A Brand Identity House

Matchstic is a brand identity house, founded in Atlanta, GA back in 2003. Operating at the intersection of art and commerce, we solve complex problems through strategy, creative thinking and smart design. Our goal is to help you uncover the ideas and emotions that drive your business—the reason you get up every morning and go to work. This passion fuels better thinking, better solutions and better design.

It’s what captures your audience, shapes their experiences and alters the overall reputation of your company. A good brand is more than the sum of its parts; it lives in our memories and follows us throughout our lives.

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2003
Show all +
Atlanta, GA
headquarters
  • Matchstic
    437 Memorial Drive SE Unit A7
    Atlanta, GA 30312
    United States
    404.446.1511
other locations
  • Matchstic

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Adanu, Catalyst, Leadercast, Chick-fil-A, Innovation, Children's Hospital of Atlanta, Coca- Cola, Emory, Street Grace, Atlanta Mission 

Reviews

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Branding & Messaging for Communications Training Company

"Matchstic did an amazing job helping us prioritize deadlines and manage progress."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Oct. 2016 - Aug. 2017
Project summary: 

Matchstic provided a rebranding strategy for a company integrating three intellectual properties. They conducted market research and their collaborative approach established a long-term relationship.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Lexington, Massachusetts
Alyssa Keefe
Director of Marketing, The Ariel Group
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Matchstic’s exceptional project management skills allowed delivery under strict deadlines. Unlike similar creative agencies, they’re grounded enough to accept feedback, and pair high-quality service with personalized attention. The strategy they provided aligns with customer desires.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the director of marketing for The Ariel Group, a communications training company that specializes in helping people develop influence. We provide assistance with verbal and written communication, sales acumen, and relationship-building skills.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Matchstic?

We were in the process of integrating three separate training companies and wanted to rebrand these intellectual properties in a unified way.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had a bit of a head start on the project, having conducted research through an industry media company. We passed this information to Matchstic for review, and they then conducted their own interviews with both internal stakeholders and clients from each of the three companies.

From there, they began a collaborative process of creating our united value proposition strategy. We worked together through a couple of brainstorming workshops, and they incorporated our feedback throughout each stage of development.

What is the team dynamic?

Their team is small enough that we got to know everyone on a personal level. Melissa Kruse served as our project manager, but we also worked with their co-founder Blake [Howard], their brand strategist Sarah [Melnyk], Danielle [DePiper, Strategist, Matchstic] and Brit [Blankenship, Designer, Matchstic].

How did you come to work with Matchstic?

I spoke with a number of companies but wasn’t impressed with their proposals. One of my colleagues had considered Matchstic for a previous project and recommended I look at their portfolio.

I spoke with Craig [Johnson, President, Matchstic] and was floored by the fact that he seemed to live the values our business teaches. He listened to our needs, asked excellent follow-up questions, and provided an articulate overview of potential solutions. He was also responsive, taking the time to answer one of my questions during his day off.

How much have you invested with them?

Between $100,000-$150,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started discussions during the summer of 2016 and signed a contract the following October. The bulk of the project was completed by August, though we keep them on retainer for smaller side projects.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The rebranding project corresponded with an entire redesign of our products, so we’re still in the process of going to market with the new messaging. Anecdotally, I can say that our salespeople have gotten a great response and report that the messaging works and seems to be in line with what customers want.

How did Matchstic perform from a project management standpoint?

A lot of our employees come from a performing arts background, so, as you can imagine, organization is not one of our passions. Matchstic did an amazing job helping us prioritize deadlines and manage progress.

Melissa, in particular, is somehow both emotionally intelligent and organized. She sends us email reminders about any information they need from our end and provides regular updates. We’ve really valued having her on the team.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're the perfect size for us, small enough to provide personal attention, but still large enough that they have the resources to produce high-quality work. We’re also a smaller company and we value the fact that Matchstic still views us as an important client.

They’re able to blend the creative side of their business with effective project management and work well under pressure. Our redesign efforts began just as I was going on maternity leave, but Matchstic’s attention to detail allowed them to deliver under strict deadlines without my having to guide them every step of the way.

I’ve also worked with creative companies in the past who can be defensive about criticism, but Matchstic was always receptive to our suggestions. By taking our feedback into account, they were able to deliver quality end results.

