What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
I’d say that in summary, they do good work. I’ve always been more than satisfied with their approach and execution. For a consulting firm or agency, the real win is whether you come back to work with them again, and I have with MonogramGroup. They’re an agency that I think highly of; they’re very skilled and motivated to do good work. The team takes great pride in the results. For example, Jackie is a fabulous researcher. She makes it easy for clients who may not have that level of expertise in research to understand what she does, how and why she does it, and what the results mean.
When Jackie, Scott, and I were brainstorming the results that we got, we had a lightbulb moment and knew what the results meant. When you have an opportunity with an agency to have a lightbulb moment, you know you’re onto something. MonogramGroup always looks at each client individually and considers what’s best for them. They’re energetic and thoughtful, and their solutions are spot-on.
When our partnership with the client ended, we left them in a very favorable position, and they were pleased with our work. I’d say we did a good job if we pleased a board of 30 members.
How did MonogramGroup perform from a project management standpoint?
MonogramGroup managed the budget and timeline, and they were never late. Those were partly my responsibilities as engagement lead, but they never under-delivered. They did exceptional work that went beyond my expectations. I think they were very excited about the potential of this client and where the work was going to go. They also had some experience in this sector before, so this was a fun project for them.
What did you find most impressive about them?
MonogramGroup is smart. I think there are a lot of agencies who don’t have a research component or a strategic lens to branding, and they rebrand for the sake of rebranding. I didn’t get that sense with MonogramGroup; they look at the client and think about what the best thing is that they can do for them. First, they start with the brand positioning, asking questions like what is the brand? What are they trying to accomplish? Then, they put the creative energy behind whatever is best for the client.
Their strategic energy gets embraced by the creative aptitude. They do better than good branding, which is born of Scott’s mentoring and coaching. Working with them, I always get the feeling that I’ll get something that has integrity and rigor to it, and that I’ll be able to justify why I’m making that recommendation to the client.
Are there any areas they could improve?
I haven’t worked with them in many years, so I wouldn’t critique them now. There were things we had to course correct in the moment. I could be critical of how things were presented, but at the end of the day, we got what we wanted, and we did a great job for the client.
Anytime subcontracting is involved, both companies need to adapt to how the other works. We didn’t experience a lot of grinding gears in that regard. There can also be the sense that, when working with a subcontractor, they’re an arm’s length away, but that was not the case with MonogramGroup. Sometimes agencies need to be encouraged to think on behalf of the client in addition to honoring their own design integrity, but those are real-time adjustments.
Any advice for potential customers?
Be active participants within the solution. Give MonogramGroup the room to be strategic and creative. Encourage them and be a good collaborating partner, because that energy ultimately gets the best result. In your work with any great agency, hold on for the ride; you might go in some directions that you hadn’t planned on going in order to get the desired outcomes. Trust that process.