We think different. That's the +

Red Caffeine is a growth consultancy that uses: +strategy +branding +technology +marketing to fuel meaningful impact.

 

We address the most common challenges of brand awareness, lead generation, sales enablement, digital transformation and employer branding.

 

Our mission is to build badass brands that companies want to work with and employees want to work for. That's the thing that gets us out of bed in the morning and drives us throughout the day. That’s the impact we want to make.

 

What we found was that strategic growth requires a People+People™ Plan. Simply put, you can’t have one without the other. It takes the same strategies to attract and retain clients as it does talent – and you need a healthy, engaged pipeline of both to achieve business goals.

 

We're always looking to collaborate with like-minded, like-hearted leaders focused on change and growth in their organizations. So if that sounds like you, call us (or use any of the social media channels, we are active there too).

#PeoplePlusPeople #ThisIsRC

 
$10,000+
 
Undisclosed
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2013
Show all +
Lombard, IL
headquarters
  • 106 W. St. Charles Rd
    Lombard, IL 60148
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

We know business. And it’s a good balance of all types. We’re 80-90% in the mid-market and act as their agency of record. And approximately 50-60% in manufacturing. When we work with enterprise brands we’re brought on to do something specific. But the real value is that we can bring B2C ideas to B2B and ultimately bring the best ideas of what is going to work for you. One of the main ways marketing helps solve a business challenge is to disrupt the market. And that's badass.

Reviews

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Branding & Strategy for Equipment Solutions Firm

"Red Caffeine delivers on what they say they will, and they're doing it at the price that they quoted."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
July. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Red Caffeine provides a holistic marketing strategy for a manufacturing company. Ongoing features include developing a brand story book, a one-page snapshot, and website look and feel.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Jackson, Michigan
Phil Sponsler
President, Orbitform
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

While the strategy hasn't been fully implemented, the multifaceted solution has been well-received. The project manager's responsiveness and expertise at keeping the project moving is key to the success of the engagement. The team’s quality deliverables make them a valuable partner.

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 president of Orbitform. We design, build, and manufacture assembly solutions for manufacturers. We build equipment mainly in the forming, fastening, and riveting environment.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Red Caffeine? 

I wanted a holistic and sophisticated marketing plan and strategy that would serve us well for the next 10–20 years.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement? 

Red Caffeine started off the process by analyzing our company in order to develop a plan and strategy that will roll out over the next few years. They brought their whole team in to survey our team and understand what we do. Then they built a package from what they discovered and based on what they think it’s going to take to get where we want to go. 

Part of the early deliverables was a new brand storybook. It has everything standardized, from our look and colors to how everything should be printed. It also talks about our values, purpose, and vision. We're a complex business in that we don't just sell one thing into one market. We have six unique product pillars. They helped us with the overall messaging associated with Orbitform as well as different messaging for each pillar.

Red Caffeine also created a one-page corporate snapshot for our sales team to use as a leave behind. The messaging is aimed at our customers. Now we're about two weeks away from launching a new website. They’ve been helping us redesign and create the new site based on the brand’s new look and feel. 

What is the team composition?

Kathy (President, Red Caffeine) leads creative oversight. Lisa (Marketing Manager, Red Caffeine) is our project program manager. Danny (Graphic Designer, Red Caffeine) develops the look and the style. Kacey (Digital Marketing Strategist, Red Caffeine) handles content review and creation. 

How did you come to work with Red Caffeine? 

I heard about them on The MakingChips Podcast.  

What is the status of this engagement?

We started talking around July 2018 and the engagement is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Red Caffeine is delivering a multifaceted solution. We're still in the first phase. They’re guiding us through the process of standardizing our look and clarifying our messaging. They also helped us create our product architecture, which we didn't have before. It previously was very confusing. Once it was created, we got a lot of clarity into how we create content and what were the next steps. 

They bring tremendous value in understanding the challenges we’ve faced in the past. Red Caffeine’s holistic strategy will flow through our new website, which is the next phase. They’re helping us think through all of the different things we can do with the new material, such as campaigns. 

How did Red Caffeine perform from a project management standpoint? 

Lisa is a world-class project program manager. She keeps us informed of costs in real time. She drives us to get our required tasks done. She also organizes their internal team. They consistently deliver on their timelines and their committed tasks. We really understand the complexity of project management, and Lisa does an awesome job. 

We meet every other week on Mondays to review the project status. We do Zoom video meetings and use a Meeting Owl. We're in Michigan and they’re in Chicago, so this has been a really good way to communicate and see each other. It feels like we're in the same room. We also created “connect days” once every four months where we meet in person to have an all-day creative workshop. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

Red Caffeine delivers on what they say they will, and they're doing it at the price that they quoted. They're extremely judicious in that arena and never try to pitch or sell us stuff. I'm really ecstatic with their performance.  

Are there any areas they could improve?

I wish they were closer. The distance is a struggle sometimes, especially in inclement weather. However, that's normal with any business dealings. 

Do you have any advice for potential customers? 

Red Caffeine is very professional at building a foundational marketing strategy. Marketing is an ongoing process, so you want to work with a company that has some sticking power. Red Caffeine is going to be around for a long time to come.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They provide high value for the money spent.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They've really performed well.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’d absolutely recommend them.

Strategy & Marketing for Hydraulic Products Manufacturer

“Their positivity definitely rubbed off and encouraged us to think about our image in a new way.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
June 2019 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Initially undertaking a website upgrade, Red Caffeine identified opportunities to improve branding and took action. They’re introducing a business plan and marketing strategies before working on the site.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Frankfort, Illinois
Paul Kocsis
Business Development Manager, Kocsis Technologies
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Although the project is in its early stages, the team has already delivered a comprehensive business plan, offering valuable insight and direction for the future. Red Caffeine’s clear communication skills and ability to consistently meet deadlines continue to push the project forward. 