We developed a trusting relationship, and under their leadership, we co-created a new value proposition and brand story.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Their strength lies in brand identity, and I tend to use them in this capacity rather than everyday graphic design.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They're highly organized and responsive.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They're high-quality, but that comes at a cost.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We're very happy with the rebrand and deliverables.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Their talent and ease of communication makes them a reliable partner.

Branding & Marketing for Home Building Company

"They’re an exceptionally nice team to work with. Everybody is very bright and very creative."

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

To build upon their brand reputation, a real estate design firm hired Matchstic to dig deep into their company, capture their essence, and deliver marketing materials that convey their image in a creative way.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Atlanta, Georgia
Kelly Kingsfield
CXO, Monte Hewett Homes
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The completion of the branding project has already brought years of success to the firm. Matchstic leads a creative process that is unmatched by other providers, as they strive to fully understand a business before creating high-quality materials that continue to impress.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Our organization is a privately held home building company. We specialize in the construction of custom high-end homes. Our typical price point is somewhere between $700,000 to $3 million. We are a team of 50 people.

I am the chief experience officer. I manage sales, marketing, quality assurance, customer experience, design, and a portion the hiring and onboarding process for our team. Being one of the executives at the company, I am involved in land acquisition, new neighborhood startups, and that type of activity as well.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Matchstic?

We have a great reputation, and people recognize our name. We did not believe that our marketing materials, our signage, our website, and any of our outwardly facing materials really captured the essence of who we are. We looked at a couple different avenues of how we could improve our branding. At the most basic level, we could have had someone design a new logo for us and update our color palette for marketing materials, but we were really looking for and striving to find a way to communicate to our prospective buyers who we are.

Working with Matchstic, they really helped us put into words that we are a design firm who happens to build houses. Our approach to a piece of land, a new neighborhood, or a new opportunity is very different from every other builder. They helped us verbalize that identity and put it on paper, which in turn helps us market ourselves much more effectively.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

It was a long, in-depth, and time-consuming process. There were times along the way that I even wondered if it was all necessary, but it really was. We put together a team from our organization that was tasked with working with Matchstic. That team was comprised of our owner and CEO, our COO, our CSO, and me. We also had some other people involved throughout the organization, including our VP of construction and our experience operations manager.

Matchstic started with a workshop to narrow down who we as a team thought we were in a series of words. We all got to cast votes about which words described our organization, and then we would all vote on which words could stay and which words had to go. It was a very interesting conversation. In the end, we were left with some good keywords that felt very on the mark as far as being descriptive of who we are. That process took a few months.

Matchstic didn’t just talk to us. They also interviewed a lot of our stakeholders, investors, bankers, and architects that work with us. They sat down with our clients and people who work for us, including trade contractors who’ve done business with us for a long time. They talked to other employees that weren’t on the committee.

Through these efforts, they were really able to get a clear definition of our company. It helped us to see some aspects that we were blinded to because we are so close to the situation. It was a smart process and very insightful.

What is the team dynamic?

We worked with Jason Combs [Designer], Craig Johnson [President and Co-Founder], Blake [Creative Director and Co-Founder], Danielle [Strategist], and Jonathan. That was our main team. We have continued to work with them on other projects after we completed our branding. In our continued projects that we’ve worked with them on, we’ve worked a lot with Blake, Danielle, and Melissa [Operations]. They are a good team to work with.

How did you come to work with Matchstic?

We originally found Matchstic through a marketing company that we’ve worked with for a very long time. We trusted her input. We also had a couple other referrals. We interviewed more than one company. Matchstic certainly was not the low-cost leader at all. They had the highest price tag, but we felt like we were going to get the most value for our investment with them.

When we interviewed Matchstic, we were drawn to their process. Ultimately, we felt that their team just fit with ours.

How much have you invested with them?

Between $100,000-$150,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in October 2015, and our work is ongoing. We still have them on a retainer basis.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Measurables are difficult with this sort of work. The overwhelming response to our new branding is positive. We always get great feedback on our website. We’ve been very successful ever since we finished the branding project. We have had two very good years of great success.

In the home building industry, one thing that is very important to a buyer is curb appeal. Our signage and our marketing material all play a factor in our curb appeal. We have a very affluent and aspirational buyer that wants the best of the best. For us, success is a when a buyer sees our material and feels that they are dealing with a top of the line, upper-end designer.

How did Matchstic perform from a project management standpoint?

They did very well. They never missed a deadline. In our continued work with them, the only thing that ever slows them down is me. They’re an exceptionally nice team to work with. Everybody is very bright and very creative.

What did you find most impressive about them?

