CREATING GREAT TECHNOLOGY JUST GOT EASIER

Too many brands struggle with creating technology. The Sneakers Agency framework helps brands clarify their digital strategy. Customers who work with us build better companies and bigger business opportunities.

 

Sneakers Agency is a full-service digital product development agency focused on helping brands launch and grow their businesses. Our core branding, product, and marketing services help brands at every stage of their journey not only survive, but thrive. Sneakers Agency has been trusted by 50+ brands since 2014 from start-ups, to enterprises, to non-profits, and partner agencies. We are located in Soho, NYC.

 
$25,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2014
Show all +
New York, NY
headquarters
  • 154 Grand St
    New York, NY 10013
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 
  • Pepsi
  • IBM
  • Meadows Office Interiors
  • Sony
  • SYPartners
  • vimeo
  • Launchmetrics
  • Zagat
  • ForceBrands
  • Pinata
  • Welco
  • The Infatuation 

Doctor Wound - UI/UX

Seamless patient onboarding and ongoing care.

Let's face it, medical professionals are used to using pretty outdated software. It doesn't have to be this way though. When we started working with Doctor Wound, they wanted to create their own custom Electronic Medical Record (EMR) System to help them streamline their patient onboarding, ongoing care, and billing. We collaborated with Doctor Wound to create full UI/UX designs for their complex EMR system and transform this into a clickable prototype so that they could see the full user experience.

Zagat - Top Restaurant Reviews + Ratings

App Acquisition & Management

You may or may not know this, but apps get acquired by other companies all of the time. In the world of apps for foodies, The Infatution recently acquired the Zagat brand and all of its digital assets from Google. The Infatuation tapped The Sneakers Agency to assist them with taking over ownership of Zagat's native iOS app. In working closely with The Infatuation's product team, we were able to insure as smooth a transition as possible and a seamless upgrade experience for existing users.

Case Study: ICO Crowdfunding

CROWDFUND THROUGH CRYPTOCURRENCY

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are all the rage these days. As technologists and product people, we wanted to take the opportunity to get our feet wet and so we designed and built a web responsive prototype for an Initial Coin Offering using Ethereum and Ethereum smart contracts.

Interlaken Group - Cost of Ownership

NONPROFITS CAN SHINE TOO

For non-profits, cost of ownership of a website can be a major factor. When we started working with Interlaken Group, their custom built Elixir based site was hosted on a private web server that they didn't control. We had to come up to speed on Elixir, but we worked with Interlaken Group to rectify this situation and get their custom site hosted on Heroku so that they didn't have to worry about administering web servers and to make it easier for us to deploy changes. Through Heroku's pipeline feature, we were able to seamlessly enable a staging site for testing site updates. We do ongoing work with the Interlaken Group to enhance and manage their website. We most recently worked with them to redo the site's navigation structure.

Iterative Capital Management - Cryptocurrency News

PUBLISHING VIA GHOST We especially love getting exposed to new technology and platforms. When our friends at Iterative Capital called us up to help them with their site they said they wanted to use a publishing platform called ghost. We naturally said: "What's ghost?" Turns out ghost is an excellent lightweight platform for creating web publications. We worked closely with the Iterative Capital team to put together a unique visual image for their site and publication that lets them showcase their domain expertise in cryptocurrencies.

ForceBrands - Responsive Jobs Platform Site

PLATFORM REBUILD Oftentimes, enterprises outgrow the technology they spent years building and maintaining. Forcebrands found itself in this exact position and decided it was time to design and build a new version of their jobs platform from scratch. Unfortunately, things did not work out as expected with the first firm they hired who went and designed an entire site, presented their designs, and wanted approval to build the entire thing. And so what do you do when you're in a pinch? Why, call sneakers of course. By taking a collaborative, hands-on approach with the ForceBrands team, we were able to bring much needed energy to a stalled project, help grow Forcebrands' internal team, and get it completed in a few months.

Pepsi Pass - Mobile Apps

WE COULD ALL USE SOME HELP.

From time-to-time we work with larger agencies in need of help with their client projects. Luck would have it that we got the nod to work with one of NYC's premier digital marketing agencies to build the iOS and Android apps for a complete overhaul of Pepsi's rewards program: Pepsi Pass.

Mission 360 - Web App

YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO FLEXIBLE

Video-on-demand subscription services are tricky to get right. So so much so that Mission 360 came to sneakers to get their platform up to snuff. So we did what we always do which is go back to the basics and ensure that the primary functions and building blocks of the platform work as expected. From there, Mission 360 will be on a firm footing to market their site with confidence and expand their functionality.

Unstuck - iPad App

A MOTIVATION COACH RIGHT BY YOUR SIDE.

When it launched, Unstuck defined what was possible on Apple's just released iPads. To this day the product stands the test of time and has helped countless people overcome their life obstacles. During the course of Unstuck's evolution, Sneakers has been a trusted partner to the Unstuck team providing new feature development and maintenance along with overall mobile guidance and strategy. 

Meadows Office Interiors- Mobile & Web Apps

A TRUSTED ENTERPRISE REDEFINES ITSELF FOR THE DIGITAL AGE.

Things don't change very often in the world of office design and installation. Meadows Office Interiors however saw an opportunity to streamline their operations, improve customer satisfaction, and increase sales through a number of digital initiatives. But oftentimes, building digital products is harder than it looks, especially for established enterprises.  

