painted a good story of what they could do with the creative. They also had some references, and we saw their past work. They understood the creative element around the e-commerce side of hospitality.

What is the status of this engagement?

The initial engagement with IdeaWork was in February or March 2017. We kicked the project off around that time and launched the platform in November.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The site has been live for just over two months. Based on initial reviews, we’ve seen an uptick in conversions, which was our overall goal. When measuring the effectiveness of getting consumers to the shopping cart or the booking engine, we’ve definitely seen an increase. We’ve also heard a lot of positive feedback on the site’s aesthetics. IdeaWork’s design helped us as we’ve evolved and refreshed the brand.

How did IdeaWork Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

They did a good job with project management. We communicated multiple times per week during the main parts of the project. The communication was mostly done through email and phone calls.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We were impressed by their understanding of our brand and what we wanted to do. They stayed true to bringing their vision to life, even when we encouraged them to go down a different path. The conviction in the outcome was impressive.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They could improve their overall communication and project management. Keeping everyone up to speed with where the moving parts are is challenging for any project like ours.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

Getting the best results requires spending time up front and making the partner understand the business problem. We went deep into surveying and analytics, and I encourage others to do it. It takes time, but it’s well worth it.

4.0
Overall Score The outcome was good.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There were some phases where we needed additional time. It was sometimes difficult to align schedules.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They went above and beyond what I could have expected. We got a lot of value for our budget.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They understood what we were trying to achieve, and the deliverable reflected that.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Branding & Web Design for Resort

"Our first quarter this year brought revenue of over $1 million, and I can attribute most of that to the new brand."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Jun. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

IdeaWork Studios led a rebranding campaign by creating a new name and logo. The team also designed marketing collateral and developed a new website with features customized for the hospitality industry.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Miami, Florida
Zachary Felter
Director of Sales & Marketing, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new brand was launched in time for the peak season and brought in a substantial amount of revenue, which was attributed, in large part, to IdeaWork’s creativity and speed. IdeaWork’s principal had a hands-on approach and shared the client’s passion for wellness.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the director of sales and marketing for Carillon Miami Wellness Resort. We’re located in Miami Beach, Florida.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with IdeaWork Studios?

The resort was recently taken over by a private equity firm. In most cases, you unplug the previous brand when a hotel or resort is purchased, so we decided to rebrand the company and run as an independent. That meant we had to build everything from the ground up. We needed help with the web design for our new online presence.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Jay, the principal of IdeaWork, came to our location and stayed in the hotel for a few days. The creative process took about a week. He interviewed most of the managers and line staff to understand how they saw the brand and where they’d like to see it go. We put together a detailed brief of his recommendations and presented them to the principal of the acquiring company. With their approval, IdeaWork started to develop the creative deck for everything.

IdeaWork Studios helped rename the hotel, resort, and spa. They developed a new logo and redesigned all of the collaterals in the guest rooms. They also completely revamped the website and changed our spa, health, and wellness pages. For example, they made online spa bookings available through the booking engine for the guest rooms. There’s also a page for requests for proposals for wedding and events.

IdeaWork also helped us with marketing by putting together digital assets for banner ads and our contextual ads. They put together full-page ads that we’ve run in magazines like The New Yorker and Chicago Magazine.

Right now, I’m working with 3 resources from IdeaWork. The team includes a creative person, a business person, and an account representative who manages the daily tasks.

How did you come to work with IdeaWork Studios?

We put out an RFP and interviewed 5 different firms. IdeaWork was a recommendation from someone in New York. They seemed to understand what we were looking for. Jay is really passionate about wellness, which matches where the resort is going. That helped a lot.

How much have you invested with IdeaWork Studios?

We have spent $250,000–$300,000 over the course of our relationship. They are on retainer, so that amount will continue to go up.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in June 2016, and the work is ongoing. We have retained them for the same work for our food and beverage outlets.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The branding was rolled out in October, so there was a new look and feel for the resort. Most of the people who travel to Miami travel in the first quarter because it’s usually cold where they live. Our first quarter this year brought revenue of over $1 million, and I can attribute most of that to the new brand.

The brand has helped us get on the map for different retreats and incentive programs that are based on wellness. There are a lot of international yoga, fitness, and health communities that have reached out to us, which will result in another $1 million over the course of the year.

How did IdeaWork Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

They hit deadlines 95% of the time. The other 5% was not necessarily their fault. When you’re trying to approve content through numerous layers of corporate America, it can get very difficult.