In my opinion, their finished product is much better then what I see other people producing. They cost a bit more, but it’s worth it. I don’t think other people go through the creative process quite like Matchstic. They really dig deep to capture the essence of the company. It’s much more than graphic design or creating fonts.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I really can’t think of anything that I would change.

5.0
Overall Score We never had any complaints.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They never missed any deadlines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    If there was a way for them to be a little more competitive, that would be great. They do deliver the value for what they charge.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    As an organization, we’re thrilled with the deliverables we received from them.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I convinced my husband to use them for his company.

Rebranding for Repair Services Mobile App

"They are 100% process-driven, and every deliverable met the schedule they set."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Oct. 2016 - Mar. 2017
Project summary: 

Matchstic rebranded a mobile application and messaging system for small businesses. They took a leading role, and aligned design elements to company core beliefs.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Andy McKoski
Founder & CEO, Humrun
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Matchstic helped identify the heart of the brand. They exhibited a genuine, comfortable nature, and early reactions to their work are positive.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the founder and CEO of Humrun, a low-cost, easy-to-use mobile application that streamlines repair and maintenance processes for restaurants and small businesses.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Matchstic?

We wanted to rebrand our mobile application with new branding materials and a messaging system that brought our core beliefs into our brand identity.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Matchstic was responsible for 85–100% of our brand elements, including the logo, copy fonts, catchphrases, and color choices for our website and presentations.

What is the team dynamic?

I worked directly with Maggie Allen [Operations, Matchstic], who handled our account, and with her boss, Blake Howard [Creative Director and Co-Founder, Matchstic]. Correspondence was via phone and email. They may have used an internal tracking tool, but if they did we weren’t privy to it.

How did you come to work with Matchstic?

Our development company, whose opinion we respect, recommended them. We had worked with smaller agencies, but no one of Matchstic’s caliber. They weren’t our least expensive option – in fact, they were one of the more expensive companies we considered – but we felt most comfortable with them. Their delivery in the interview process was genuine and heartfelt, and they showed the desire provide a good product.

How much have you invested with them?

Between $10,000-$50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our relationship started around October 2016 and lasted about six months.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Unfortunately, our software was delayed in development, so we missed a couple of windows. We just launched the app in July 2017, and the response to it is great so far. We should have more concrete information by the end of the year.

How did Matchstic perform from a project management standpoint?

On a scale of 1–10, they were a 10. They’re committed and smart.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They are 100% process-driven, and every deliverable met the schedule they set. They adamantly stuck to their methodology, and helped identify the heart of our brand. They did a phenomenal job.

Advice for potential customers?

From a budgetary standpoint, have a good understanding of your brand goals. The process can cost a lot of money if you don’t go in with an idea.

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 Online Party Supplier

"They’re organized, personable, work well together, and keep on-task."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Nov. 2016 - Aug. 2017
Project summary: 

After speaking with internal members and surveying the external competitive space, Matchstic compiled their research to create a book that conveys in detail the company's brand voice and positioning.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
South Whitley, Indiana
Owner, Online Party Supplier
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Matchstic's team is incredibly talented at finding and articulating a brand voice. They went to great lengths to ensure they collected all of the necessary background information and were open to receiving feedback that their research was correct and in line with the business goal.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are an online party supplier with the goal of simplifying the spectacular. The company was founded in 1926 as a catalog business, and went online in 1999. We have been growing ever since. I am the owner and I am a part of the creative and marketing team.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Matchstic?

We have a couple of different brands and we wanted to give the consumer-facing one a new look and positioning in the online world. We’ve had a couple of CEO changes and needed to refocus. Matchstic was our first provider at this company, but I’ve worked with different individuals in my past life.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had a brainstorming session in order to get feedback from different areas of the organization—from merchandise, creative, management, product development and IT, Matchstic listened to everyone and collected data. They drew out different people’s perspectives internally and also went through this process externally, comparing us to competitive sites, and getting an understanding of what the competition was doing well, and what we weren’t doing well.

Matchstic did a nice job of getting all the background information. While researching and gathering data, they had a disciplined process and logical progression from the first engagement to the final deliverable. We were reminded of what had been done and what would come next. Along the way, Matchstic continued to layer on additional pieces around our voice and positioning.

The final deliverable was a book which we could share with the internal team, from those involved in packaging to customer service. It was a 170-page start-to-finish, easy to understand explanation with visual examples of what we went through as a team in order to get the outcome of the new branding and positioning.

