Success by Design

Murmur Creative is a branding and web agency that has been creating beautiful and memorable experiences for clients (and their customers) for over 10 years. Murmur offers branding, packaging, web design and development, search engine optimization, and more.

Our goal is to partner with amazing brands and help them grow. We do this through collaboration and by sharing our ideas, talent, creativity, and expertise with our partners.

We approach each new project as a unique opportunity to create something beautiful and useful. We eschew cookie-cutter solutions.

Testimonial:

“As a new business owner, I certainly know the importance of a website. What I didn’t fully understand was the difference between a website and a really good website. For our newest business we had very high website design expectations based on our previous website efforts with the first business. We were referred to Murmur by a longtime friend and we knew after the first meeting with them that we would not be disappointed. Not only did they design our perfect company logo but they created for us the most beautiful website we could have imagined. Perfect in design and style for our business with content that is easy to access and manage, I am still so thrilled whenever I open up our home page. It was easily the best investment we made and now I’m currently working with them to redesign our first business’ website.”

~Matthew Busetto Owner/ Firehouse Restaurant

 
$10,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2007
Show all +
Portland, OR
headquarters
  • Murmur Creative
    1300 SE Stark St #210
    Portland, OR 97214
    United States
    971.254.8662

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Droid Life, Embark Adventures, Cascade Brewing, Zupan's Markets, Melvin Mark Companies, Urban Works, Ticketmaster, Oregon Tilth, Laughing Planet, Discogs, Dick's Kitchen, B&B Print Source, ChefStable, Art of Makeup, Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost

Reviews

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Web Dev & Branding for Military Housing Company

"Murmur excelled in every area, and we were every bit impressed with them."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
July 2016 - Jan. 2017
Project summary: 

Murmur Creative worked on branding and web development for a privatized military housing company that operates on thousands of homes. 

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Alaska
Daniel Gregoire
Logistics Manager, Aurora Military Housing, LLC
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Web traffic has increased drastically since Murmur's development and branding work has been implemented. They also improved certain search functions on the site that greatly helped user experience. The new branding and logo design has received universally positive feedback.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a privatized military housing company operating thousands of homes on a large military installation. I work on many of our tech-based projects.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Murmur Creative?

One of the big challenges we have with the sheer number of homes we operate, is communication. This is why we sought out Murmur Creative. We have a long-term contract with the military, similar to many companies like our own. We had an older website with a lot of information on it, which wasn’t doing a very good job of marketing what we offer, or of serving as a communication platform between us and our residents, most of whom have access to the internet and to technology. We were a bit behind the times, and to top that off, we didn’t have much of an established brand. We did see a need to better market ourselves, and better communicate with people, stepping into the 21st century.

Initially, we had just planned on constructing a new website, and approached multiple companies, ultimately settling on Murmur.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Murmur Creative convinced us that we needed to rebrand and to put some serious effort into a new logo. In their view, this would help guide the web development process. 

We created the majority of the copy for our website, but Murmur did help. They also handled SEO work, but they were not directly involved in social media marketing. Although, we have applied the elements from their brand book into this space, however.

They didn’t simply take the navigation of our old website and reskin it, but rather completely redefined how the layout was formatted. The old website wasn’t mobile-friendly, but this is something which is built into WordPress. Photos were incorporated into the new site’s design, making them a core part of it.

We didn’t previously have the ability to receive online housing or contact forms, and these were added as well.

On military installations, the offering process varies from installation to installation.In order to determine those by rank and the number of qualifying dependents, Murmur built the ability to search floor plans, based on our offering criteria. This was a large request the military had for us, and an issue with the old website—people couldn’t really see what sort of house they’d be offered on the installation.

How did you come to work with Murmur Creative?

We sent an RFP to multiple companies, and I spoke with a friend in the tech industry, who mentioned that another company in town had recently built a new website, which looked really good. I looked up the developer, and it was Murmur Creative. Their referrals and previous work were what ultimately sold them to us, since the price was definitely higher than on other places.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Murmur in July 2016, and finished towards the end of January 2017. It took 6 months to build the website. We had a tight timeline for what we were asking them to do, and what we had to do on our end.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I can’t provide data around our occupancy, but their work has definitely helped our exposure. Comparing the views and interactions of our current website, with the previous one, the analytics are astronomically better. This has definitely helped us redefine breathe some new life into what we do, and really change how we focus on our image. This is important, and it was something we’d been neglecting prior to having the opportunity to work with Murmur.

We’ve received positive feedback from everyone we work with, including residents and people within the military interacting with the site. I don’t know what other military housing companies have said about the site, but it’s definitely well-known within our community.

How did Murmur Creative perform from a project management standpoint?