Launchmetrics - Mobile Apps

THE LEADER IN FASHION LOGISTICS.

Fashion and software aren't usually mentioned in the same sentence, but creating fashion is a complicated process. Launchmetrics helps fashion brands manage their fashion samples, fashion events, and fashion lines while connecting them with industry insiders. Mobile apps are a key component of Launchmetrics digital strategy and sneakers has been their go to partner for mainting and building their extensive suite of iOS and Android apps that interface with everything from bluetooth printers to handheld scanners.

Piñata - Web & Mobile Apps

CONNECTING BRANDS AND AMBASSADORS

Brands have to market and promote their products. As it turns out, doing in store marketing promotions can be incredibly painstaking to coordinate. Pinata was founded to change all that, but they struggled with their initial attempts at platform execution. Pinata subsequently hired sneakers to focus their efforts and deliver a Minimum Viable Product to the market. 

Bizly - iPhone App

WE ALL HATE BORING MEETINGS.

Sometimes the best way to keep a team motivated is to get them out of the office. Bizly makes it easy for companies of all sizes to easily book offsite meeting spaces at inspiring locations. Bizly originally enlisted sneakers to build the first version of their mobile app. Since then Bizly has raised enough money to build and sustain their own team. We couldn't be prouder. They are doing beautiful work.

Concept - Beauty Booking App

For one reason or another, a lot of great design never sees the light of day. We think that sucks pretty hard since we worship design and so we wanted to share a concept that we're really quite proud of here at sneakers. Enjoy.

Reviews

Sort by

App Support for Restaurant Content Platform

“They were successful in rebuilding the app and getting it to launch.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Mar. - Aug. 2018
Project summary: 

The Sneakers Agency provided iOS development services, transitioning an application to new infrastructure. They led on the rebuilding and retooling process, scoping out the work and implementing the changes.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
New York City, New York
Head of Product, The Infatuation
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The app was completed successfully and efficiently thanks to the team’s dedicated efforts. They worked seamlessly alongside the in-house team and were flexible throughout, adapting to internal processes while displaying leadership and initiative in their work.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the head of product for The Infatuation—we write professional restaurant reviews and guides. Our whole skew is that the reviews are situational and conditional. We acquired Zagat this year, and are ultimately going to be bringing it into a community-driven platform to help us scale and provide an excellent resource.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with The Sneakers Agency?

We didn’t have any internal iOS resources. That meant we were looking for someone to come in and own the iOS transition of the app from its existing infrastructure into the new infrastructure we were building.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

When the transition began, we were working extremely closely with Sneakers. They essentially owned the rebuild and retooling to work with our infrastructure. They scoped everything out and acted as a real partner throughout the process.

When we acquired Zagat, we were given the app as a part of the acquisition. We had to remove certain features as part of decoupling from Google’s infrastructure, and we also had to rebuild almost all of the data pipelines that fed the app.

What is the team composition?

We worked closely with Chris (Founder, The Sneakers Agency). He did a lot of work on the project and also brought in one of his lead iOS engineers. The two of them ran the project.

How did you come to work with The Sneakers Agency?

I initially spoke to another iOS developer who I had worked with in the past. He was unable to do the work but recommended Sneakers to us. We met with them and found we had an upfront familiarity—we felt comfortable to bring them on board to own the entire iOS part of the project.

How much have you invested in them?

The cost was around $30,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together on this project from March–August 2018. We continue to work with them for any maintenance as well as future iterations.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They were successful in rebuilding the app and getting it to launch. It was a pretty painless process and we’re very happy to get it out into the world.

We’re talking about bringing them on board to do some other work we have. We definitely feel comfortable having them take on a bigger workload.

How did The Sneakers Agency perform from a project management standpoint?

Chris was local to us in New York, so he would come by at least once a week for a catch-up meeting to go through any issues or feedback. It worked well. We embedded them into our existing project processes and managed the project using Slack and GitHub to ensure we worked closely together. It was pretty seamless and overall, I think it was a big success.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They were very flexible at working into our process, which was a big success. Along the way, it felt clear that they were a good partner. We trusted that they were actually owning that process as there wasn’t a whole lot of oversight. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with them again because they took on the burden of the work and integrated into our own workflow.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don’t think there’s anything I wish had been different. When working with outside agencies, it can be hard to ensure that everyone is always on the exact same page. I don’t think that was a problem for them, especially given the nature of our project, which was well laid out.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

It was helpful that we had access to the people working on the project and could put them in our own channel. Because Sneakers is a pretty small shop, we had the ability to work directly with them. Putting them in our Slack, our code management, and our project management programs allowed us to always understand where people were and where the work was, which was exactly what we wanted.

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

Website Redevelopment for Recruiting Firm

We struggled to consolidate our brands until Sneakers showed us how to unify our messaging.”

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Apr. - Nov 2017
Project summary: 

The Sneakers Agency obtained data from multiple platforms and used the data to build a unified website. They also implemented an admin dashboard and a live-chat feature to aid customer support efforts.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
New York Metro Area
Director of Technology, Staffing Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Despite the ever-evolving scope and limited time, Sneakers delivered a functional website within a tight deadline. Their team is adaptable to deliver every task that comes their way.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Our agency provides staffing and recruiting solutions for consumer packaged goods industries. As the director of technology, I oversee our digital products and the accompanying data analytics.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with The Sneakers Agency?