They’re very responsive to any requests we have. We use a project management tool, and we communicate through phone and email.

What did you find most impressive about IdeaWork Studios?

The level of creativity they showed for a complete rebranding was impressive. We needed to take the resort in a completely different direction, and they did it very quickly. It was impressive what they understood about the brand and what they put forward from a presentation standpoint. We requested very few edits to IdeaWork’s output. The new branding was almost unanimously approved, all the way to the principal of the private equity firm that I work for.

Are there any areas IdeaWork Studios could improve?

No. I’m very happy with them.

5.0
Overall Score They’ve been a pleasure to work with.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I can’t think of a time when they haven’t hit a deadline that was given to them.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They provide great value. They weren’t the cheapest of the 5 RFPs that we had, but they weren’t the most expensive either.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Their ability to hit a home run was impressive. They continue to be creative and responsive as we keep them on retainer.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have already referred them to 2 or 3 colleagues who are in the hospitality industry.

Branding for Hospitality PE Firm

"Every step of the way, Jay and the team were very thoughtful."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Aug. 2016 - Apr. 2017
Project summary: 

IdeaWork led branding of a new property, including a new name, logo, and website. They collaborated with an internal team and also worked on branding for the separately-run bar and restaurant on the property.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Managing Partner, Private Equity Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

IdeaWork was highly responsive and reliable with deadlines leading up to the opening day. They presented challenging opinions, ultimately leading to a better product than initially imagined while staying in-tune with the vision. They built a good relationship and offered valuable perspectives.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We’re a hospitality-specific, real-estate, private equity fund which owns, develops, and redevelops boutique-style hotels throughout the US. I’m one of the managing partners of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with IdeaWork?

We had acquired an older Double Tree Hotel in Washington, DC that we were going to renovate and reposition into a boutique-style hotel. We hired them to help us create the branding and identity of the property. We wanted to take an old, tired hotel and create a really cool property, and we needed someone like IdeaWork to help us on the branding.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I worked with a couple different people. Jay Schwartz, the president of IdeaWork, was the principal person involved, and he had other people working on our project. He drove a lot of the creative work, and they were involved from day one. We acquired the property, hired an interior designer, and then we brought on IdeaWork shortly after.

They helped us with a full design of the website and the logo. They were working with some of the other guys on our team for the website, so I wasn’t involved in the details. At the property, we have two restaurant and bar outlets, which are distinctly separate and are operated by other local groups. The branding and the logos for those were also done by IdeaWork.

How did you come to work with IdeaWork?

We used our experience and word-of-mouth to find them. We saw things they had done in other hotels and restaurants. It was really high-end, good quality work. We had previously come across them on another project. We didn’t end up working with them but always wanted to. It was a bit of a search, but they came to us with a stellar reputation. We interviewed four or five groups and ultimately landed with IdeaWork.

How much have you invested with IdeaWork?

We’ve invested around $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project started in July or August of 2016 and finished in April of 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

It’s too early for specific metrics at this point. We’ve gotten some decent initial press. There was an article recently in the Insiders Travel Guide to DC, in which our property was prominently featured. The restaurant has gotten good initial reviews from the main food writer. So far, it seems to be well-received, but it’s still very early.

How did IdeaWork perform from a project management standpoint?

They were on top of things. We had certain deadlines based on our opening date, and they managed the project and hit the deadlines. They were responsive to everything we needed. We initially met in person, and then we mostly communicated through email and conference calls.

What did you find most impressive about IdeaWork?

It’s the quality of the creativity. Every step of the way, Jay and the team were very thoughtful. They had strong opinions but were also very tuned-in to what we were trying to do. They challenged us when we needed to be challenged, which is what I want to see and the reason to hire a company like this in the first place. They were appropriately challenging, and we ended up in a better place than if we had gone forward with our own ideas.

Are there any areas IdeaWork could improve?

Overall, it was a really good working relationship. We ended up with a good product that was done on time. I had a very good experience with them.

Do you have any advice or recommendations for someone who’s looking to work with IdeaWork?

Hiring a firm like them really helps to get you focused. People who don’t do it for a living might not be able to do that. IdeaWork brought perspective based on work they’ve done for other clients in the same or a related industry. As real-estate development people, we wouldn’t be able to do that on our own.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    All our deadlines were met.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were a little expensive, but we knew that going in.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They delivered what we asked for at a high-quality level, on time and within budget.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely refer them.