What is the team dynamic?

I was involved in selecting Matchstic, but I was not involved in the day-to-day interactions until the project was a month in. They had a thorough process, came to our site, and got to know our operations, what we did, and who we were.

We worked with different people from their team. Melissa Kruse was our account manager, and the work was divided between their copywriters and positioning persons.

How did you come to work with Matchstic?

We looked at different companies going in. One of our board members works in the same industry and was able to source some good potential partners. She made four or five suggestions of brand identity companies. We researched all of those online, talked to their reps, and found out which one was the best fit at the best price point. Matchstic was a good option at a reasonable price.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Matchstic in November 2016. We worked together for about a year, finishing a month or two ago. We’ve had a CEO and marketing change, so there were a few delays on our part.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I don’t have any metrics for the deliverable yet because we’re rolling out the catalog and website in October. Once it was done, there was a lot of work remaining on our end.

How did Matchstic perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re organized, personable, work well together, and keep on-task. The division we worked with was extremely good. There was someone responsible for the overarching piece in each section. The team is young, in their early 30s or late 20s, and I was impressed with their professionalism, their ability to get the job done ahead of schedule, and to work quickly and thoroughly.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I felt that Matchstic was strong in the verbal, copy area, and their brand positioning people were also good. They’re a branding company, not a design one, so creating catalog or web pages is not their strength, but rather their strength is in finding a voice. Their process was very good. They kept everyone involved and didn't let one voice take over the conversation. Matchstic did a great job of echoing the information back, to make sure they had it correct.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They’re not really a design group so if the client needs them to create a catalog or web page, this is not their expertise. They have a strong creative sense for the overall look-and-feel of a brand, but not so much on the page-by-page execution.

5.0
Overall Score They were a delight to work with.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There were multiple people in each of our teams, making the scheduling more difficult. I also have a tight schedule, so setting up a call was not easy.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They provided more deliverables than the original contract stipulated, giving us more options and working with us to solve what we needed.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We were given several good options which were executed.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I 100% recommend them to anyone, large or small. We were a smaller client, but we never felt that way.

Branding & Messaging for After-School Organization

We really captured the language of our brand, and Matchstic was essential in doing that.”

 

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
July 2016 - Apr. 2017
Project summary: 

Matchstic created a linguistic portfolio to help the brand better relate to target audiences and the general public. The team also developed a brand handbook and messaging guide.

The Reviewer
 
1001-5000 Employees
 
Atlanta, Georgia
Jonathan Karron
National VP of Branding, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Matchstic’s database of language and branding techniques inform every aspect of their print and digital advertising projects. Their in-depth research and work resulted in products that will be used for the next decade.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the national vice president of brand and digital strategy for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Matchstic?

We had developed a new strategic plan, and we wanted to update the language of how we tell our brand story to reflect that new plan. We wanted to use impactful words and images to help people understand what Boys & Girls Clubs does and to effectively reach a general audience as well as specific target audiences.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We provided Matchstic with a big data dump and access to a lot of our senior leaders and clubs so that they could better understand our brand. It was an in-depth process; they did a lot of discovery, and then they came back and shared what they learned. Matchstic gave us two big deliverables: the brand handbook and the messaging guide, which was the focus of their work. It’s essentially a 40-page document that tells us how to talk about the Club to a general audience, on a website, in a press release, to educators, to teenagers, etc. The messaging guide highlights key attributes of our brand that are important to certain target audiences, so we can talk to them about our brand in a relevant way.

What is the team dynamic?

Who I worked with varied a bit, but it was predominately the creative director and the writer. In total, they had a strategy person, a creative person, a writer, and a project manager.

How did you come to work with Matchstic?

We got a few referrals from people in both the marketing and nonprofit worlds. As I did more research, Matchstic’s name kept rising to the top. We went through the RFP process and grading criteria for five or six different companies, and Matchstic was the best.

We liked that they had specific experience in nonprofit but also a lot of experience outside of it. They had worked with a nonprofit recently on a similar project and got really high marks, which helped give us some level of comfort. We liked that they were a small and nimble boutique versus a big branding agency.

How much have you invested with them?

We have spent $75,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We hired them in July 2016, and the project was completed in April 2017. We want to engage with them again in 2018 to build on the work they did.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They provided the language for how to talk about our brand. That led us to hiring a creative agency that produced a PSA campaign. We developed TV spots, radio spots, and print ads, and most of the language was lifted verbatim from what Matchstic provided. It launches next week, so it’s going to take time to measure the impact, but Matchstic laid a lot of the groundwork.

