Designing intersections for culture and technology

Nelson Cash is a creative studio with roots in Chicago and Portland. We believe in fostering relationships with our clients on a simple guiding principle - your project is unique, and unique challenges require unique solutions. Our perspective allows us to strategize wisely, design quickly, and develop holistically from the ground up. 

 

We believe that forming relationships must be an experience as unique and memorable as the individuals that are coming together.

Think of the relationships you’re forming.

Your company and people. (awareness)

Your team and your products. (efficiency)

Your products and society. (growth/revenue)

You and us. #callmemaybe

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2011
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • 401 N Aberdeen St Suite 3S
    Chicago, IL 60642
    United States
other locations
  • 4243 SE Belmont St #100
    Portland, OR 97215
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Trunk Club, Google, Quora, Stanford University, Glassdoor, VSCO, Gusto, Lean In, Kitchen Aid, Sterling Partners, YouTube, Solemn Oath

Reviews

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UX Design for Furniture Company

"We always knew where we stood with them; they were true to their deadlines and timelines."

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

Nelson Cash conducted in-depth consumer research and UX/UI design to support a furnishings rental site update, interviewing internal/external stakeholders and proposing engaging page layouts and flows. 

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Daniel Skoglund
VP of Shared Services, Brooks Furniture Rental
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Since launching earlier this year, the revamped site has experienced a significant increase in average visit time and drop in bounce rate. Nelson Cash’s ability to preserve brand integrity while executing a radical platform transformation made them a great fit for this engagement. 

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Brook Furniture Rental is a rent-to-rent organization. We have distribution centers and showrooms across the country, and we provide consumers and corporations with temporary furnishings. We have a vast product line ranging from complete home furnishing packages that include every item your home would need; to complete office solutions from the executive office to the lunch room.  We service both B2C and B2B clients, working directly with consumers and also other service providers to provide furnishing solutions to folks in a state of temporary transition. Currently, I'm the Vice President of Shared Services, when we started working with Nelson Cash I was the acting Director of Marketing.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Nelson Cash?

Our site had last been updated in 2012, and it needed some help. It was very copy-intensive and wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. In the past, there hadn’t been a significant amount of research in terms of what the flow should be, how it should work, what the consumer behavior looks like, how people want to make decisions, etc. We hadn’t done a really deep dive on best practices. We wanted not only to make the site current in terms of its look but also just improve the flow and function and understand the psychology of people coming to the site to transact. We wanted to get a better feel for what might be more effective.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Nelson Cash did really nice, in-depth research. It wasn’t intended to be a research project, but that was their approach, and I concurred it was a good place to start. They interviewed key members of our team—different folks who interact with consumers while working on the site. They were also working with different touch points within the organization in terms of what they thought the site should do, how it should work, and how it should behave. They went out in the field and worked with our sales people and met face-to-face with some of our clients.

They did some significant backend research in terms of monitoring and recording activity on our existing system, and they also proposed flows that they had mapped out for the UX. It was a relatively thorough research process, which was great. It was a well-informed design process. I think that was very important to get us to where we are. We continue to do that now, even internally. We constantly monitor the site looking at consumer behavior, looking for ways to improve the user experience and of course help lift conversions.

We did most of the content. We took a lot of the content that was in the existing program. Although Nelson Cash offered to provide content, we decided to use the content we had because it was very keyword-centric from an SEO perspective. We modified it to fit the nicer templates and information presentation ideas they had. We really didn’t modify a ton of the content. From a page count perspective, our content is predominantly made up by our product catalog.  There were other non-catalog pages that were important to us that we restructured to fit into the new template designs.

Nelson Cash really helped us with the imagery, the layout, the thought process of how things should flow, the page structure, the placement, and the momentum we wanted to build with clients emotionally as they go through this process.  We found some sticking points in the previous design that were creating a higher drop rate and we were able to address those areas to create a better user experience and in the end, a longer time on site metric.