Branding and Development for Real Estate Firm

"They really are partners in what we do and help us drive business."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Oct. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

IdeaWork Studios was hired to evaluate the clients marketing collateral and develop two websites. They currently work on their external marketing materials.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 employees
Managing Director, Metrovest Equities
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Online bookings have increased since the sites were launched. IdeaWork understands the client's brand very well and is constantly coming up with new ideas. The client looks forward to continuing a long relationship with them.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the MD of Metrovest Equities, a real estate development and investment firm. We own a resort property in the Hamptons called Gurneys and Montauk. It is a 10-acre oceanfront resort with 146 rooms and 5 food and beverage outlets.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with IdeaWork Studios?

We were selling residential units on the property. We needed to do a rebrand of our asset, including website development and marketing collateral. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Initially, we engaged them on 2 aspects on the resort side. We asked them to review all of our collateral from our key cards to our colors to the business cards that our employees have. Then we engaged them separately for a new website, which they worked on and rebranded. It was a brand-new website as well as different booking engines. Given our need, we spent more time with them on the website.

IdeaWork also helped us with the Residences at Gurneys, an asset that we acquired last December. That was the same thing; a branding exercise on the resident portion and then a website that tied into our existing resort website. We spent a tremendous amount of time with them this spring as we got ready to launch our residential sales campaign. We are still working with IdeaWork. They review our e-blasts [emails], guest communication, and collaterals. We also work on new ideas together so that we stay fresh. They're always giving us insight on what's going on in the market.

How did you come to work with IdeaWork Studios?

We initially found them through a web search. We looked around and we probably bid out to 5 or 6 firms. We were impressed by some of IdeaWork's sample work and we thought they were good enough to consider. Meeting with the principals, we've worked very closely with Jay and David Rayner. We were highly impressed with their commitment. One of their principals spent a lot of time in Montauk and was familiar with our concept. They just seemed like the type of guys that understood our demographic versus these boilerplate marketing firms that just put us in a box. We thought we'd get more specialized attention with IdeaWork. A lot of thought was put into this that I thought exceeded their proposal. It became much more of a personal project for them, so we were highly impressed working with them.

How much have you invested with IdeaWork Studios?

We paid close to $500,000 for their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We engaged them in the first week of October 2015, so it's actually been a year. They currently work with us on a monthly retainer. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Since we have a much better website, online bookings have gone up. They've done a rebrand and they helped us launch a sales campaign which has been very successful. I don't know how much is due to their work but they have given us everything we've asked for. They've introduced us to people who we buy our collateral from and they have always come through on time.

We are one of the highest performing resorts in the country right now. I think IdeaWork’s success is based on our success. We see them as partners; we don't really see them as separate consultants that we want to trade out every few years. They really are partners in what we do and help us drive business. They're very cognizant of our brand so they are not too over the top with it. It really comes down to them understanding our guests and demographic.

How did IdeaWork Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

The project management has been great. They have been consistent. On a project level, we have a gentleman, David Rayner, who we work with all the time. Meanwhile, we communicate mainly with Jay, the principal. We had one other person on the account, a junior person that has changed a couple of times, but we don't really interface with them. Ever since we've engaged them, we speak to them on a weekly basis through a conference call.

IdeaWork didn't have that much experience in the residential game. Our project was a first for them but we were very confident in what they did with us. We were thorough with them, so I think it was more project-oriented. We've had times when we've seen them 3 times a week, and we've had times when we haven't seen them in 2 months, but we do have a set weekly call.

What did you find most impressive about IdeaWork Studios?

IdeaWork is very responsive. Their team is very thoughtful and very honest. If you put those together, that's exactly what we're looking for. One of the things that sets them apart from our previous firm is they don't get stagnant. They're always thinking of something new. A lot of times, firms give you a lot in the beginning and then they coast on a retainer. It's important that IdeaWork is always trying to create or suggest new ideas to help the brand, especially in the offseason. Again, I think it's because the principals are great consumers in our business. They're the type of people that would come out to our resort in the winter and understand what they would need to get out there. They're always thinking in a way that is consistent with how we think.

Are there any areas IdeaWork Studios could improve?

None. They charge more, but that’s probably it.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They have high fees.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Development for Marketing Agency Clients

"IdeaWork Studios was just very easy to work with. They stayed within budget and were creative."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

IdeaWork has designed and developed two websites for the client and continues to maintain and host one of them. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 employees
 
Miami, Florida
Owner, Sidework Creative
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The websites were both clean, simple, and easy to use. IdeaWork was familiar with the client's industry and brought useful best practices to the table.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the founder of Sidework Creative, a marketing consultancy for hotel companies.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with IdeaWork Studios?