They were mostly on track, but we had a few hold-ups regarding the new logo, and pushed the work back a bit. We can’t fault Murmur if they were any bit over the schedule, as these holdups were on our end.

They ultimately kept us on track. We were able to manage the entire job remotely, yet still saw every request we had reflected in the website. This really speaks to their project management abilities.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their insistence that building a website is more than creating a navigation and buttons— Murmur pushed the importance of a brand and of having consistency. We’ve seen how much this improved our internal operations and image. It was a unique approach—no one else told us that we needed to design a logo as part of creating a website. We were surprised initially, but Murmur was right in the long-term.

Are there any areas they could improve?

This is hard to dig into, since they did everything right on the project. Greater attention to proofreading would be an improvement, since we did identify minor mistakes throughout the process. It’s hard to fault someone based on a draft version, though. This was the only real challenge we had, and I can’t even call it that; it’s a normal part of a large project. Murmur excelled in every area, and we were every bit impressed with them.

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

Web Design & Branding for Adventure Travel Company

"I now measure other companies against my experience with Murmur."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
2017
Project summary: 

Murmur used WordPress to create a custom website with a strong focus on picture and video content. They also provided branding services by redesigning the company logo and redefining the company’s image.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Portland, Oregon
Owner, Embark Exploration Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new website added a new layer of credibility, creating a digital space to accurately reflect real-world services. Murmur’s intimate, collaborative approach ensured a quality end result, and their attention to detail has made them a gold standard against their competitors.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We're an adventure travel company that organizes high-altitude treks and mountain climbing expeditions in exotic countries around the world.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Murmur?

We wanted to update our 10-year-old website to improve functionality and refine our digital presence.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Murmur built a custom site using WordPress with a strong focus on picture galleries, blogs, and video to help sell the dream of adventure. They also created a backend function that allows clients to securely store personal information. If you sign up for one of our trips, you have a personal link hidden on the site with all your documentation. Murmur came up with that idea and it's been a total success.

They also helped with marketing and branding. Our company used to be called Embark Adventures, but since we focus specifically on expedition-style trips, we wanted to rethink how we project ourselves. After consulting with Murmur’s brand specialist, we decided on Embark Exploration Co., a name that more accurately reflects what we do.

Murmur improved the look and feel of our site, and also redesigned our logo to match our new brand.

What is the team dynamic?

We worked with four or five people over the course of the project. Mary [Nichols, Account Director, Murmur] brought us in and started brainstorming ideas. Kylie [McMinn, Producer, Murmur] served as project manger and facilitated interactions between the frontend graphic designer and backend web developer. We also worked closely with the owner, who seemed personally committed to our project.

How did you come to work with Murmur?

I met Mary through a local networking event. I decided to hire Murmur based on our brief, five-minute meeting, and I feel like I really hit the jackpot.

I could tell they were a small boutique agency that seemed to represent the Portland, Oregon vibe. They’re young and hip, and they seemed to care about my company through their willingness to walk me through the web-building process.

How much have you invested with them?

Including the logo, design, branding, and the SCO, we paid between $28,000–$29,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together for a six-month period in the last year.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

So many users have told us that our new website looks amazing and gives us a new level of credibility. I’m able to share links from our blog and video sections to attract clients, and the new design reinforces our image as a cool adventure travel company.

The site has been bug-free, and I actually plan to approach Murmur about building a 2.0 version to take it to another level.

How did Murmur perform from a project management standpoint?

They performed well above average and we worked closely to ensure a quality end product. For instance, we decided to include a brief video in the homepage’s background using clips from previous trips. I came up with the initial idea and Murmur provided feedback based on previous experience. It was a very collaborative effort and a lot of fun.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They prioritize the project over the paycheck, which is rare. I recently started shopping around for a search engine optimization company, and it’s difficult to find ones that offer the same level of care. I now measure other companies against my experience with Murmur.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, not a thing.

Advice for potential customers?

Building a website takes time and effort, so business owners should come prepared to work, as well. It’s a collaborative process and you'll be intimately involved in round after round of development discussion in order to create the best result.

You should also keep an open mind. Websites are always evolving, with new functionalities available all the time, so be open to ideas you may not have considered.

5.0
Overall Score They're a five-star company and I plan to work with them again in the future.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Branding & Packaging for Brewing Company

“Murmur really captured the look-and-feel we envisioned to engage our consumers.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
July - Sept. 2016
Project summary: 

Murmur Creative designed multiple logos and labels in compliance with TBB regulations for a rebranding initiative. They also created an ad that’s being used in national publications.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Portland, Oregon
Tim Larrance
VP Sales & Marketing
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Almost all comments on Facebook and Snapchat, as well as those from employees, consumers, and wholesalers, have been overwhelmingly positive. Murmur executed everything with accuracy and by deadline, and always provided quick responses. They evolved internally in order to deliver the best product.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the vice president of sales and marketing at Cascade Brewing Company. We’re a brewery in Portland, Oregon, and we primarily do barrel-aged sour beers in bottle format.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Murmur Creative?