Overall, we’re very pleased with the work they did. As we went through the RFP process with creative agencies, we got consistent compliments on how sharp it was. We really captured the language of our brand, and Matchstic was essential in doing that.

How did Matchstic perform from a project management standpoint?

They were very flexible. When we first started the project, they had put together a timeline, but I said it was going to take a lot longer than that. They rolled with it and started navigating the complexities of our organization right away. They were very responsive, and they were great partners.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Whenever we brought different departments within our organization together, Matchstic would command a lot of respect in the room. They did their homework, which established credibility and an understanding of our brand. They listened and adjusted to our suggestions, but they also pushed back at times when they felt very strongly about something and brought their expertise to the table. They were flexible, they were creative, and they brought a lot of integrity and gravitas. That earned everybody's respect and helped get the project pushed along.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The person leading our strategy left towards the end of the project, and we had a bit of a lull in production because of it. But the creative director stepped in and picked up the slack. We lost some of that intellectual property, but I would very comfortably recommend and use them again.

4.5
Overall Score We lost one of our key players 70% through the project.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were very flexible.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They weren't the cheapest, but they were definitely not the most expensive.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They had good attention to detail, listened, and pushed back when needed.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They did everything we needed them to.

Rebranding for Tex-Mex Restaurant Chain

"No one in [the Atlanta] area can match their level of expertise."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Aug. 2016 - May 2017
Project summary: 

Matchstic fully rebranded a Tex-Mex chain, designing restaurant interiors, billboards, a website, and a logo. They also contributed design and content for a pocket service standards guide.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Douglas, Georgia
Luke Christian
Owner & Founder, Surcheros Fresh Grill
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Matchstic's revitalized website design offers a friendly and contemporary edge over restaurant industry competitors. They excel in creativity and project management, boasting a large staff with diverse experience working for local and national brands.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the owner and founder of Surcheros Fresh Grill, a Tex-Mex restaurant chain with six locations and a seventh under construction. We are a franchise restaurant chain, and I'm the franchiser.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Matchstic?

When I set out to franchise the business we had a name that hit a snag during the trademarking process, so we needed to create a new name, a new image, and an overall new brand.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We discussed doing our new name with them, but in the end, I did that on my own. When we rolled out the new name, they created a brand brief covering who we are, what we sound and look like, and how we should present our new brand to the public. They reassured me that we would likely gain customers instead of losing them.

On a more tactical level, they designed our logo, the interior of our restaurant, our uniforms, and our pocket guide to our service standards. They also helped with the content of the pocket guide. They also did a lot of food photography, worked on some of our billboards, and did our website.

What is the team dynamic?

We worked primarily with Craig Johnson [President and Co-Founder, Matchstic], Blake Howard [Creative Director and Co-Founder, Matchstic], and Maggie, our day-to-day project manager. We also worked with several designers, photographers, and web designers.

How did you come to work with Matchstic?

About three months previous, we worked briefly with another branding agency. It was more of a one-man show, and he knew that he was in over his head, so he introduced me to Matchstic. Before hiring them, however, I interviewed three other firms.

How much have you invested with them?

Between $50,000-$100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The engagement lasted from August 2016 until May 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I don’t have statistics, but people love our new website. It’s a more modern, clean, fresh and friendly take on our brand. Plus, it’s more thought out than most of our competitors’ branding.

How did Matchstic perform from a project management standpoint?

They couldn’t have performed any better. They were very organized, and kept in communication so we knew what was coming up and had ample time to prepare. Plus, they always recapped recent work so we always knew where we stood.

Since this was such a visual project, we interacted mainly through video or web conferences. Other than that, we communicated through email and phone calls.

What did you find most impressive about them?

As a larger firm, they have more support than a lot of boutique designers. I like that because there are more heads to think about the project. They have a lot of young, but well-trained, designers with fresh ideas, and they’ve done projects for national brands as well as smaller businesses. That allows them to not only understand trends, but work together on a final product that’s far more thought out than one person would have come up with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They might think more about the actual marketplace performance of their designs. For example, on the initial billboards we put up, the design was beautiful, but the messaging was large and the logo small. Despite the fact that we already had national recognition, we missed an opportunity to brand ourselves a little better. I signed off on it, so it's my fault too.