Nelson Cash offered us other services. They have a full CMS [content management system] service, and they also do the site coding, web services coding, and HTML coding. We didn’t use them for that; we used them predominantly for the research and design aspect of it. We did some of that programming and coding in-house, and we’ve got some legacy processes and systems. It’s easier for us to do it than to give it to someone else.

How did you come to work with Nelson Cash?

They were referred to us by one of our board members. Their owner and principle partner, Uri, came in, and we met with him. He’s a very bright guy, and we loved his approach to business and what he did for other organizations. We found the work to be engaging. We looked at a couple other design groups, but we found Nelson Cash’s approach to be a good fit for the way we were thinking and what we needed. We didn’t want to just do a screen refresh. This was a pretty radical change in terms of what we did.

How much have you invested with Nelson Cash?

This information is confidential.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project with Nelson Cash ran from May to August of 2016. They turned it around relatively fast, which is what we needed. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our bounce rate has dropped significantly. If you look year-to-year against Google Analytics, we've dropped our bounce rate by double digits and increased our time on site by double digits.

We’re very happy with details like the font choice, flow, and image location. We are continually monitoring consumer behavior and making modifications. Ever since we took the site live at the end of January, we’re continuing to get information from the field, directly from consumers and our own teams out there. Some changes are minor, and some are relatively significant as we find out how people are behaving, what their frustrations are, and where they might be getting stuck. I wouldn’t think poorly of Nelson Cash because of that; it’s just the nature of this beast. You’ve got to get out there and do it.

How did Nelson Cash perform from a project management standpoint?

I believe they did an excellent job. They provided us with critical deadlines, timetables, a Gantt chart of progress, and an estimated time of completion. We communicated back and forth on where the sticking points were. It was really good to work with them, and they’ve got some very talented people. They’re local in Chicago, so it was easy for me to go down and spend some time with them. We’d do storyboarding, brainstorming, competitive benchmarking, and consumer flow diagramming to be sure we were on the right track. They performed very thoughtful research on our behalf in the area of consumer behavior which led directly to site design modifications. It was really good. We always knew where we stood with them; they were true to their deadlines and timelines. The delivery of the product was timely and thorough.

What did you find most impressive about Nelson Cash?

I don’t have anything to benchmark them against, but I liked their sincere concern about the success of our organization and their intelligent approach to understanding our business. They really dug into what we do and how we do it. One of their team members even rented furniture from us just to see the whole experience. That buy-in, from a concept perspective, is really important. Before you think about design, it’s important to understand not just our business but also the competitive set—what’s happening in the industry, who are the audiences—before getting to know those people and coming up with the design. My experience with these guys was very positive.

Are there any areas Nelson Cash could improve?

No, our experience was very good. I could call them today, and they’d be involved. They’re sincerely concerned about our success. After I get the latest revisions into the system and let them stabilize for a week or two, I think we’ll probably get them involved again to get their feedback and clean up some things. I really respect their opinion. 

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They kept the whole process moving along. We looked at some different themes and processes around color, font strategy, and the whole layout, which was done very well. We met our deadline in the end, and it was a pretty tight one.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I wish it would have cost less, but that’s just the budget scenario I was in. It wasn’t unfair, and they did a lot of great work.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They’re on time and accurate.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would trust them to do good work for other people.

Website Development for Author

"They really strove to understand what I wanted and delivered on that."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Sept. 2015 - Jan. 2016
Project summary: 

Nelson Cash provided design and web development services to drive brand awareness. The assigned team boosted a personal brand through image-rich social media campaigns and content creation.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Baltimore, Maryland
Alec Ross
Author
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The website has received great feedback for its attractive design. Nelson Cash’s social media strategy stood out with high-quality content. Their best attributes are responsiveness and transparency in project management while providing a personal touch.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m an author in the academic industry.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Nelson Cash?