We had very outdated labels and logos for our products. Cascade’s products were also hard to find for a long time because they were allocated and high-priced due to demand outweighing supply. As the brewery grew over time, we needed to update our marketing position to the consumer.

When everything was allocated, we could put whatever we wanted on the bottles, and they'd sell. Now, it's a much larger pool that we're playing in. There's a lot more competition, so we needed to upgrade the look of the bottle because we wanted to make sure it reflected the quality of its contents.

We used a different company for the original packaging, and it was a single person who had been doing it in the past. When I came on board a 1 ½ years ago, I had autonomy to make some changes, and labels and logos were priority number one.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We started off by creating a brand new logo for the entire company that would be used in the redesign of the labels. This part of the process took about 3 months and many revisions until we got it to where we wanted it to be.

Once we got the logo design, we had 3 distinct labels created. Within each of those tiers, there are different color designs and graphics to delineate between the brands within that tier. Not only did we have to decide what the pattern or template was going to be for each of those 3 tiers, but we also had to pick colors. We do about 18 beers per year, and for us, it's important that we get them out on time.

These labels also had to get federal approval by the TTB [Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau], and if they would have said they weren’t up to spec, or that we needed to have them changed, it would’ve made things much more difficult. We would have had to go back to the drawing board and redesign them. However, each of the 3 tiered labels were approved on the first go-around from the TTB, thanks to Murmur.

They made sure the UPCs [universal product codes] were the right size, and ensured the government warning size was large enough and had a certain font. They also made sure the alcohol percentage was in the correct place.

They also created an ad for us concerning the rebrand. They did a brilliant job, and we're currently using it in national publications.

We had discussed other pieces outside packaging and branding, like business cards, sell sheets, and even web design, but we haven't used them for any of that work. It wasn’t because we didn’t want to go with them, we've just mostly been doing that work in-house.

What is the team dynamic?

My original contact was Mary [Account Director, Murmur Creative]. Kylie was our project manager, but I didn’t end up dealing as much with her in the end because Andrew [Owner, Murmur Creative] took control of the project. Most of my communication with him regarded design, changes, and the whole process in general.

How did you come to work with Murmur Creative?

I found them online. I interviewed 5 different designers—2 of whom were references from somebody that works here, and 3 of whom I found myself. I like Murmur’s website and some of their past work, so I sent them a blind email inquiry. Mary got back to me within an hour despite being on vacation at that time. The fact that she still felt it was important enough to get back to me immediately was great. From there, it snowballed into something much bigger and better.

How much have you invested with them?

The entire rebranding project cost over $20,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We selected them by the end of June 2016, and started on the project by early July 2016. The project took 3 months.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The response from people has been overwhelmingly positive. Over 99% of comments I’ve seen on either Facebook or Snapchat are people saying how much they love our new graphics. Out of 200 people, only 2 said they missed the old graphics. There has also been very strong, positive reactions from our consumers, wholesalers, and employees as well.

How did Murmur Creative perform from a project management standpoint?

They’ve done very well. They executed everything we needed them to. Every time we needed to have a change on a label, whether it had to do with colors or words, they were able to handle it within 24 hours and give us a revised copy.

Every single person I’ve dealt with there was phenomenal, and I enjoyed working with them all. They’re all very responsive, and I didn’t have to wait on them for anything.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They had never done a beer before, so this was out of their scope. One of the reasons I went with them was because I liked the work they did for a large Polish fruit company.

We met with other designers, but they all seemed to be the same. Andrew and the Murmur team had what we were looking for. We wanted to have a wine-type of label, because our products range anywhere between $20–$35 per 750mL bottle. We’re targeting the same consumers who purchase wine.

Murmur really captured the look-and-feel we envisioned to engage our consumers, and also opened our eyes to things we hadn’t thought about.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We ended up going with another company for our website redesign because Murmur’s proposal was well outside of our range. The cost was about 2.5 times the amount of the entire rebrand. I would’ve liked to have been able to do something regarding the website, but it wasn’t financially feasible for us.