4.5
Overall Score No one's perfect, but they are truly great to work with.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It was expensive, but you get what you pay for.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We should have built the brand before we put out messaging that people were unfamiliar with.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I intend to do business with them again, and I would recommend them to anyone. No one in the area can match their level of expertise.

Branding Project Armour Yards Real Estate Development

"Matchstic did an excellent job of conveying the lifestyle of the property."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
3.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
Project summary: 

In order to develop a lifestyle-focused brand identity, Matchstic conducted an in-depth exploration of the audience, goals, and brand positioning. Deliverables included brand guidelines and all brand assets.

The Reviewer
 
2-10 Employees
 
Atlanta, GA
Managing Partner, Third & Urban
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The brand identity created by Matchstic effectively conveys the appropriate messaging to customers and stakeholders. Their exhaustive process led to a sense of trust and comfort. While they lacked a background in the industry in question, their deliverables were very high quality.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a three-person real estate development company, of which I am a managing partner. We are located in Atlanta, GA, and are primarily engaged in mixed-use development in the Southeast U.S.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Matchstic?

Matchstic was engaged to develop an overall brand and visual identity for a $45 million mixed-use, adaptive reuse project in Atlanta. The development is unique to Atlanta, and required a non-standard approach to brand communication. We sought to formulate an identity that was focused less on the real estate and more on the lifestyle and culture of the area and the community we are trying to create.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Matchstic led and in-depth exploration of the project, its goals and audience, and various potential brand positionings. Deliverables were brand assets, along with standards and guidelines for use, vision book development and other marketing materials, including leasing signs and other swag.

How did you come to work with Matchstic?

We wanted to use an Atlanta-based agency that was focused on branding and not advertising. We also wanted a company that had experience working in upper-tier markets. Matchstic fit the bill.

How much have you invested with Matchstic?

The project was between $10,000 and $50,000.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Matchstic did an excellent job of conveying the lifestyle of the property instead of focusing on the real estate aspects. We have just begun to show the property to potential customers, but we feel great about where our branding and marketing efforts are.

What did you find most impressive about Matchstic?

Matchstic has a very in-depth branding process that they go through, which gave us a lot of comfort throughout the project. I also appreciated the strong follow up from Matchstic. They were very personable and relatable throughout the project, and that made them a pleasure to work with.

Is there anything Matchstic could have improved or done differently?

In retrospect, the process and the associated cost of the work was probably more extensive than needed to achieve our goals. Matchstic does not do a lot of real estate branding, which is one of the primary reasons we chose them for this particular project, so they likely did not have a great frame of reference for pricing and scoping the work. In addition, we could have been clearer up front about the real estate-specific deliverables that would be required, so that we could target those items from the outset and not require add-services on the back end. I would absolutely use Matchstic again, but would lean toward larger projects where their horsepower and depth is particularly beneficial and cost effective.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 3.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer

Rebrand for Mosaic (Training Consultancy)

"Matchstic is great at figuring out who your company is and working with you to draw out your strengths."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2013 - 2016
Project summary: 

Matchstic orchestrated a complete rebranding campaign, including key messaging, logo, colors, web design, and collateral. Years later, they returned to refresh the brand and offer additional messaging guidance.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Seattle, Washington
Rachel Collier
Marketing Manager, Mosaic
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Matchstic’s strategic vision was highly valuable; they were able to pinpoint areas of weakness and provide specific strategies to fix them. Although their pace wasn't always ideal, they helped uncover the best of what was already in the brand rather than imposing their own ideas.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

Mosaic is a training consulting company. We do field operations training and enterprise application training in the utility, oil, and gas industries.

What is your position?

I am the marketing manager. I'm responsible for all of our marketing, brand collateral, and events.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Matchstic?

Our first project with them was a complete rebrand of our company. We kept our name, but we completely changed our logo, colors, brand, key messaging, and all of that.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

They handled everything except for the coding and development of the website at the end. However, they did all the wireframes, design, copy, and all of that for the website. We worked with a vendor they recommended to actually code it and get it all up and running.

We're actually just now starting a new project with them. Last time we worked with them, we took all of the foundational stuff they created and executed it on our own. We've felt that we got a little bit misaligned with the brand in doing that. We kind of wanted to come back and do a mini refresh. We're actually in the process of updating our website again, simplifying it, and redoing some of the content with them right now. They've also helped us strategize some of our business philosophy, our approach and kind of define that at a higher level and give us some more foundation for our verbal identity.