We wanted to unite all of our job boards and sister companies on a single platform, so we needed help rebuilding our website to reflect our expansive brand.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The Sneakers Agency used our existing wireframes to rebuild the website to our specifications. A majority of their work involved consolidating data from sister sites and importing the files on the main website. They also implemented new features, including a comprehensive admin dashboard, a blog, and a live-chat for customer support.

What is the team composition?

Their CTO was the liaison between our company and their development team. We initially worked with one senior developer, but we gained an architect and two junior developers towards the end of the project.  

How did you come to work with The Sneakers Agency?

Sneakers was an established partner before I came onboard. Familiarity and prior success were the most significant factors.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent a little more than $200,000 to rebuild the website.

What is the status of this engagement?

They worked on the website from April 2017 – February 2018, but we officially launched in November 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We had various brands with distinct voices and we struggled to consolidate our brands into one website.

How did The Sneakers Agency perform from a project management standpoint?

We continuously added work to the scope, but their project manager was receptive to our revolving needs and prioritized tasks accordingly. Our teams used Trello and Slack to manage the timeline and communicate respectively.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Although we didn't have a fully conceptualized vision for the website, Sneakers focused on developing the main features so that we’d have a finished product before the launch.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They performed to our expectations given our budget and timeframe, but their work would have been more effective if our team had done more research before commissioning the project.  

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

This was my first time working directly with an agency and we did not set expectations for maintaining the website after launch. Eventually, we brought someone in-house to manage that.

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

UI/UX Enhancements for Bartering App

“Everyone was incredibly talented and communicated perfectly.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Nov. 2017 - Apr. 2018
Project summary: 

The Sneakers Agency took over the development of an iOS app from another vendor, implementing bug fixes and improving overall functionality.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New York, New York
Jake Madoff
Co-Founder, TradeMade
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The Sneakers Agency surpassed expectations, delivering a high-quality and bug-free app ahead of schedule. The team excelled in project management, communication, and customer service, which contributed to a successful collaboration.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I'm the co-founder of the TradeMade iOS app.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire The Sneakers Agency?

Our initial development company failed to successfully build the app, so we hired The Sneakers Agency to fix bugs and improve the app’s functionality.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

We researched several app development agencies in New York City. By far, Sneakers Agency was the best out of the 5–7 we contacted.

Can you go into detail about the services they provided and the scope of the project?

We tasked them with fixing core features and providing general feedback about the UI/UX. They made several changes, including fixing the internal chat functionality, installing and configuring key analytics, and implementing tracking. Aside from improving the app’s UI/UX, they also provided development consultation and walked us through our backend framework.

What was the team composition?

We worked with their CEO and a few of their developers.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any information that demonstrates the impact that this project has had on your business?

They delivered and then some. Now, the app functions exactly how we imagined it. The bug fixes and dev solutions were integrated perfectly and ahead of schedule. They even tested the app and removed the burden of QA, which other agencies didn't offer. Overall, it was an excellent experience.

How was project management arranged and how effective was it?

Their team was skilled in all frontend and backend iOS languages. There was never an issue of whether or not a problem could be solved.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

Everyone was incredibly talented and communicated perfectly. Their care and attention were impressive. Once you know a team is capable of doing the dev work, genuine attention is all you can ask for, and they delivered.

Are there any areas where they can improve?

None.

5.0
Overall Score You're making a mistake if you don't get on a call with them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were always on time.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were fair and open to working out pricing.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They provided excellent quality.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I already have.

ADA Compliance Corrections & Magento Dev for Bakery

“They helped us achieve ADA compliance, improving overall website performance and customer satisfaction.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Nov. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

The Sneakers Agency updated and relaunched a Magento Enterprise website to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, fixing bugs and adding features as needed.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
New York, New York
Co-Founder, Levain Bakery
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The Sneakers Agency's efforts made the website more accessible and user-friendly, bringing customer complaints practically to a halt. Responsive and flexible to the needs of the client, their client-centric approach sets them apart. They've been able to deliver where other vendors have failed.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm one of the founders of a small retail bakery with four locations in New York City and on Long Island. We've been in business for almost 25 years.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with The Sneakers Agency?

We were being sued for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) issues that the company that originally built our website were unable to fix. We were looking for a vendor that could update our site according to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The Sneakers Agency updated and relaunched our website on the Magento Enterprise platform. They fixed the many accessibility issues we had (i.e., form controls, navigation, text color, links, images) and bugs associated with our shipments through the site via UPS. They also included a camera feature that uploads live views from any of our stores onto the site in real time.

What is the team composition?

I primarily correspond with Chris (CEO and Founder, The Sneakers Agency) and he also has a team of engineers who work on our website.

How did you come to work with The Sneakers Agency?

They were one of three companies recommended to us by a company that completed an audit of then-current state. Compared to the other two, The Sneakers Agency seemed like the best fit; they were the most responsive.

How much have you invested with them?

We've invested over $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working together since November 2017. They just finished the ADA compliance project and we're in the process of figuring out how to keep working with their team.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We've received a lot of good feedback on the improvements that they've made to the website. They've helped us achieve ADA compliance and improve overall website performance and customer satisfaction. Calls from customers unable to complete their orders through our website have almost completely stopped.