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

Web Design & Branding for Software Startup Company

"I’ve never seen a website launched where clients flock to you, but that’s what happened for us."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2017
Project summary: 

Murmur managed a marketing strategy for a software solution on a tight timeline. The team handled design, website development, and copyediting. The development project used Jekyll to create 3 interlaced sites.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Portland, Oregon
Nate Taggart
CEO, Stackery
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The project adhered to all set milestones and deadlines, drawing in Venture Capitalist interest almost overnight. Murmur listed to the design needs and desires of the in-house team, working as partners to create a successful website and campaign. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CEO and founder of Stackery, a startup software company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Murmur?

We had developed a compelling technology, but we wanted help to present it and make a marketing strategy to show off how good as it was. We were looking to highlight what we had as well as possible.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They did a branding package that included a design guide, new logo, with both a mark and type. They also did copyediting, business cards, conference banners, etc. Basically, we’ve done a lot of little things together. 

We did three website designs with them: a marketing site, a separate blog site, and a software documentation site. Though they are three different websites, they have an overlapping design. They’re meant to fit together. They’re not like three unique website projects, they all are for promotional purposes. There are some interactive features, like form submissions. We asked them to use the static site generator Jekyll, because we preferred that. 

What is the team dynamic? 

Kylie [Producer, Murmur] was our primary contact; she was our project manager and client coordinator. We had access to anyone on their team. If we had questions about the code, we could go directly to a developer, but Kylie would connect us to anywhere we needed to go. 

How did you come to work with Murmur?

I started with an online search and looked at a dozen firms. I began conversations with 4 or 5 out of those. I asked around and did my own due diligence in terms of reaching out to previous clients in each company’s portfolio. It was clear from the beginning that Murmur had what we were looking for in terms of scope. They weren’t just a web design company and could do other support services for us. 

How much have you invested with them?

We spent about $60,000 for the logo, design package, and three websites. When we saw some of their early work, we were really impressed, so we’ve been sending more projects to them. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in March 2017 and it’s been ongoing through September 2017.

 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

It took six months to get the site up and running. There were at least a dozen milestones. We hit every one of them on the exact date specified in the original plan. It was like flipping on a light switch. It went from little to no interest in the product for months and months, to immediate interest with exactly our target audiences. We have three sets of audiences that we sell for; investors, venture-backed company, or early stage. We have to continue to appeal to the venture community; overnight, we started getting the attention of top-tier Venture Capitalists. We have developers, who can be a finicky audience. We have to be incredible and relevant. Our document site really helped a lot with that. We have the economic buyer like enterprise decision makers. Within one week of launching, we had five Fortune 500 companies reach out to us just from the site. It surpassed my expectations. I’ve never seen a website launched where clients flock to you, but that’s what happened for us.

How did Murmur perform from a project management standpoint?

They were awesome and very proactive. They gave us a project plan outlining the whole process. It was just filling in the blanks from our side. They said, “On this date, we need a site outline of what you want,” so we delivered it to them. We hit our deadlines along the way and they hit all their deadlines along the way. That included periods where there was more iteration, feedback, and back and forth collaboration. We approached it from a position where we knew we didn’t have the expertise and the skill they had. That’s why we hired them. It wasn’t like we farmed out a project. We adopted their team into ours and became partners in this. They were coaching us and giving us feedback. We were teaching them about our customers, our market, and our technology. It worked out really well. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

I’ve worked with other agencies in the past. There were two things that were unique about this relationship. I didn’t feel nickel and dimed or upsold along the way. They were transparent in pricing and worked with me on my budget. They’re not the cheapest firm, but they really over-delivered in value. I’ve previously had the other experience where I felt like the price that I was presented with was very different from the value I received. That was not the case with Murmur. 

Every step along the way, they brought their expertise and knowledge. It wasn’t them just giving us ideas for us to choose, but they had a narrative and a story they were weaving throughout the project. We were a part of that. We helped shape it. They were able to represent us uniquely, and not in a cookie cutter model. They had a lot of skill and talent, and they were applying that in a way that reflected what we were aiming for. The counterpoint to that is I’ve worked with some firms who I feel like they just have their style and how they do it. All their clients end up looking like their style. In our field, Murmur built a site to target hardcore software engineers. That’s a tricky audience and they learned and really got to know what we were aiming for. They did a really great job with that. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

We were fortunate. The project went really well. If anything, they could have upsold us a little bit more. There was some element of us not knowing what to ask for. We certainly got more than we asked for, but we’re already thinking about what we can augment it with. We were working on a very tight timeline, told them that, and they hit it. I’m happy with how it turned out. Had I not felt so pressured by time, it would have been great to explore what other paths the project could take, and maybe put more upfront effort into scoping out a longer-term vision. 

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
    Absolutely.

