Be Essential

We work at the intersection of brand and digital, helping ambitious leaders define and express what makes their business truly essential. We create and evolve brands, products and services by developing the core elements of strategy, naming, visual identity and communication.

By distilling what’s essential, we’re far more adept at the digital translation – web, mobile, user experience and content development. This fusion of brand and digital brings an exponential effect: highly compelling stories, genuine engagement, motivated advocates and tangible business results.

 

 
$10,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2001
Show all +
New York, NY
headquarters
  • Salt Branding
    1345 Avenue of the Americas
    New York, NY 10105
    United States
    212.893.1170
other locations
  • Salt Branding
    1265 Battery Street
    San Francisco, CA 94111
    United States
    (415) 616-1500

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Microsoft, CenturyLink, Pearson Education, Arizona State University, Brocade, Nuance Communications, Teach for America, Clearxchange (Wells/BofA/Chase), Harman and more

Reviews

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Venture Capital Firm Brand Strategy and Naming

"Within a few months' time, we walked into meetings, and people knew exactly who we are and knew the brand."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Dec. 2013 - Feb. 2014
Project summary: 

Salt Branding came on board to develop a brand identity that was distinct from the common attitude among the competition. Deliverables included branding, naming, and web design.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New York City
David Sica
Vice President, Nyca Partners
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

In their comprehensive discovery process, Salt rapidly came to a working knowledge of relevant stakeholders and their goals. Each team member takes responsibility for carrying the company’s image. They gave thorough responses to every question and always delivered on time.

BACKGROUND

Please provide a description of your company. 

I work for Nyca Partners, a newly formed venture capital firm that focuses on advising and investing in technology companies.

What is your role and responsibilities?

I am the vice president.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your goal for working with Salt Branding?

When you look at venture capital firms or private equity firms, there's a lot of similarities in their brands. I think it's very easy for these companies to sound pretentious, and we were trying to avoid that. As a startup, we were trying to introduce a new concept that would stand out. We went to Salt to help us figure this problem out.

Please describe the scope of their work.

They've worked on branding, naming, and our website design. Pretty much anything has to do with communicating our message, Salt has helped in some way.

SOLUTION

What was your process for selecting Salt Branding with which to work?

We spoke to a few agencies, but Salt really stood out. Their process is incredibly thoughtful and comprehensive. Before we even got into the work, we probably had five sessions where we just brainstormed the business and the brand before we made any concrete decisions. While it took extra time, it really set us up for success.

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

The project has been in the range of $20,000 to $50,000.

What was the timeline of the project?

I want to say it was three months. We started discussing the project in December 2013, and we probably had it completed in January or February[of 2014.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Do you have any statistics, metrics, or general feedback to show the success of the project?

Everything was world class from my standpoint. Within a few months' time, we walked into meetings and people knew exactly who we are and knew the brand. So, I definitely think that's a relevant metric, the time from inception to traction. Salt's work made us standout in the industry.

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

You get really good attention, and you always have access to their top management. I would say the culture of the firm is such that everybody you interact with carries that with them. They're incredibly responsive. Even if you ask a quick question on the fly, you will get a thoughtful, detailed response. They hit all of their timelines. Everything we've sent them, they have over-delivered on, and that's why we keep giving them more work.

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 especially when you're a startup company, you want things very quickly. We had to temper some of those expectations, but that is more on us than them. Overall, their schedule and timelines were great.

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

Brand Development for Education Nonprofit

"Their insights into what the strategy should be have been phenomenal."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
July 2014 - Jan. 2015
Project summary: 

Salt Branding spearheaded a rebranding campaign to reflect a shift to a more regional approach. Beginning with a brand analysis, they then developed strategies for differentiation from others in the field.

The Reviewer
 
1001-10,000 Employees
 
San Francisco Bay Area
Director of Operations, Education Nonprofit
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Salt Branding was clearly a very intelligent team: Their strategic counsel was highly useful and has been integrated into ongoing marketing efforts. Strategy is their core area of expertise; designs themselves were not as high-quality.

BACKGROUND

Please provide a description of your company.

I work for a nonprofit dedicated to improving the education system in America. I work in our California regional office, and oversee our operations in Richmond, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose.

What is your role and responsibilities?

I lead the external affairs and operations team in the Bay Area region.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your goal for working with Salt Branding?

Our organization has been going through a huge shift for the last couple of years. We’re going from a national organization with a series of regional arms and shifting to a more regional-centric organization. 