I have worked with them on developing two websites for two of my clients.

 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

For both projects, IdeaWork Studios designed and built the websites from the start. We gave them a brief and the brand book, then they developed and designed everything from there. They are still doing all of the maintenance and hosting for one of the websites. I don't know about the developers, but I had one designer, one account manager, and one of the principals overseeing our site.

How did you come to work with IdeaWork Studios?

I had worked with them in my past job many, many years ago. I had enjoyed working with IdeaWork and thought they were creative and responsible. They were also within our budget. I went back to them after many years and asked them to help me with these two projects.

How much have you invested with IdeaWork Studios?

We paid $30,000 to $50,000 for each website.

What is the status of this engagement?

I've worked with them for the past 3 years. One website was completed about 6 months ago. The other one is in the midst of launching, today and tomorrow.

 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The design was unique to each of the hotels. I don't know if the design was necessarily groundbreaking, but it was very simple and easy to use. Our goal was to have the least clicks to get to bookings for the hotels, which they accomplished. We had calendars and we had neighborhood attractions, so I don't think it was anything that was totally new. It was just very well-designed and simple, which is what we had asked for.

I know that we've had a ton of compliments on the design of the completed website. The owners have been very happy with its simplicity. It is not overdesigned or overcomplicated so that a user that's unfamiliar with a hotel website will find it extremely easy to navigate. Again, we had asked for 2 to 4 clicks to making a reservation and they delivered that. IdeaWork Studios was just very easy to work with. They stayed within budget and were creative. Overall, we've been very happy.

How did IdeaWork Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

It was great. We communicated using emails and phone calls. They were very responsible and very responsive. They remained on target and on schedule for all the deliverables. When they didn't have what they needed, they reached out and got everything that they needed.

What did you find most impressive about IdeaWork Studios?

They understand the hotel and restaurant market very well. There are a lot of things they're helping you get through and you don't have to start from scratch. I think they bring a lot of best practices to the table.

Are there any areas IdeaWork Studios could improve?

No, I was really pleased with everything. I didn't really have any complaints. 

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Very good. They very much remained on schedule. Anything that held up either website was on our side, when we did not quickly give them the information that they needed.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We bid out both projects with several other agencies and they came in either the lowest or one of the lowest.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    As far as the quality in terms of design and actually building the sites, I felt like they were above all the others that we bid.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I am very willing to do so.

Hosting and Digital Marketing for Luxury Hotel

"They get what we need on usually the first attempt and they're pretty creative."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2012 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

IdeaWork Studios manages and hosts the client's website, and handles their paid marketing. They also design their email campaigns and advertisements.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 employees
 
New York City, New York
Director, Luxury Hotel
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

IdeaWork has strong project management skills and is very timely. Their creative talent is impressive and they have a strong understanding of the hospitality industry. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the director of sales and marketing for a luxury hotel.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with IdeaWork Studios?

It wasn't actually a business challenge. We hired IdeaWork on a retainer basis to manage our e-commerce and website.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

IdeaWork Studios makes all front-end and back-end changes to our website. They manage the back-end of our website but another company developed the front end. They facilitate our web hosting, as well as all of our search and paid marketing. They deal with any booking engine issues when they're associated with the website. All of our creatives for ad creation and email creation come from IdeaWork.

How did you come to work with IdeaWork Studios?

I had worked with IdeaWork at a previous job. I considered other providers but I was happy with what they had done in the past. They were amenable to working the way we wanted to work.

How much have you invested with IdeaWork Studios?

We have probably spent over $125,000 on their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in 2012. Our relationship has worked out for the last 5 years.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Their work is not based on success. The success of the work is based on how quickly they give me things, how well it's done according to what I've requested. It's not tied to an ROI.

How did IdeaWork Studios perform from a project management standpoint?

They manage projects very well. We communicate primarily with one person who handles the project management. Email is the tool for communication, mostly.

What did you find most impressive about IdeaWork Studios?

They're very well versed in understanding the hospitality industry. They are very quick on the turnaround. They get what we need on usually the first attempt and they're pretty creative.

Are there any areas IdeaWork Studios could improve?

They have a lot of customers now, so I’d like the turnaround time to be a little faster.

5.0
Overall Score It’s a very, very positive experience.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    That would be the only area of challenge, and I think it's just because they have a backlog.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They provide great value.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They are very consistent.
  • 4.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    It would depend on the need.