Please describe the scope of their involvement in greater detail.
We didn’t know exactly what we wanted the scope to be when we first started. Originally we just wanted The O Group to help us out with creating a brand strategy. Eventually the work evolved into a total rebrand, including updating our logo and collateral materials.
One of their main areas of focus in the rebrand was conveying the authenticity of our brand. Our product is one that, people who know masonry and stonework, can discern as special and of a higher level than our competitors' product. It’s harder for people who are laymen in this business, or casual consumers, to really discern that qualitative difference. The O Group helped us a lot by coming up with some different and creative ways of differentiating our product on the showroom floor. The logo design has been a particular success because it's a physical object that we can include in all of our products.
How did you come to work with The O Group?
My mother found them; she’s the CEO and founder of the business. I don’t actually know how she found them. We interviewed probably seven or eight different ad firms, and we worked with one very closely about eight months before we hired The O Group. Our experience was good at first, and then it turned sour when we wanted to revise some of their suggestions. They were very defensive, not collaborative, and they felt as though we were impinging their artistic integrity. They chose not to move forward with us.
We found a very different attitude with The O Group. We found them to be very warm and welcoming. We got along with The O Group right away. We had really good collaborative sessions before we hired them. It was clear that they had a keen grasp on what it took to create a brand and not just a clever advertising campaign. This is what enticed us, in addition to the quality of their past work. They were able to present a very, very strong portfolio.
Also, in our past experiences with other agencies, what's always happened is that you see the high-level people during the sales process, but then once you’ve hired them, they disappear and you're left working with the junior account managers. That has not been our experience with The O Group at all, it’s been the opposite. We’ve had the same team from start to finish, and it’s the very top people there that we are in easy and regular contact with. It’s really been an excellent experience.
Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?
I would say in total we've spent a few hundred thousand dollars with them. An individual print advertising project, where they own the photo shoot, copy, etc. is probably in the $50,000 range. They've been a real pleasure to work with from a cost perspective, though. They're not the cheapest you can find, but they're not as expensive as some of the big-time NYC agencies.
What is the status of this engagement?
I think we started somewhere around January 2015, or a little after. The project is mostly wrapped up right now October 2015, having received most of our deliverables.