As part of that shift, the national office is giving a lot more autonomy to the regional offices, including on the marketing and communications front. So, we've been developing our regional brand and trying to figure out how to communicate the work we do in the Bay Area in a new and different way. We engaged Salt to think about our rebranding.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their work.

Salt initially started doing external analysis, speaking with some of our key stakeholders, teachers, principals, and donors, understanding how we were perceived in the external market, both functionally and overall. From that, we pulled together our key differentiation, and what our brand positioning could be in the region. Then, we developed a plan as to how we could market ourselves regionally and nationally.

What was your process for selecting Salt Branding with which to work?

We found them through the chair of our board, who is connected with one of the partners at Salt. We also spoke with two other branding agencies, but we were most impressed with Salt’s work and their initial thinking on what the strategy could be.

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

It was around between $100,000-$200,000.

What was the timeline of the project?

The project started in July 2014, and they gave us the final deliverable in January 2015.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you talk about the results of the project, and how you feel they performed in terms of the quality to their work?

We’ve been really happy with them. We’ve been rolling out what they did and pushing that into all of our external marketing moving forward. It’s really in the execution phase at this point.

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

The people at Salt are clearly very intelligent. Their insights into what the strategy should be have been phenomenal. Their responsiveness and customer service were fantastic as well.

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?

Their work at the very end of the project, as we were translating the overall strategy and initial design into a concrete plan, was not as great as the initial strategy work. I think that’s not their core competency and it showed. However, they definitely gave us the raw materials to succeed.

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

Branding Strategy for Compass USA

"We were completely on the same page in terms of pure theory around what good solid brand equity management looks like."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Apr. - Dec. 2014
Project summary: 

Salt Branding strategized and created a new brand story to appeal to a discerning Millennial audience. Deliverables included the logo, slogan, and color palette.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
New York City
Vice President, Food Services Provider
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

From conceptualizing to creative, Salt delivered beautiful, hip brand collateral. Account management was not as strong, but overall, they were a highly intelligent team that understood what was current in Silicon Valley.

BACKGROUND

Please provide a description of your company. 

I work for a large food service provider, operating in a variety of marketplaces. The marketplace that my division specializes in is higher education, so we provide meal service to about 270 colleges and universities nationwide.

What is your role and responsibilities?

I’m the vice president of marketing and creative services.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your goal for working with Salt Branding?

Our primary audience [college students] is between 18 and 22 years old, so we feel pressure to maintain a very forward thinking and progressive brand. 

Our goal in working with Salt was to refresh our brand, and create a new brand story that would connect [our company] with the issues millennials care about. 

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their work.

We were looking to improve our strategic positioning around the brand, and to do that we wanted them to package and translate the brand promise into something that would be emotional and relevant to the younger audience. Initially, they were in research mode conducting their own surveys and interviews with key stakeholders as well as students. In addition to the strategy component, Salt created the core brand elements, including the logo, slogan, and color palette.

What was your process for selecting Salt Branding with which to work?

I’m a professor of brand equity management at West Virginia University. The textbook that we use is authored by Kevin Keller, a thought leader in the marketing advertising space, and branding guru. I contacted him for a referral, and he recommended two agencies to me, one of which was Salt. 

I selected Salt for a number of reasons. One was their location. We thought that the Northern California location probably lends itself a little better to a more progressive approach, a more modern, hipper approach to the project. Also, the founder really took the time to establish a good strong connection with me. So, I felt comfortable moving forward with them.

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

It was between $100,000 and $200,000. 

What was the timeline of the project?

The project started in April 2014 and finished in December 2014.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you talk about the quality of the work they provided for you?

I could not be more thrilled with the results of the initial scope of work. The strategy work was exceptional, the core brand elements were beautifully designed. I was very happy with the deliverables, and we’re very excited to launch the new brand.

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

I deliberately went through Kevin Keller because I wanted a real branding agency. Not a marketing and advertising agency that has good designers and just pretends to be a branding agency. Salt definitely met that qualification. We were completely on the same page in terms of pure theory around what good solid brand equity management looks like.

Their team is super smart. I was really impressed with the sheer intellectual caliber of the team they assembled to work on our project. Being located in San Francisco, I think they have pulse of what’s going on in Northern California and Silicon Valley, which is obviously where a lot of the trends that are impacting our business are starting. That also really benefited the project.

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?

Their strategy work is incredible. In terms of opportunities for improvement, their account management is not the best I've worked with. I didn’t feel the same level of trust in terms of the account management, as I did in my initial contact with Rick [Herrick, co-founder of Salt Branding]. This wasn't really a problem until we moved from developing the brand strategy to talking about execution and implementation.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 3.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 4.0 NPS
    Willing to refer