What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Even though we’re a pet food brand, we’ve had strong interest in our brand identity even in markets where we don’t yet sell our pet meals and treats. We ended up investing in a full-range line of apparel with our branding on it – we can’t keep it in stock either. We’ve have requests from around the world for our trucker hats, t-shirts and dog bandanas. People clearly like what we’re doing, including retail analysts Euromonitor who recently ranked Tom&Sawyer among the most innovative retail concepts globally. Our brand identity, developed by Parachute, achieved the differentiation we initially sought.
How did Parachute Design Group perform from a project management standpoint?
Most of our work was actually done by phone, but we did meet in-person a few times. A lot of it was just sending proofs and PDFs back and forth, going through the markup process. We were very impressed by how incredibly organized they were with their time. They met all of the project deadlines that we had established, and frankly, if there were ever any delays, it was always because of us. We had a very good working relationship with them. They're very responsive in terms of communication. Whenever we reach out to them they get back to us very quickly.
What do you find most impressive about them?
All agencies are supposed to be creative, but there was a different level of creativity and innovation in their designs. They weren't just coming up with cute designs. Instead, they were thinking many steps down the road about customer engagement and how this would roll out when we scaled the business. They tried to incorporate a lot of sales-oriented ideas into our initial brand discussion, which I really liked.
I'd also say that their work was quite inexpensive for what we got out of them. We thought we got very good value for the investment we made. I think another one of their greatest strengths was that we never felt like we were being sold to.
Are there any areas they could improve?
If there's anything – I wouldn't necessarily expect this of them – it was when we were making the decision to use our own developer to do a lot of the implementation work. They could have sold us a little bit more on their own capabilities, as I have seen great results in other projects they have implemented online. I’m kind of speaking out of both sides of my mouth in that I liked not feeling like they were selling me on the design work, but I could have been sold-to a bit more on the technology implementation work.
Any advice for potential customers?
If I was to do it over again, I would have incorporated Parachute into the implementation of our website. The way that they managed to always hit deadlines so effectively, and were really effective at managing timelines, that is tremendous value to customers.
I would say to treat Jay and the team as not just a creative partner but as more of a sales-enablement partner. Give them respect by opening up about your expectations from a customer experience and scaling the business perspective. They have really good insight in that area and would incorporate a lot of that perspective into their designs.