Web Dev for Executive Training Company

"We strive for excellence...and now have a digital presence that matches our professionalism."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. - May 2016
Project summary: 

Murmur overhauled an existing site by improving its user navigation as well as contact and multimedia features. Another major upgrade included tailoring the e-commerce experience for conversion optimization.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Portland, Oregon
Amy Wolff
Co-Founder, Distinction Communications
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Competetively priced site enhancements paid immediate dividends—particularly regarding brand perception and lead generation. Strong professional relationships grew through effective communication and technical competence, and burgeoning personal bonds continue to help expand awareness.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the co-owner and senior trainer at Distinction Communication. We train executives and small groups to help them refine their speaking and presentation skills.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Murmur?

Our website was outdated and needed a complete overhaul. Most of the content was informational, but we also wanted to incorporate an e-commerce function and make it easier for potential customers to contact us.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

In concert with a graphic designer we already worked with, they rebuilt the website from the ground up using WordPress. They improved the layout to be more intuitiv, added components for video, and made it much more personal, which is important since we are consultants.

They also fine-tuned a complex interface template that allows users to register for workshops online. This was an existing feature, but they improved it immensely and made it much easier to navigate.

After completing the site, they also provided SEO setup.

What is the team dynamic?

Kylie [McMinn, Producer, Murmur] served as project manager during the website overhaul and coordinated with the development team. While she was the main coordinator, we still had access to the development team and occasionally communicated with them directly, which was very helpful.

In designing the e-commerce function, we worked directly with Tim [Lundy, Digital Producer, Murmur].

How did you come to work with Murmur?

We knew Mary [Nichols, Account Director, Murmur] through one of our speaking workshops. After auditing a class, she found our service to be very helpful and offered to help elevate our digital presence. Once we decided to redesign our website, we contacted Mary and she convinced us right away that Murmur was the ideal company to take our brand to the next level.

We weren't sure how much a project of this scale should cost, so we shopped around and found their price to be very competitive.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent between $12,000–14,000. That includes the complete website development and initial SEO work.

What is the status of this engagement?

We hired Murmur to retool our website in January 2016, and worked with them again from June, 2016 to May 2016 to build the e-commerce function.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’ve received more web inquiries and seen a lot more contact activity through our forms, partially because the site’s new layout makes it easier for users to get in touch with us.

Typically, we don't receive feedback from clients, but people familiar with our business were very impressed with the new website. We strive for excellence during our workshops and now have a digital presence that matches our professionalism.

How did Murmur perform from a project management standpoint?

Almost everything was funneled through Kylie. We met face-to-face a couple of times, which I appreciated, but we communicated primarily through email. Kylie provided status updates, communicated our feedback to the developers, and looped in other people in their shop about certain functions when appropriate. Overall, they were responsive and left nothing unanswered.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I don’t have a lot of personal experience with web development companies, but I appreciated that they provided direct access to their developers. The fact that I know the e-commerce developer's name speaks to the personal relationships Murmur creates with its clients.

They were also very honest about pricing. With such a big project, you expect some surprise costs to show up on invoices, but they stayed on budget.

Plus, Mary has continued to be a big help. She’s a major brand cheerleader and continues to refer us to other clients and share our work through social media. In this way, Murmur feels like a continued partner for us.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Both projects took a bit longer than we anticipated. No single problem contributed to the delays. Making the site’s functions work together seemed to take a bit of trial and error, which meant the project took three or four weeks to complete. Even with the delays, however, they honored their original price estimate.

4.5
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 and Packaging for Kombucha Company

"They blew away all our expectations... The owner himself came to meetings with good ideas and enthusiasm."

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

Murmur Creative supervised each phase of a rebranding campaign, spearheading logo and packaging design. They consulted on label manufacture and shot promotional photography for the new product.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Portland, Oregon
Jared Englund
Owner, Lion Heart Kombucha
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sales increased 50% in two months, with further growth potential. Murmur's new imagery entices buyers to consume and distributers to order more volume and variety than ever before, pressing demand beyond the current supply.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the owner and manager of Lion Heart Kombucha, a Portland-based small business. We distribute our product in the Pacific Northwest region.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Murmur Creative?

We grew at a fairly steady rate after we founded Lion Heart in 2010, but experienced some stagnation in the past couple of years. We found a new, bigger bottle for our kombucha, and needed the perfect branding for it. We hired friends to design our original graphics, but wanted a professional team for this project.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The project had several steps. First, Murmur redesigned our logo, and then designed our packaging. They consulted with our label company to be sure the colors were right, and did our promotional photography after the initial distribution of the new bottles.

What is the team dynamic?

Our interactions with Murmur were all meeting-based. A number of their designers submitted ideas, and then we chose the images and graphics we liked best. It was like shopping for ideas in a connected, family environment.