I was trying to create a personal brand online that would build people’s awareness of who I am and the space I occupy. I wanted to provide an easy way for interested people to learn how to engage with me as a speaker, order my book, and fulfill transactions tied to me and my business.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They provided a website, and they also did social media content and some additional graphic design for online ads. Nelson Cash did both the design and development of the website. We spent time together and I conveyed my vision for what I wanted my brand to be and how I wanted that brand to manifest itself online. I’m a one-person operation, so it was a clear translation of my vision to a very compelling product.

I didn’t get under the hood of what technologies they used. I conveyed the look, feel, and organization I wanted, and they took care of all the technology for me. The site is primarily informational, but there’s also an area for transactions. I wrote a New York Times bestselling book that’s been translated into 18 languages. I wanted people to learn about the book on the site and buy it as easily as possible, so there was a commercial sales side to it as well.

The social media was principally focused on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Social networks are so overrun with content, so we wanted to develop an incredibly compelling and visually rich campaign of images tied to sales in order to build awareness of my book and to give people an incentive to go deeper. Nelson Cash did a brilliant job with that. It mainly involved graphics and the actual content itself. They provided the content and executed on that. They developed images for the web and social networks that were visually arresting and on-brand.

How did you come to work with Nelson Cash?

I engaged Nelson Cash through a referral. I did consider other companies at the time. To me, Nelson Cash represented the best of an employee-owned company with the capacity of a larger firm. It was in the sweet spot of getting a really A+ team combined with the capacity you would expect from a much larger organization.

How much have you invested with Nelson Cash?

I think it was about $30,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working together around September of 2015, and the work was completed in January of 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I didn’t track any specific metrics. There has been universal acclaim for the website. It’s very beautifully made; they did a spectacular job. Social media is a crowded space, but the very high-level quality of their work enabled my social media to stand out in a very competitive space. Their work was brilliant. It broke through at a time when it was very difficult to break through.

How did Nelson Cash perform from a project management standpoint?

They were on time and under budget. They were transparent and hyper-responsive. I’ve since referred them to others in part because of how well they did on project management. There were literally no hiccups.

What did you find most impressive about Nelson Cash?

When you do a deal with Nelson Cash, you’re dealing directly with the principals, and they are never more than an arm’s length away from you and your work. They could not be more hands-on and personally engaged. They’re also very good at listening. They really strove to understand what I wanted and delivered on that.

Are there any areas Nelson Cash could improve?

No. With the benefit of hindsight, I wouldn’t change one thing.

5.0
Overall Score In a very crowded and competitive environment, Nelson Cash’s work stands out.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They never missed a single deadline.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    A similar product from another shop would have cost 300% more than what I paid Nelson Cash.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The quality was exquisite.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve already done it. When people ask me today for referrals, I send them to Nelson Cash.

Marketing Campaigns for Tech Company

"They pushed the envelope a lot, which I really liked."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Apr. 2013 - May 2017
Project summary: 

Nelson Cash boosted diverse marketing efforts by redesigning a product website and creating rounds of emails, ad campaigns, and video content across multiple engagements.

The Reviewer
 
10,001 + Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Tech Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Through Nelson Cash’s innovative designs, each initiative improved product branding and education, as well as acquisition, web traffic, and conversion rates. The team’s rapid turnaround time, responsiveness, and affordable pricing contributed to a strong relationship.  

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am a senior product marketing manager for a market research survey product. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Nelson Cash?

I think it was to redo our website. The website was about two years old, and we had pivoted a bit on the business by the time I was ready to launch any sites. We learned a lot about our customers and how important a “how it works” section and a very clear use case section were to explain how to use the product and give examples. Those examples led to more engagement. Up until this time, as I reported to a product manager, I wasn’t given much of a marketing budget. I pitched the idea that I needed to work with an agency, and the agency would be Nelson Cash. I took this to them, and they helped us build a new website. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The website looked pretty outdated, and the product had changed a bit, so we were trying to update and add new sections to the site. They’ve also done emails for us, ads, videos, and TrueView videos, which are specific to a way that Google shows ads on YouTube. They’ve also done one-sheeters, just some collateral creation for us. We had a big presence at the Republican debates for the 2016 Presidential election, and they helped us with some really creative collateral. They’ve helped us with decks. There have been multiple rounds of ads, collateral, and emails. Nelson Cash just does the creative side. We have to work with a different agency to get the ads placed.