How did The Sneakers Agency perform from a project management standpoint?

Their customer service was above and beyond our experience with previous vendors. They're respectful and patient when communicating with us. It's been refreshing to work with an agency that actually wants to help us learn about some of the technical work they're doing.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're very responsive. Whenever I have an issue or a question, they respond immediately and are willing to meet in person when we prefer. In addition to making themselves available to us, they're flexible and work around our schedules.

Their actual deliverables also exceeded our expectations. Our previous vendor was unable to incorporate the store camera feature on our site, but The Sneakers Agency was able to get it up and running within just a few weeks.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. I'm very happy with them.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They're not cheap, but it's worth the investment.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Project Management & Web Design for Advisory Firm

“They're flexible and easy to work with, and they excel at project and engineering management.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Oct. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

The Sneakers Agency built out a website and blog with multiple backend email integrations and also redesigned the site logo. They’re currently overseeing development of a supplemental mobile app.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New York, New York
Chris Dannen
Partner, Iterative Capital
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The site has received positive feedback, including new calls from investors, and the blog has provided a competitive edge in research publishing. The Sneakers Agency’s effective management style and expertise have allowed complex projects to go forward without an in-house CTO, saving time and money.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the co-founder and one of the partners at a small New York-based alternative investment management firm. Our team trades a variety of financial assets and products and we currently have about $20 million under management.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with The Sneakers Agency?

We asked them to create a website and a blog for us. We're a little bit more active than your average investment manager when it comes to publishing research, so we placed particular emphasis on the blog. There's also a specific site-building framework called Ghost that I wanted to use, so I needed someone familiar with that.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The site design itself was fairly straightforward. They built our homepage and a blog in Ghost, as well as several kinds of contact forms for people to reach out to us or subscribe to our newsletter. We also needed some rebranding work, so they took our existing logo and colors and gussied them up a little bit, then incorporated that aesthetic into the site.

In addition, we needed a number of integrations on the backend that were a bit tricky to implement.  They deployed databases and a few application instances on DigitalOcean, which is a virtual private hosting service. They also integrated Benchmark, our e-newsletter platform, and set up what's called a Mailgun integration, which can send certain kinds of automated emails (like password notifications) to users via our domain name.

Now that this project is complete, we're kicking off a second one to create a mobile app that supplements our site. This involves replicating a lot of our existing content for iOS and Android, so it's not too complex. In order to get this work done, Chris White, the CEO at Sneakers, is going to directly supervise some of our in-house engineers day-to-day since we don't have a CTO to keep tabs on all the details.

What is the team composition?

I primarily work with Chris, but I also coordinate with their business director to settle invoices. They also used an outsourced firm during our redesign project.

How did you come to work with The Sneakers Agency?

I've known Chris for a long time. Having that personal connection and familiarity with his work compelled me to hire them.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve probably spent somewhere around $60,000–$65,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The site redesign started in fall 2017 and has just wrapped up, and now they're kicking off the app development project.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Since our first project only just ended, most of our feedback has been direct compliments on the design, although we've also received some new cold calls from investors. Sneakers also helped us enter all the metadata for SEO, so we'll be able to analyze our incoming traffic and search data once the site's been running a bit longer.

How did The Sneakers Agency perform from a project management standpoint?

They're highly accessible. For this upcoming project, we'll be meeting in person every day, but we use a number of digital tools as well. We have a platform called Teamwork that we've liked a lot, so we're going to transition everything over to that going forward. We also use GitHub as a code repository. On the previous project, we used a combination of Trello, JIRA, and Slack for project management.

In terms of performance, they started the initial project promptly and they're highly responsive to calls or emails. They were especially quick to correct bugs, which was highly appreciated on the blog since it required a lot of tweaking to present the content exactly the way we wanted it.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're flexible and easy to work with, and they excel at project and engineering management. It's clear from our email communications that Chris reads our concerns carefully and thinks about all the options before proposing a solution. I've never felt like he's left us hanging. He also does his utmost to ensure that every step of the project is documented and completed on time.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I wasn't initially introduced to the outsource engineers that worked on our project, so I was a little bit surprised to see Ukrainian email addresses requesting access to our Google Docs. Being in financial services, we have to be super-careful with security, so it made me nervous until I realized they regularly worked for Chris's team. This didn't harm our experience at all, but I'd suggest they make it more clear who the outsourcing engineers are and introduce them before the project gets underway.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Know exactly what you need to build. I've known Chris a long time, and I've seen him deal with projects where the plan for the concept changes halfway through. Switching gears can become devastating to the creative momentum on the development end, even for the outsourced people. Not only that, Sneakers isn't offering cheap service, so it's silly to invest in such good quality without knowing what you want or need. One of the reasons our project went so well is that I had very clear requirements. It helps that I've designed and spec'd sites like this before, but if you haven't, they can help you narrow down the specifications you need.