How did you come to work with Murmur Creative?

We’ve known them for years, and they were excited to work with us. A Murmur staff member lives near our manufacturing facility. She came into the shop to buy kombucha for her home kegerator, and told us that Murmur would love to redo our labels.

We wanted a local company for the new design, and spoke to other small business owners about their experience with firms in the area. Among the companies in our price range, we decided that Murmur would surpass anyone else we considered.

How much have you invested with them?

We paid a little more than $15,000 for the logo and packaging design.

What is the status of this engagement?

The first meetings were in January 2017, and the project finished in August 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The new bottles hit the shelves early this July, and August was our first full month of sales. In these first months, we’ve had a 50% increase in sales, and that number is likely to rise. Stores have been selling out quickly and are carrying more of our flavors. Our distributors can’t get enough, and our biggest problem lately is meeting the demand. The new labels are gorgeous, and the shelf appeal is great.

How did Murmur Creative perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project manager communicated with ours, set meeting dates with the designers, and held their team accountable to performance standards and deadlines. They had the right people for the job, and made sure that every good idea was documented and explored.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The process was flawless, warm, and positive. They understood the image we wanted to project to our client in the grocery store, and they made us feel important. They seem to care about every company and brand in their portfolio. Their office has an exciting vibe, the feeling that everyone is working hard and enjoying that work.

Andrew [Principal, Murmur Creative] came to most of our meetings, and imbued his staff with his enthusiasm. Part of Murmur’s appeal is the passion and availability of the owner.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I normally like to give constructive criticism, but they blew away all our expectations. Any other company would disappoint us after our experience with Murmur.

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 and Logo Design for Environmental Nonprofit

"We were so impressed by the quality of their work, attention to detail, responsiveness, and creativity."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. - July 2016
Project summary: 

Murmur Creative provided a range of rebranding services for a conservation group, from logo design and brand book composition to print collateral and color pallettes. They also updated the website.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Vancouver, Washington
Jay Kosa
Communications Manager, Columbia Land Trust
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Improved web traffic and social media engagement showed supporters' positive reaction to the new designs. Murmur Creative distinguished themselves with their enthusiasm for the project's mission, straightforward communication, and ability to work independently and produce meaningful results. 

 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the communications manager for Columbia Land Trust, an environmental nonprofit based in Vancouver, Washington. We conserve and restore the land’s waters and wildlife at the lower Columbia River region, spanning the John Day River to the Pacific in both states.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Murmur Creative?

We had a lot of land trusts, and they're a subset of the conservation industry and nonprofit. Traditionally, we hadn’t had much of a focus on communications, branding, or marketing. We had a black and white logo that was 25 years old and was done by a volunteer. This contributed to the sense that we were not careful or considering our brand, and it made us look dated. We wanted to bring our brand into the 21st century, and make it reflect our values of being open and optimistic in our work.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had a really great experience with Murmur for the logo development process. We were so impressed by the quality of their work, attention to detail, responsiveness, and creativity. We decided to work with them on developing a brand book so that we could update our color palate and typekit, as well as guidelines around the type of photography and image assets we use. We wanted to put all of this into a book for our organization to use moving forward.

We also contracted Murmur to produce and design a suite of branding elements, including our collateral, letterhead, envelopes, and business cards, among others. We did an additional contract with them to update our website to reflect the updated logo, header, web fonts, and colors. Since 2016, we’ve done more contracts with them, including a document production, general brochure, and a special splash page development project. They’ve done well with everything we’ve assigned to them.

What is the team dynamic?

Mary Nichols [Account Director, Murmur Creative] coordinated the RFP [Request For Proposal] and was in charge of new business. I was immediately impressed by her responsiveness and positive attitude, and she connected with the mission of the organization. That’s always a huge boost for environmental nonprofits when the person doing creative work has really tapped into the spirit of what’s being done. Kylie [Producer, Murmur Creative] is the project manager I’ve worked with for all of the graphic design projects, and she’s very responsive, as well as helpful.

There hasn’t been a single instance where I was left waiting, or looking for more attention than I received. Renee [Designer, Murmur Creative] is the graphic designer. She wasn’t the first person to tackle the logo design, but ultimately, she contributed an idea that we really loved. She did a fantastic job with that, and has since worked on some document development for us.

There’s definitely a benefit to having continuity with the organization that has been so involved with developing our new brand.

How did you come to work with Murmur Creative?

I was really impressed with a logo they’d created for Next Adventure, which is an outdoor gear brand. Once I saw it and their portfolio, I was intrigued because environmental nonprofit and outdoor retail both operate in the same scene. I was also impressed with Murmur’s website, so I asked some friends who are digital designers who they thought I should go to, and Murmur came up.