How did you come to work with Matchstic?

They were actually a referral from one of our employees who lived in Atlanta at the time and knew them personally. He knew about their company. We went through an interview process with about three or four branding agencies before we chose them.

What is the status of this engagement?

I believe the initial project was six to nine months back in 2013. We launched the new brand at the beginning of 2014. We've begun the latest refresh process in just the past few months [2016].

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

One thing they've helped us with this go-around is getting internal alignment on who we are and the value we bring to our market segment. That's been big for us this year, just within our internal leadership teams and employees.

A specific example of that is we were struggling a bit in one of our business units. Matchstic helped us redefine our approach and simplified it back to its essence. I don't have tangible outcomes for that effort, but I can tell you we've felt much more confident in conversations with prospects and clients, and know that the changes are ringing true and providing more value.

What distinguishes Matchstic from other providers?

I feel like they listen well. Matchstic is great at figuring out who your company is and working with you to draw out your strengths versus bringing in who they are and imposing that on you. I feel like we've gotten to the true essence of who are. They've helped us uncover that without then trying to change anything about us. They figured us out well and understood us, which has been great.

Is there anything Matchstic could have improved or done differently?

The only thing I can think of is that sometimes we are ready to move a little faster than them. I assume that's because they're still small and don't have a ton of resources. I think sometimes we're ready to move faster than they are onto the next steps. But, ultimately, we're always happy with the output, and so it's been worth it for us.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They're usually on time once a schedule's been set.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They stuck with the estimates. They're more expensive, I think. We've been willing to pay for it because we like what we get with them.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Naming and Branding for Ghanaian NGO

"It was amazing in a day’s time to be able to sit down with Matchstic and get to where we got in eight hours."

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

Matchstic rebranded a binational NGO to appeal to Western donors and volunteers. Services included coaching sessions, a renaming campaign, website development, and marketing collateral.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Seattle, WA and Accra, Ghana
Shelly Morse
Director of Development, Adanu
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The rebranding campaign has engendered significant increases in credibility and professionalism. Matchstic pushed the entire project towards more innovative solutions while really understanding the cultural elements that made the brand unique.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

The name of our organization is Adanu. We're a Ghanaian NGO [nongovernmental organization] and American 501(c)(3). Adanu was established 14 years ago by a group of Ghanaian people that wanted to go back to overlooked communities in their country and help communities build their education infrastructure through sustainable development.

What is your position?

I'm the director of development.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with Matchstic?

We wanted to keep the Ghanaian identity of our organization, but we also needed name, brand, and website that could attract Western fundraisers and volunteers.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

The most important thing they did was to transform our brand. We spent a day with them in Atlanta, with members of our United States-based organization and our Ghanaian counterparts. It was after that session that they suggested we rename the organization, which before was "DIVOG," a Ghanaian word, Adanu. They helped us figure out all of that with great coaching and their expertise. After that, they came up with a few different directions the brand could go, and we selected one, they built the website and brand identity materials out of that discussion.

How did you come to work with Matchstic?

I own a consulting company in Seattle, and we had used them previously to help us do some branding work for that company. We were happy with them, so when I took this position with Adanu, I thought we could benefit from starting over with our brand.

Obviously, our consulting firm had a completely different budget, but they were able to work with our budget.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

It was $10,000 to $50,000 range.

What is the status of this engagement?

I think from beginning to end, it was around six months.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

We've had nothing but positive feedback with our stakeholders. When your organization is located in another part of the world, in a country few people have been to, you have to do something to engender confidence. For example, we'll often work with the study abroad programs of universities to provide volunteer opportunities for their students, and I think those relationships have only improved since the rebrand.

I think with the website they did a great job of incorporating Ghanaian themes and colors while still making it navigable for a Western audience.

What distinguishes Matchstic from other providers?

They're good listeners and have great energy for their work. It was fun working with them. They're very creative. It was amazing in a day's time to be able to sit down with Matchstic and get to where we got in eight hours. It was amazing that we got to Adanu, coming with DIVOG, which was completely not what it should've been. To get there in a one-day period was shocking. I think one of Matchstic's true strengths is pushing the client to think outside the box, but in a way that allows the client to maintain control.

Is there anything Matchstic could have improved or done differently?

The only thing I could say is that they were expensive, and we are a nonprofit. However, with that being said, I feel like we got great value for our money, and I would do everything the same if I could do it again.