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

Admin Web Portal & iOS App for Freelance Staffing

"[They're] a great partner which adapted based on our challenges, and I would recommend them 10 times out of 10."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
June 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

The Sneakers Agency developed a portal and iOS app connecting brands to brand ambassadors and other freelancers. They act as a partner to the internal team to manage the platform and the communication therein.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New York Metro Area
Founder, Freelance Platform
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team at The Sneakers Agency is engaged and hands-on. They’re trustworthy, they value the partner relationship, and their communication is consistently professional. They have reliable work ethic and project management skills, and can adapt to challenges while lending expertise in strategy.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a freelance work platform which allows brands to connect to brand ambassadors. We come from a staffing background, so we have a community of people to reach out to, as well as a user-acquisition team for recruitment. I am the founder.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with The Sneakers Agency?

Our head of development left the company, so we brought The Sneakers Agency in as a partner in order to build our technology platform.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The Sneakers Agency developed our brand portal for the companies making the hiring, and an iOS app for people looking for work. Our app works similarly to TaskRabbit, but is aimed at brands which want to hire resources. It manages the communication flow between parties, as well as the workflow itself. We have a Stripe integration, as well as credit-card authorization.

We’ve used a number of frontend and backend developers for iOS and other technologies.

How did you come to work with The Sneakers Agency?

Our former head of engineering referred The Sneakers Agency to us. Chris White, their founder, is a very hands-on person, and is very engaging. Few agencies will make the effort to visit a client’s office and develop a relationship. The Sneakers Agency feels more like a partner than an outsourced agency.

How much have you invested with The Sneakers Agency?

The cost of The Sneakers Agency's work has totaled around $425,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with The Sneakers Agency in June 2016. We’ve hired an in-house CTO and an engineering team for him, through which we’ve absorbed much of the work. We’re still using a couple of developers from The Sneakers Agency, but the work is mainly in-house. The transition was made in January 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’ve cared mostly about our roadmap for deliverable timelines. I don’t have specific metrics, but I would say that The Sneakers Agency has had average performance. In tech, things always take longer than anticipated, which is challenging for any business. We’ve found this to be true for our own tech team, and, as a business owner, I’m not pleased unless things launch on time.

We’ve launched on one market during our collaboration with The Sneakers Agency, and reached around 1,500 people in New York City.

How did The Sneakers Agency perform from a project management standpoint?

For an outsourced partner, The Sneakers Agency has been reliable, communicative and trustworthy. They outsource engineers, which can be challenging in terms of work quality, but The Sneakers Agency’s product management and communication have been very professional.

The Sneakers Agency uses the scrum methodology, and works on two-week sprints. They don’t release features immediately, which is an area of improvement. It takes a while to push things live, but The Sneakers Agency has gotten us into a good flow.

We use Trello and Slack for communication, and have a constant point of contact. The Sneakers Agency worked with us on-site a lot in the beginning, but many of their developers are international, so we never actually met them. Brandon and Chris have visited our location more than the average agency would have.

What did you find most impressive about The Sneakers Agency?

They’re great communicators and good human beings. The team has great work ethic, and, when they say they’ll do something, they do it. The Sneakers Agency is a great partner which adapted based on our challenges, and I would recommend them 10 times out of 10. They’ve helped us refine our vision, and did a lot of strategy work.

Are there any areas The Sneakers Agency could improve?

No. We’re also working with The Sneakers Agency for our other company, building a new website.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty good.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their rates are relatively competitive, but we will end up paying a premium for hours whenever hiring an outsourced agency.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I would rate them higher for quality of service than for deliverables themselves.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I plan to recommend The Sneakers Agency.

Mobile Development for Fashion Software Suite

"The Sneakers Agency is able to scale based on our needs."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

The Sneakers Agency serves as the sole iOS and Android developers for a suite of event management and content management apps. They provide guidance in the app landscape and remain on retainer for maintenance. 

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
New York, New York
Leslie Tou
Product Manager, LaunchMetrics
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The Sneakers Agency always meets industry-specific seasonal deadlines without sacrificing quality, and they are comfortable scaling their involvement depending on development needs. Their consumer-facing app has drastically increased traffic; app analytics are all positive.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

LaunchMetrics builds software to helps brands launch their products to market. We have a suite of solutions, including event management, sample-tracking, and contact management platforms. We deal with influencer data and influencer marketing, for which we will be launching a tool soon. We cater mostly to the fashion industry and have a good stronghold with all major fashion agencies and brands. I am a UX and product manager.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with The Sneakers Agency?

We needed support for our mobile apps. We had an internal resource at the time, but that person left, and The Sneakers Agency became our sole iOS and Android developers.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our involvement with The Sneakers Agency was two-pronged, involving both development services and overseeing the work, in a project-management-like fashion.

The fact that we’re not mobile experts has meant that we’ve looked to The Sneakers Agency for advice on the whole process. There was a bit of a learning curve for us. I do work with our PHP web developers, which is a very different process, technically-speaking. The Sneakers Agency was there for us as an expert.

How did you come to work with The Sneakers Agency?

I wasn’t a part of the team that hired The Sneakers Agency, but I believe that our CEO knew Chris White [Founder, The Sneakers Agency]. Fashion has odd timelines, including two major fashion weeks that are relevant to the company, one in September and one in February. We always have big pushes to get features out before those periods. The Sneakers Agency was able to work with our deadlines, and always went above and beyond in making sure that we hit them. As a product manager, this was a big plus for me.

How much have you invested with The Sneakers Agency?