I did an RFP, and ultimately selected Murmur for the logo development. I knew I didn’t want to work with a huge agency, since we’re a nonprofit client with a limited budget. I also wanted someone who could collaborate with our committee and staff members as far as creative elements go.   

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent about $10,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked on the initial branding and logo design together from January-July 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We were able to have all of our merchandise updated in time over the course of July when we had our annual picnic. We had great sales there, and it was a opportunistic chance to receive a lot of feedback about how much people really loved the new logo. Our executive director received some positive notes.

The hardest part of a logo redesign for a nonprofit is getting everybody convinced that they need one. It was basically a unanimous agreement on our board that we had succeeded wildly with our rebranding and redesign process. We also had increased web traffic, and I wrote a blog post about the rationale that went into the new logo, which was a highly visited. We received some good comments on social media, and we’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback.

How did Murmur Creative perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re fantastic. I’m currently working on a website development project, and they’ve been doing a great job. They’ve continued to grow their business.

We had to have a conversation for the first time concerning the window for a project closing up, but they’ve been upfront and straightforward with me about all of it, which I really appreciate. We’ve been able to prioritize and work through it. Prior to that, it never really came to a point where they had to tell me it wasn’t going to be ready.

There’s very little follow-up required on my end, which definitely makes my life easier when I’m trying to manage a lot of different contractors.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their commitment to our mission is refreshing. They’ve done in-kind donations of their services to sponsor our events, and they always bring as many of their team members as they can. I’m not sure that would happen at every agency. They seem to really enjoy working with one another, and the positive energy on their team makes collaboration a lot easier. I have a lot of good things to say about the level of service and enthusiasm they’ve given to us as a client.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were competitive and had a nonprofit rate, which not a lot of small agencies can offer. I’ve proposed an in-kind donation of work hours and support of our annual fundraiser each year, and they’ve done that.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

WordPress Website For Makeup Artistry School

"They...[took] on the extra challenges we threw at them with extreme professionalism."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. - June 2014
Project summary: 

Murmur Creative provided rebranding service for a makeup company's site. Projects included logo design, web development, custom form creation, e-commerce integration, and SEO.

The Reviewer
 
Portland, Oregon
John Nutcher
Co-owner, Art of Makeup School
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new site elegantly and accurately defines the brand. Since launch, visits, conversions and revenue have increased significantly. Murmur Creative exceeded every expectation with their clear explanations of technical concepts, savvy design skills, and deep knowledge of the industry.

BACKGROUND

Please give a brief description of your company.

Art of Makeup School is the Pacific Northwest’s only licensed career school exclusively dedicated to education in the art, business, and techniques of professional makeup artistry. Art of Makeup’s training and education environment provide the necessary foundation to learn makeup artistry skills from successful working makeup artists current in fashion and makeup trends, film, television, stage, and HD [high-definition] makeup.

What is your role at the company?

I am a co-owner.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was the challenge that you were trying to address when you approached Murmur Creative? 

We needed a rebrand and a modern looking and functioning website to showcase the uniqueness and strengths of our business. We wanted to appeal to our regional DMA [designated market area, which runs from] Portland, Ore., to Vancouver, Wash., while positioning ourselves to be a national destination.

What were your company’s goals for the project?

We wanted a simple, clean website with a local, or boutique yet nationally appealing feel. We wanted to maximize our message utilizing supplied images, direction, competitive analysis, and copy.

SOLUTION

Can you describe the scope of their work? 

We retained Murmur for logo design, Web development, custom form creation, simple payment solution, and SEO [search engine optimization] implementation.

What was your process for selecting Murmur Creative with which to work? 

Given all the many agency options in and around Portland, they were the most badass, by far, within our budget.

Can you give us a sense of the size of the project using a cost range or personnel work-hour figure? 

They stuck within our estimated budget yet put in many extra hours with no complaints, taking on the extra challenges we threw at them with extreme professionalism and technical skill.

When was the project completed? How long did it take?

Our project was completed in June [of 2014] after about six months. Any unexpected delays were on our end due to our busy schedule and technical shortcomings. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What were the results of the project, and are there any metrics you can share that indicate the success of the work?

We now have a website that exceeded all expectations and is among the best in our industry. Unique visits and enrollments, or conversions, increased noticeably upon launch and we look competitive throughout all search platforms. We are busier than ever before in terms of revenue growth.

How did Murmur Creative perform?

They over-delivered in all areas beyond expectation.

When working with them, was there anything unique or special about them compared to other companies with which you may have worked? 