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 a business development manager at Kocsis Technologies, a fluid power engineering and manufacturing company. I manage sales and marketing operations here.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Red Caffeine?

As an engineering company, we haven’t much focused on our brand image or identity. Initially, we were only looking for a website upgrade, but after speaking with Red Caffeine we realized we needed to work on our brand first. Their team is helping us hone our sales and marketing strategies, developing a formalized plan for the future.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Red Caffeine started with a discovery process they called a “takeover day”. The team visited our office to learn everything they could about our sales, marketing, and general business practices. Using that information, they helped us revise our plans and strategies. In this process, they helped us look to the future and narrow our focus to what we’re good at—in terms of both skills and target audiences. We’re centering the message on our technical capabilities while looking at how we want to grow the reach of the business. 

We’re working through the branding phase now, but we plan to start on the website soon. There’s a strategy presentation scheduled for a few weeks, and we’ll discuss their work in that meeting. So far, they’ve created a landing page for one of our new products; they’ve built a sheet for our sales team, and we’ve talked about producing a video.

What is the team composition?

We’ve worked with 3–4 people. Julie (Vice President, Red Caffeine) was our original point of contact, but we’re now mainly working with Amy (Director of Client Services, Red Caffeine). She manages our projects and updates me daily on their progress. We also work with Kacey (Digital Marketing Strategist, Red Caffeine) to develop marketing strategies and a creative content professional to create logo designs and the more artistic elements of our branding endeavors.

How did you come to work with Red Caffeine?

I reached out to people in our network and they referred us to Red Caffeine.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve given them between $50,000–$60,000 in our budget this year.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in June 2019, and the engagement is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

It’s too early in the process to give any measurable metrics because much of their work isn’t live yet. But, our newly developed company vision and formalized five-year business plan will be extremely valuable as we continue to grow.  

How did Red Caffeine perform from a project management standpoint?

I’m the main liaison between our company and Red Caffeine, and the team is handling this project very well from my perspective. They always hit their deadlines and their communication is consistently clear, which is impressive in this industry. We have regular update calls and presentations to make sure we’re all on the same page, but I’m still in contact with their team every day. To ensure a smooth collaboration, we’ve been using Dropbox to share relevant project information as well.    

What did you find most impressive about them?

They have a great company culture and passionate energy for sales, marketing, and branding. I can tell they really love what they do. Their positivity definitely rubbed off and encouraged us to think about our image in a new way. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

So far, the project has gone very smoothly. During the discovery visit to our office, they could have been more organized in staying on schedule. Other than that, I have no complaints.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Designate someone to act as a liaison between your company and Red Caffeine. That way, someone on your team is responsible for ensuring the success of the project. It’ll help you get the most bang for your buck.

4.0
Overall Score It’s been great so far, but we can’t truly measure their success at this point in the partnership.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’ve hit every deadline they set.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re a little pricey. It’s too early for us to estimate our ROI, but the acquaintance who referred us made their money back—so we’re hopeful.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Branding & Strategy for Local Government

“Their whole team is really responsive and they turn stuff around very quickly.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
May 2012 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Red Caffeine runs a marketing strategy and campaign for an entire municipality, organizing web and social media ads, mail and email newsletters, and live events to bring businesses to the community.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Elk Grove Village, Illinois
Josh Grodzin
Director of Business Dev and Marketing, Elk Grove Village
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Online customer engagement has increased, while overall vacancy rates have dropped since beginning the engagement. The employees at Red Caffeine take initiative on a multitude of projects and are extremely responsive to all forms of communication to ensure everyone remains on the same page.

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 the director of marketing for Elk Grove Village, which is our local village government in a suburb of Chicago.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Red Caffeine?

We wanted our village to be more known as a business-friendly city that people would want to move to and start in. Red Caffeine helped us put a whole campaign together to make that happen.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Red Caffeine did pretty much everything, from web design to social media, to graphic design, to putting on events throughout the year. They did a lot of PR work for us, including in prints, email newsletters, direct mail pieces, and live events. It's been a complete campaign with all those individual parts to it.

What is the team composition?

My main point of contact at Red Caffeine is Kayla (Account Manager, Red Caffeine), and she has about 3-4 other people working with her at various times.

How did you come to work with Red Caffeine?

I knew about them from a previous employer, and I've known Kathy Steele (Founder & CEO, Red Caffeine) for close to 15–16 years from being involved in the community over time. I reconnected with Kathy to help me build up the program.

How much have you invested with them?

So far, our budget is $150,000 a year.

What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve been working with Red Caffeine since May 2012 and our work with them is ongoing. Every year we continue to build on what we’ve done and improve those things, but we also try to launch something new in order to keep moving forward.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Based on our metrics, we’ve seen tons of engagement with our web platforms and our email newsletter. One of the live events that we do has thousands of people come through it every year. Our vacancy rate has also decreased since beginning working with Red Caffeine.

How did Red Caffeine perform from a project management standpoint?

They're fantastic. We’re like a team, and Kayla is always on the spot with new information or ideas, executing different things almost every day. She brings in people as needed from the Red Caffeine team, but she coordinates all of that on her own. Since I’m very busy as the director, Kayla has been a real savior just to keep things moving in the right direction.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Kayla and the team are really great.  They’re always thinking about our project and coming up with new ideas to try. She keeps things on track. Their whole team is really responsive and they turn stuff around very quickly.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, there’s nothing that I can think of.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

I wouldn’t be afraid to try anything. Take chances. You’ll get the best results if you stay open to trying new things.

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