The purpose of the work varied and included branding, acquisition, and education. They’ve always been the agency we turn to when we have a big project. They’ve built a few other microsites for us—one specific to the debates I talked about, and one specific to an enterprise nurture program we built. The collateral was always around education, and emails are usually for acquisition. The TrueView video was for branding and acquisition, but the other ads were for acquisition.

How did you come to work with Nelson Cash?

It was an internal recommendation from a trusted co-worker. We did consider other companies at the time. When we first pitched the website, we got a few other quotes and pitches. Nelson Cash was the best for us from a cost point of view and what they were planning to build out for us. After we went with them for the website, they knew the product and knew our expectations, so it was easy for us to go back to them and continue the relationship.

What is the status of this engagement?

I believe we started working with them in April of 2013, and the most recent project just wrapped up in May of 2017. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I don’t have specific results off the top of my head. We’ve always seen positive side effects of their work. We saw increased traffic and conversion rates on our website, bounce rates went down, and people stayed on the site longer. They were always great with design, bringing us very cutting-edge designs and not just relying on what we’d picked in the past. They pushed the envelope a lot, which I really liked.

We always get comments on how creative the design is. It’s always been positive, which I why I continued working with them over the last four years. They’re fast, affordable for us, and always get it right. If they don’t get it right the first time, they come back to us with new ideas. Sometimes, they’ll even pivot completely, and we have to tell them they didn’t really hit it. It’s always great to work with them.

How did Nelson Cash perform from a project management standpoint?

They always kept in communication with me. They would respond to my emails anytime that I had issues come up. They would get back to me quickly and help me work through them. I did some personal site visits where they could actually see me and put a face to the name, which helped. It’s always been positive and responsive. They made sure to set up the meetings we needed. To me, their responsiveness was the most important thing. I don’t want to be spending a lot of money and not getting a response from an agency or being worried about a deadline and not getting updated communication on what’s happening.

What did you find most impressive about Nelson Cash?

I really appreciate not having to re-educate them every time. There’s been consistency. Even if people have left their agency or different people are working with us, the owner of Nelson Cash has always been consistent. He’s always made sure that his team is up-to-date on us and what we expect. The consistency is so nice. They already know our expectations, so I can bring a project to them, and they instantly get working on it. There’s no prep time; they get into the work right away.

Are there any areas Nelson Cash could improve?

There might have been things in the beginning, but at this point, we have a good, easy, open-communication relationship that is very smooth for us. Things get done quickly. We have all these internal reviews we have to go through, and they always get signed off quickly. It’s a pretty smooth process at this point.

5.0
Overall Score They’re my go-to agency. They’re who I pick and who I tell my team to pick. We use them whenever possible.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I’ve never had a problem with them missing a deadline. My assumption is that if they had an issue with hitting a deadline, they would be open and honest about it, but I’ve never run into that with them.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    In the beginning, it felt very cheap, and then prices felt a little higher at some point. If we go back to them and say we don’t have the budget for something, they’re always happy to try to meet us.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I’ve always been happy with their deliverables. I expect perfection when I’m putting something on the market because it represents me and my company. We expect the best, and we get that from Nelson Cash.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve referred them to many people.

Rebranding for Real Estate Company

"With the intensity of the all-hands-on-deck experience, you really feel like you’re the one and only concern of theirs."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
July - Dec. 2016
Project summary: 

Beginning with a company analysis, Nelson Cash initiated an intensive 10-day rebranding boot camp. After a content roadmap was established, they produced web templates, logos, and other marketing collateral.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Omaha, Nebraska
TJ Twit
CEO, OMNE Partners
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new brand identity has resulted in great press and increased prestige in the area. Nelson Cash maintained an attitude of confidence, structure, efficiency, and fun. Their process was unique and delivered results.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

OMNE Partners is an Omaha-based full-service commercial real estate company. We have a property management division and a brokerage department, and we also do maintenance and construction. I’m the president and CEO.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Nelson Cash?