We have a retainer with The Sneakers Agency for $4,000 per month, which has remained the same for some time. We also work on one or two individual projects per year, ranging from $5,000 to $15,000. The cost would be between $65,000 and $80,000 per year. In total, we’ve spent around $275,000 on The Sneakers Agency’s services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with The Sneakers Agency in 2014.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our last project with The Sneakers Agency was done quite quickly. It was a direct revenue source for our company, and it was a completely new product. All our projects with The Sneakers Agency have been similar to that case.

Most of our products are B2B, but we do offer a free consumer app. It has created a huge increase in traffic and interactions for us. After the project finished, we were very happy with its analytics.

The Sneakers Agency has worked on the mobile version of our event-management platform. It has been our most heavily-used product. I don’t have any statistics for it, but it has definitely contributed to a huge amount of revenue for our company, and has become a part of our core offering.

What did you find most impressive about The Sneakers Agency?

The Sneakers Agency is dedicated to ensuring that our timelines are met. We don’t always give them big periods to work with, but they have managed to deliver. The products delivered are always functional, and up to our specifications.

Are there any areas The Sneakers Agency could improve?

The Sneakers Agency is growing quickly, which is good for them, but there are some growing pains that come with this. We’ve experienced this on our side as well, and know that there are challenges with understanding whose role each part is. Chris has stepped back a bit from direct operations, but The Sneakers Agency has been understanding in working with us.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with The Sneakers Agency?

The Sneakers Agency is able to scale based on our needs. We may only perform some bug-fixes over a three-month period but may need to beef-up their retainer for a big project suddenly. The Sneakers Agency can accommodate whatever we need, which is definitely an important factor.

5.0
Overall Score We have been working with The Sneakers Agency for a long time, and have developed a good professional relationship.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Whenever we need to ramp up or down, it won’t be a problem for The Sneakers Agency. When we have a crazy deadline, I know that they will go above and beyond to make sure it happens.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The Sneakers Agency is a pricey company, but we prefer using New York developers. They definitely match up in terms of value, through their quality and dedication.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Sneakers has always delivered quality work and has been able to adapt and overcome any issues with legacy code. They’ve worked well, and never disappointed us.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have no concerns about recommending The Sneakers Agency.

iPad App Support & New Product Development Consulting

"The Sneakers Agency has definitely saved us money compared to hiring an internal developer."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

The Sneakers Agency supports and maintains digital coaching web and iPad apps. The team now provides ongoing product development consulting to parallel evolving iOS and mobile markets. 

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Brooklyn, New York
Daniel Pardes
Product Manager, SYPartners
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Thanks in part to The Sneakers Agency’s continuous involvement and highly qualified resources, the iPad app quickly crossed one million users. Over the course of the partnership, the development team has saved the firm nearly as much as they’ve cost due to their strategic advice. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a transformation consultancy working with leaders and leadership teams to help them through a couple of impact areas, namely getting them to understand their mission, purpose, and values. We also work with people who are bringing new offerings to the market, offering larger strategy consulting. As a company, we’ve spun off some branded digital and physical products. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with The Sneakers Agency?

My work is focused on our own products - Leadfully and Unstuck - as well working with clients on their initiatives. The Sneakers Agency has collaborated with me in both areas.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our largest and longest-running project that The Sneakers Agency has worked on is a product called Unstuck, an in-the-moment digital coach that's ready every time we're feeling stuck. The app helps us see and solve situations with fresh perspective through provocative questions, targeted tips, and action-oriented tools. It's an approach that works for all kinds of issues, large and small, so we can live better every day. We offer iPad and web apps, as well as a website. The Sneakers Agency has provided development and technical strategy for the iPad version, as well as early Ruby on Rails and JavaScript development for the web version to a smaller degree.

The Sneakers Agency has worked with us on a continuous loop, coinciding with iOS updates, especially since our app was created at the dawn of iOS. A lot has changed since then, and The Sneakers Agency has helped us keep the app running well for a significant portion of our users through every single iOS upgrade, which is no small feat, given how graphically intense and non-standard the app actually is. The Sneakers Agency has also provided advice on the evolution of the iOS and mobile markets, based on their experience with other clients. They’ve given us advice on how we should grow and what we should be doing to the app, technically speaking, to make sure that it remains competitive, proficient, and distributable.

Apple provides tons of standard components that can be integrated into apps—buttons, text entry, and so on. Our app not use many of those. Even the screen transitions are all bespoke, as are the backgrounds, inputs, and their reaction to interface changes. To do this in the first version of iOS was challenging, but, because it was still the "Wild West", it was easier. As we’ve moved on, Apple has tightened what we can do and purposely made things look and feel similar between different apps. It’s been quite a challenge to make sure that we’re still maintaining the fun, playful, and unique feel that we’ve worked hard to establish. The app has a visually rich, image-dense custom input and display.

The Sneakers Agency has advised us to take more standard approaches. They’re quite pragmatic, but they only had this approach in areas with little or no UI impact. Also, when something would’ve cost too much or been too difficult to achieve, The Sneakers Agency worked with us on getting te maximum value for the user while maintaining the strong brand. The Sneakers Agency has been very good at understanding how important the brand is and why it was created as it was. They’ve come to us as partners in maintaining that, while still not making us pay millions of dollars. They’ve also helped us with client engagements, which required website builds.

How did you come to work with The Sneakers Agency?

