Please describe the scope of your work with the M.A.D. Group.
From my perspective, their work is a branding facelift that's been broken down into two key parts: the visual branding and the verbal branding. They'll be helping us with a revision of our company logo. They'll be helping us with sales sheets, website, business cards, and key corporate literature. They will develop slogans, taglines and a position statement and advertising for each key target market. They'll provide the toolkit we need from both the visual and the verbal side to present ourselves with the confidence that comes from knowing we have the right position and the right message.
How did you come to work with the M.A.D. Group?
Although the Marshall Institute is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, I am actually in San Diego, so I initially narrowed down the focus of my search to San Diego. I wanted to be able to meet these people face to face, shake their hands, and get a feel for them in person. I did not want to engage in a long-distance project. Also, given San Diego's proximity to Los Angeles, I knew that there would be plenty of talent in this area to help us. Reaching out to M.A.D. took a couple of Google searches to see which companies came up at the top of the list relative to branding and marketing strategy positioning.
I seriously considered another organization that I liked, and their sales representative was very friendly and very forthcoming with information. That was also my feeling about M.A.D. Jason [Delfos, founder and CEO of M.A.D. Group] actually returned my call and email and was very friendly, very interested in my business, and very interested in our goals. He was very open to sharing information and insights, which gave me an idea as to what it would be like to work with them. If he was that forthcoming at that stage, I was confident that when they actually were paid to work, they'd put something great together.
I liked their website, and I liked the verbal interactions I had with Jason. He also mentioned that M.A.D. likes working with smaller companies like ours. Most of the time, marketing engagements and branding journeys are expensive endeavors. There were a handful of agencies in San Diego that wouldn't get out of bed for $100,000. M.A.D. was very flexible. They had a small business package, so I was immediately attracted to that offering.
M.A.D. seemed very genuine. I believed they would apply the same strategy, ideas, and creativity to a $200,000 project as they would to a $10,000 project. I believed them. I met them in person. All this solidified my initial assumptions, and I was confident when signing on the dotted line.
Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?
We've spent something less than $10,000 working with the M.A.D. Group.
What is the status of this engagement?
We had a branding workshop. It was a one-day session during which they asked us questions about the Marshall Institute. They were just trying to understand our history, services, personality, intangible value, and client perspective. They wanted to understand as much as possible about us to ensure that the branding and revisions they were going to develop would be aligned with who we are and where we want to go. That one-day workshop was conducted at the beginning of February , and they're actually going to be delivering the final product next week [April 2016], so it's been about a four-week project.