5.0
Overall Score It's been great.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They're expensive, but I knew that going into the project. I feel like the value you we got was totally worth it.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    It's been maybe too good for a nonprofit.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Naming for Quick-service Restaurant Chain

"The identity system that they created was playful, but it was also effective and sticky."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
2013
Project summary: 

Matchstic provided naming and branding services for a flagship building initiative. The goal was to express the innovation that would occur within the new space while conforming to existing brand guidelines.

The Reviewer
 
1,000-10,000 Employee
 
Atlanta, GA
Sr. Director of Design, Quick Service Restaurant Chain
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Matchstic came up with a name and identity that has stayed fresh over three years; the iconography is a powerful brand signifier. But the team’s key strength was their integrity: they turned down a project they knew wasn’t a fit for their skills.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We are a quick-service restaurant chain with locations throughout the United States. At present, we have approximately 2,000 restaurants.

What is your position?

I am the senior director of design. My team is in charge of designing our new restaurants and the remodels of our outdated locations.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you facing, when you first began working with Matchstic?

As the company has grown, the pace of our design output has increased. In the past, we could design a restaurant and then just go around the U.S. finding two-acre parcels in open space and just keep building that same restaurant. However, with people moving back into urban environments, we found that we were having to do more and more custom projects, so we needed to up the creativity and volume of our design. To help facilitate this, we decided to build a massive innovation and design center, where we could pull all our people under one roof, and do what other innovation groups do, which is prototype. The only challenge is, all our prototypes are about 5,000 square feet, so it had to be a huge space.

Since this was going to be a new flagship building, we wanted it to be the best representation of the company in general, and our division of the company, in particular. This included giving the building a name that would set the tone for our employees as well as creating a culture that encouraged creative design-based thinking.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

Matchstic's work included coming up with a name for the building as well as building a brand-within-a-brand that could represent the division of the company that was going to be based in this building.

How did you come to work with Matchstic?

I spend a lot of time in the Atlanta design community, and I'd been hearing about this little branding company, Matchstic for a while. I have a bias for wanting to work, when possible, with agencies that are in the Atlanta area because we're an Atlanta-based company. I first reached out to them to set up a meeting just to hear a little more about what they did and told them that I would be on the lookout for a project that might fit their skill set. When this came up, and we were trying out this novel idea of branding a building, I thought it sounded like a great fit for them.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

It was around $50,000 – maybe a little above. We ended up asking for a few things that went outside the initial scope of the project.

What is the status of this engagement?

It's hard to remember back exactly. I would probably put it at three to six months, something like that. We weren't under a huge time crunch because we had the brand and the name in place long before we were ready to cut the ribbon on the place.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any results from this engagement?

From beginning to end, Matchstic's work on this project surpassed expectations. To start out, their discovery and design process was incredibly thorough. At the end of it, I was confident that we had left no stone unturned, and I think that showed in the results of the project. I actually have shamelessly stolen aspects of their design process and have used them in our own projects. They ended up coming up with several names, but the one we ended up choosing was far ahead of the others. As soon as we heard it, we knew it was perfect, and it has received universally accepted across the company.

The identity system that they created was playful, but it was also effective and sticky. Here we are now, three years later, and as we talk about innovation or design anywhere across the company, I am 90 percent positive that anybody could jump up and start drawing on a whiteboard how we think about design, and they would use the same kind of iconography that was originally put forward by Matchstic. Three years later, the legacy of their work is still very much felt around here.

When given the opportunity, I've always told people I don't know how this could've gone any better. We're delighted with the output. Sometimes, you work with people and the output is good, but you didn't like the process or the people, and you just don't work with them again. That hasn't been the case with Matchstic. We've worked with them again. They've created relationships within our company, and they're doing much bigger projects than Hatch.

What distinguishes Matchstic from other providers?

I can't speak highly enough about the quality of their work and how satisfied we are with it. Another thing that impressed me, though, was their integrity. After the success of the naming project, we engaged them on a few other projects and, after getting started on the work, they came back to us and put us on to another agency that they felt was more appropriate for the work. They could have done the work easily and gotten paid for it, but they knew it wasn't in their sweet spot, and they wanted to give to an agency that was a better fit. I think that showed incredible integrity and only made me want to work with them more.

Is there anything Matchstic could have improved or done differently?

No. I think it's a very well-run company. If I could offer any advice, it would be what I was speaking to in your last question. Their work is so good. I would love to see it expand and see them add more capabilities.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I have a hard time being perfect.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I've already done it.