They spent a lot of time providing a lot of tech and design advice and explanation in a way that we were able to understand. They provided way more information than I would have expected. They have good taste and represent clients and brands that we like and support.

Looking back on the project, is there any area that they could improve upon or that you would do differently? 

No.

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

Website for Mail Lockbox Retailer

"The Murmur team is easy to work with and they have a great sense of style."

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

Murmur Creative redesigned a website using WordPress and Woocommerce.The project involved design, back-end development, e-commerce integration, SEO and analytics.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Portland, Oregon
Jody Pettit
Founder, Landport
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new site's functionality, appealing visuals and optimized content have increased web traffic. Murmur Creative impressed with their technical skills, tasteful designs, and clear explanations. Affordable pricing and capable management made the project a success.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company.

The Landport is a metal lockbox that you bolt to your front porch so that you can have packages delivered safely, and not have them stolen off your front porch. It’s a brand new company.

What is your role at the company?

I’m the founder.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your goal for working with Murmur Creative?

I wanted an e-commerce website. I had one when I met them, but it was substandard. I knew I wanted to increase the functionality and improve the looks of it, and they just jumped right in.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their work.

They worked on improving the design and backend development. They did great design work. If you could see what it looked like before, you’d say, “Wow, they really turned it up a notch.” It looks more professional now. They’ve provided me with support practically on a daily basis. It’s a WordPress site with a WooCommerce component, so that I can sell the product from my website.

Essentially, I went to them with a scope of work to add certain functionalities and a few pages from the initial foundation I had. What has happened is that I’ve had an ongoing working relationship with them, rather than a discrete, one-job thing. I’ve added many new things, some that I didn’t realize I was going to need.

Murmur Creative has been really great. I feel like they have not overcharged me. I felt overcharged by the two other firms that I worked with. [Looking back]. They’re not cheap, but they’re solid, they’re easy to work with, and they don’t gouge you, which is such a relief.

How long has the work been ongoing?

We’re going on a year now roughly.

What was your process for selecting Murmur Creative with which to work?

I did a Web search, trying to find creative agencies in Portland [Oregon]. I think I might have seen them on a website and just called them out of the blue. It turned out that everybody knows them, and they know everybody in the area. They’re well connected in the creative space.

Although, when I met the principal [Andrew Bolton] again, I thought he looked vaguely familiar and I realized I’d met him three years earlier through his work with my friend’s company. He did some really cool work for them.

Can you provide a ballpark dollar figure for the size of the work that they’ve done for you?

The total work was under $10,000.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Do you have any feedback or metrics that indicate the success of the work?

Everyone that’s looked at my website has said, “Wow.” I have friends that are designers or art directors, and they’ve said they really like my site. Part of what Murmur Creative does is the SEO [search engine optimization] and the analytics. We’ve definitely seen improvement in our traffic. I think a good part of that is from the SEO that they’re helping us with. They really do a nice job.

Is there anything unique about them that really makes them stand out, compared to other companies?

The guy who works on the backend, Tristan MacInnis, [Web developer at Murmur Creative], is a magician. If you have a problem, you can talk with him, and he says “refresh your screen” and it’s all gone, it’s all better. He just fixes things right and left.

Compared with the two other [Web design] organizations I worked with, I’ve gotten so much more through Murmur. I’ve had people that charged me way too much, and they had attitude. The Murmur team is easy to work with and they have a great sense of style, the designers Tijani Stewart and Zipporah Vannata are quick and clever.

Our SEO person, Chris Bolton, is really knowledgeable. He seems to understand that process in great depth and communicates the concepts to the rest of our team quite well. We learned a lot from him in a recent meeting.

Tim Acock did a really nice photo shoot for us to portray the Landport use for small businesses. Of course, the business owners knew Murmur and said “anything for those guys.”

Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or something that you might do differently?

I think with any of these firms, there’s often a preference for email communication over phone. That’s how our world works more and more now. But there’s sort of a layer of project management communication that any of these firms can benefit from. If you’re unaccustomed to [the process of designing a website] like I have been, you sometimes need that project manager person to communicate the process and progress clearly.

I know if they answered the phone all the time, they probably wouldn’t get much done. So, I email for sure, but there are times when I schedule an appointment to have more of a dialog. It’s not a huge criticism, it’s just notable to me that for every group like this that I’ve worked with, that aspect has been somewhat lacking. Things that are perhaps obvious to them may not be to the customer. Maybe even a little progress report would help.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Sometimes I gave them a short timeline and they still pulled through. They’re been really great about that. I know that sometimes they work through the night practically.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I’m really happy with that.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have, I’ve recommended them a lot. I have newfound peace of mind with Murmur, it is such a relief to have a great team I can depend on.