That’s a big question. Our company was going through a transition of ownership and management. We had a tired brand and everything that goes along with that; logo, market perception, even market share. We just felt it was a great opportunity to rebrand. Everything was on the table, including the name of the company. So, we engaged Nelson Cash to basically do an assessment, tell us what they thought we needed, and then how they could guide us through that process. We started talking to them about a year ago and became more fully engaged with them as time went on.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The first service they performed was really kind of an analysis of the company and how they felt they could help us. They came to Omaha - I think there were three or four people. They did a full assessment of the brand. There was a name for the process, but I cannot remember what they call it right now. They interviewed me and a bunch of other people, and then came back with their recommendations on what we should do based on who we think we are. In other words, let’s go take everyone’s temperature, find out who they think they are, and then figure out how to best maximize that.

Then we fully engaged them in brand camp, which was really cool and a really interesting experience. It’s interesting to be engaged with smart people who aren’t in the same business and think in an entirely different way. That’s what Nelson Cash does. Brand camp is a very intense, fast process. The whole thing is ten days, and at the end, we had a new company name, a new logo, and a roadmap for all our collateral materials we use to promote ourselves.

They developed the collateral, including letterhead, business cards, marketing signage, and website template. We barely tweaked any of it. There were a few changes here and there, but not much. They’ve also developed one-off stuff. If we asked for anything, they gave it to us. However, we haven’t needed them. They gave us exactly what they said they would deliver, and our marketing people ran with it. We’ve got a client relationship with a local marketing and web development company who is helping us with our website, which goes live next week.

How did you come to work with Nelson Cash?

We’re part of a larger organization, and Nelson Cash had previously helped other companies within the organization to do similar things. We looked at some other options for the service. What really attracted me to Nelson Cash was their previous work product and their speed. With the intensity of the all-hands-on-deck experience, you really feel like you’re the one and only concern of theirs while you’re going through the brand camp exercise.

How much have you invested with Nelson Cash?

We spent $80,000 on the partnership with them.  

What is the status of this engagement?

I think we first engaged them in July of last year, and brand camp took place in September. So, I knew what our brand was going to be, but we wanted to time it with the relocation of our office in January. For two-and-a-half months, I knew the name and logo, but no one else here knew. We did this really cool brand unveiling. They put together a video for us to use. It was awesome and extremely well-received. We had signage mocked up for the event. We did a real unveiling, pulled the curtain back to show everyone in the company. Nelson Cash helped me with the event itself, which occurred the last week of December 2016. That was their last project with us.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

For advertising and marketing, it’s really tough to know, because we’re not tracking how people find out about us. Anecdotally, the feedback has been extremely positive. We’ve had a number of stories written about the change. I’ve been asked to speak about the rebranding in front of classrooms. We just had a guy from Kansa City ask that manager for a pretty significant real estate portfolio here in Omaha. He called me and said he’d never heard of us, and he really loves our signs. He called and interviewed us to take over the listings for his property, and I think we’re going to get it.

How did Nelson Cash perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re great. I felt like everything was planned, and everything was going according to that plan. There were very few surprises with the organization of their time and my time. I felt it was extremely efficient and fun. I enjoyed it. I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking about the same type of project. If they used any project management tools, I didn’t know about it.

What did you find most impressive about Nelson Cash?

It’s hard for me to say exactly what was unique, as this was my only experience doing anything like this. I don’t know if other companies do what they do. I can say that my overall customer experience was really great. I felt very, very satisfied with the product and the service. From my perspective, what made them special was their responsiveness and their ability.

Are there any areas Nelson Cash could improve?

I wish they were less expensive, but I feel that I got value. I definitely got what I paid for and more.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They never disappointed me on timing.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I got what I paid for.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We got six choices of new names. I felt that I would have never picked any of the other five.
  • 4.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I always hesitate to do that, especially when something is this expensive.