Their founder was referred to us by a recruiter. When our internal iOS developer left to pursue another opportuninity, we began looking for either a short-term or long-term replacement and found The Sneakers Agency. We interviewed them and were excited to see that their founder, Chris White, was an actual human being who not only knew how to structure, build, and support iOS apps, but how to speak with stakeholders about the technical limitations of and opportunities available within iOS.

iOS was still quite new, and the iPad had just been released. Our app coincided with the launch of the device, so there were few people who knew what they were doing and even fewer who could actually speak to me about the subject. Chris was one of the very few of the latter group.

How much have you invested with The Sneakers Agency?

In the first year, we were paying Chris around $50,000, but we were his main client, and he grew with us as we were developing the app. As he shifted more towards The Sneakers Agency and growing that business, our cost also went down. Our investment in iOS has shrunk, but we’re spending around $8,000–$10,000 for every yearly upgrade and a few other incremental changes. I would estimate that we’ve spent another $100,000 since our first year.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them since before the company was called The Sneakers Agency, around 2013. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The Sneakers Agency has definitely saved us money compared to hiring an internal developer. They’ve certainly been less expensive than other shops as well. I don’t know which statistic would be most appropriate metrics-wise since The Sneakers Agency has probably saved us as much as they’ve cost us because of their advice. As we’ve scaled back investments on the iPad app, they’ve been incredibly supportive of our decisions. For the past year, The Sneakers Agency has saved us money by not doing certain things, but I don’t have any hard stats.

When The Sneakers Agency started working on the app, we crossed one million users. This definitely happened on their watch and was possible in part because of them. The Sneakers Agency has helped us get to this point and kept the app alive long enough for our team to figure out how to utilize it. They’ve also advised us how to work the App Store mechanisms in order to get more users and communicate with them efficiently through push notifications, deep linking, and so on.

How did The Sneakers Agency perform from a project management standpoint?

We’ve dealt directly with Chris on an almost constant basis. We’ve provided a lot of project management ourselves since there is a full-time team on the product. The Sneakers Agency isn’t just providing straight-up coding, but there’s less overhead on their end. Chris has acted like an account manager for us, rather than a project manager, but he has served in that role as well when it was needed.

We’ve worked with other people on The Sneakers Agency’s end for project management and updates, but Chris knows our company and product very well, so it’s often more efficient to work with him.

The Sneakers Agency has been very good at helping us understand timeline and costs as well as how to make very good trade-offs. They’ve been very good at delivering on time and ensuring that we’re building up to an appropriate level of review, both from internal stakeholders and app stores. The Sneakers Agency tends to have a high level and granularity of checklists for ensuring that we’re meeting all of our milestones, even the ones we aren’t considering ourselves.

Since our tasks are relatively atomic at the moment, The Sneakers Agency’s involvement isn’t so great, but they’ve been a fantastic partner.

What did you find most impressive about The Sneakers Agency?

While their development skills are amazing; most of all, The Sneakers Agency has phenomenal customer service. They’ve always been the people who can help us understand what decisions we should be making while relaying that to us in plain English, with almost no technical needs on our part. This has been great when speaking with one of our managers, the client team, or the CEO.

Are there any areas The Sneakers Agency could improve?

The Sneakers Agency went through some growing pains a year and a half ago. I wish they had been more diligent about finishing things which were more long-term and didn’t have date sensitivity. This doesn’t really happen anymore, though. The Sneakers Agency has been doing a good job of fixing these annoyances during the last 20 months. I do wish that The Sneakers Agency was a larger company since I would like to get them involved in some of our more extensive client work. 

5.0
Overall Score I’ve been working with The Sneakers Agency for years; during this time, I’ve come back to the team and have gained tremendous trust in them.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I have far less worry when The Sneakers Agency is operating on our project than I would if I’d been using another firm. I know that if, for any reason, they haven’t gotten to a milestone, they’ll never miss a deadline.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The cost is very good, but they used to be ridiculously cheap. The company grew, and the market changed. The Sneakers Agency strives to find the most qualified resources at the lowest prices. This worked well for us 95% of the time.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I’ve never had to question The Sneakers Agency’s technical decisions. Whenever we do a review of the work, it’s phenomenal. They’re also incredibly quick to respond.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve recommended The Sneakers Agency several times and never regretted it.

Field App with Back Office Integration for Furniture Dealer

"Their communication has really been critical in moving the project along quickly."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
June 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

The Sneakers Agency salvaged a less than successful project by converging multiple proprietary apps into a single UI and streamlining cloud technologies (storage and CRM-ERP) for an efficient workflow.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
New York, New York
Dana Justus
EVP, Meadows Office Furniture
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new solution allows managers in the field to access all needed info through a single interface, reducing task management time and costs. The Sneakers Agency continues to offer creative improvements alongside daily status updates. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Meadows Office Interiors in a contract furniture dealer. We sell custom furniture to businesses from a product line of over 200 manufacturers. I’m the executive vice president. Under my domain are our technology and marketing initiatives. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with The Sneakers Agency?

A couple of years ago, we had an idea to come up with a few proprietary applications. We’ve embarked on a big technology adventure in the past 3.5 years, and we’ve integrated a lot of new software into our daily workflow, including cloud applications and a new CRM and ERP, so we’ve been inundating everyone with new technologies.

Our idea was to come up with an app that would tie together all of our cloud platforms and allow a project manager in the field to have one UI to access everything. We wanted all the software pieces to talk to each other via this app to streamline processes for people out on a job managing a furniture installation. We wanted it to be more transparent for the client and for the team supporting that project manager back in the office. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The Sneakers Agency evaluated what we had developed so far and helped us come up with a game plan to make the app better before deploying it. They started the process by educating us on the right way to approach app development projects, including the documentation that should be provided along the way, the access we should have to the code, and all the associated notes that we can check at any time. I never had access to that information with prior app developers, so that gave me a lot of confidence.

The app is basically a streamlined UI for our project managers. The Sneakers Agency was contracted to take our cloud platforms and make them talk to each other, with everything going through the app. They had to link NetSuite, the CRM and ERP we use, and Box (our cloud-storage platform). They also had to integrate Bluebeam, which is a PDF tool used primarily in the architecture, construction, and design fields. Those were the three main elements we had to pull together. The Sneakers Agency had to learn all the programs and work with those APIs.

Through the app, you can task yourself or another employee, and the task automatically populates in NetSuite. You can see the projects you’re assigned, and you have access to all of the folders and documents that have been set up in Box. When you’re accessing those documents, you can make changes to them in Bluebeam via the app. The app also takes snapshots of your work, saving your updates without making you do anything manually. The app allows visibility for things going on within that project and provides the functionality for project managers to create change orders. The customer can sign off on the change, and the PM can email a copy of that document to the customer.

Project managers can also do a punch list, which is really big for us. If there are damages on furniture that we’re installing, or if there’s a part missing, they can create a punch list with details about the items that need a fix and map them to a floorplan for easy reference. The app creates a professional document that can be shared with the customer and is automatically saved to the project folder. No matter what your role is in the process, you can see all the documentation as it’s being created in the field.

We’ve enlisted The Sneakers Agency’s help on a few other apps as well. We have a Wayfinder app that we developed for our showroom. It’s designed to share product details with customers as they tour the space. We’ve also had them assist with other apps to allow easy access to a few customer portals that we created for our clients.

How did you come to work with The Sneakers Agency?

We’d used another company to start the development, but we eventually realized we weren’t making real progress. Another app developer had taken a look at the code that was done so far and recommended The Sneakers Agency to help us. They went over what was done previously and gave us feedback. They were pointing out ways to improve the app, so I knew from the start that they were going to be a tremendous asset for our projects.

How much have you invested with The Sneakers Agency?

We’ve invested around $235,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with them in June of 2016, and the relationship is ongoing. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I can see our 15 PMs each saving a few hours per day on a job site by using the app. The product is unique in our industry, and our CEO has been marketing it to our clients. Our goal is to be able to monetize it eventually. At that time, we’ll pitch it back to The Sneakers Agency to private-label it for someone else.

How did The Sneakers Agency perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re great in this area, and they keep us on task. We have a lot of different projects in process simultaneously, and getting us all to sit down and give feedback can be a challenge. The Sneakers Agency gives us almost daily status reports, and we also have a weekly check-in call. We go through the status of all the apps that are in play right now, which keeps us accountable to get any deliverables back to them by the time we get to the next call. They come to the office when we need them to, and we have video calls in addition to our weekly check-in. Their work is very transparent.

What did you find most impressive about The Sneakers Agency?

Their communication has really been critical in moving the project along quickly. Also, their creativity is definitely a strength. They give us options and suggestions to improve the product and the processes. They’ve helped us enhance our apps without spending as much money. They’ve educated us on those decisions, so we were able to steer the development. They’ve been very collaborative with us, and that’s been really refreshing.

Are there any areas The Sneakers Agency could improve?

I don’t always understand some of the nuances of their business, such as what a senior developer does versus someone else. When I’m paying for hours for different levels of talent, it would be nice to have a clear breakdown of what each person is working on. 

5.0
Overall Score They’re wonderful. We’re thinking of more projects for them every day. It’s a great partnership.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I’ve had emergency projects come up, and they’ve accommodated me.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Website Dev & Hosting for Fitness Platform

“They’re a small company that provides big results.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Apr. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Sneakers enhanced the UX of a fitness streaming site and updated the configuration of the hosting service. Their team continues to provide technical support.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New York, New York
Erin Sykes
Founder, Mission 360
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Sneakers’ efforts resulted in substantial monthly savings on hosting as well as a bug-free website. Communication is easy as their CEO handles project management.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I am the founder and CEO of an online fitness and wellness streaming platform.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire The Sneakers Agency?

I hired them to provide web development, design, and support.

What were your goals for this project?

We wanted to make the site easier to use and fix bugs. We also wanted to save money.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

I found them on LinkedIn.

Can you go into detail about the services they provided and the scope of the project?

Sneakers revised our main home page and made it easier for people to download our mobile app. They’ve also resolved critical functional issues within our site and updated the configuration of our hosting service.

What was the team composition?

Chris (Founder, The Sneakers Agency) is our main point of contact and acts as project manager.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any information that demonstrates the impact that this project has had on your business?

The site is seamless. Plus, the updated configuration of our hosting service resulted in a savings of over $1,000 per month.

How was project management arranged and how effective was it?

It has been excellent. They are always available and easy to work with.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

They’re a small company that provides big results.

Are there any areas where they can improve?

Not at this time.

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