A COLLABORATIVE DESIGN + MARKETING AGENCY

Sonder Collaborative is a passionate group of senior-level experts specializing in branding, advertising + design. We apply collective intelligence through the phases of discovery, strategy, design, and execution to create exceptional work in collaboration with great clients.

 
$1,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2016
Show all +
Wichita, KS
headquarters

Portfolio

Key clients: 

We work with small businesses, advertising and design agencies that have a need to outsource design work. 

Turnkey Logo Design

Moxie Logo Design

Doc Sunback Film Festival

Vikable Logo Design

Reviews

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Online Marketing Support for Technology Startup

"It’s like we’ve hired our own marketing and web design team, but at a fraction of the cost."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Oct. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

SONDER COLLABORATIVE provides online marketing services to support a growing startup, aligning social media, advertising, and web design into a full-scale vision for promoting business and engagement. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Wichita, Kansas
Nathan Nusz
Sales Manager, Ulterius Technologies
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Through the marketing team’s strategic efforts, Facebook awareness increased from 20 to several hundred page likes. SONDER COLLABORATIVE’S accessible on-site resources, outstanding price point, and accelerated workflow continue to impress. 

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Ulterius Technologies is a tech startup. We have 16 patents on networking hardware that we manufacture for Wi-Fi security, internet efficiency, and everything that a small, medium, or large business would need for their network. My role is in business development.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with SONDER COLLABORATIVE?

I have marketing experience, and our setup has had a few different sales and marketing guys who weren’t getting the job done. They engaged multiple entities to build a website, do some patchwork marketing, and things of that nature. I came in and had all these different things spinning: social media sites, some advertising, the website that wasn’t quite complete or excellent. I needed some help. I’m pretty good at marketing, but I’m not an expert. I didn’t want to hire someone to overhaul the whole thing because of the expense. I found Maria [Founder, SONDER COLLABORATIVE], who came in on a retainer at a very reasonable cost level to help me with different marketing needs. She helped me tweak my web space and work my social media sites. I was able to continue with my primary goal of business development while having some marketing help without the huge expense that normally comes with engaging a third party. She helped us out there quite a bit.

Marketing people always want to do the wide analysis with you and get into all that. They don’t really understand it. They want you to regurgitate it so they get a good feel for it. With Maria coming in and working with us on a regular basis, she automatically had a feel for our vision and mission. We went to her to redesign our webpage, and she was far more cost-effective than anybody. She had a better understanding than anyone else because she’d been there with us, walking through these things. Overall, it’s been a very good experience. I like her model and how she works. It’s so much better for us as a small business on a startup budget. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The first engagement with SONDER was to align various moving pieces within the business and to get support with online marketing without hiring someone full-time. Maria and her team provided website redesign services. Initially, we’d paid a large ticket price for the website we had, and it was mismatched. The previous party went ahead and did it because they wanted the money, even though they weren’t clear about our vision or mission. I was clear on our vision and mission, and I helped Maria get there and see what we needed to do.

She initially helped us tweak our website to get it a little better. Now, she’s doing a complete redesign. Her model is collaborative, so she dials into some experts. I don’t know the guy she’s using, but I’ve seen his work, and it’s phenomenal. I’m looking forward to our website. She knows how to direct him in the way we want to go with our website better than anyone else would and at a better price. We have provided her with content, and I’ve given her the outline of what I want. She’s helped prep some of the content and delivered back to her web design team or person.

I keep her on retainer for online marketing support. She comes into the office and works with all of our team members. They have different ideas, and she brings it all together. She presents it to me, and I determine what she works on. She helps out in a lot of little ways. We can call her and ask questions or make requests for quick website changes or edits. We can call her for advice. When I have print material and I want somebody to bounce off, I just call her and see what she thinks. It’s like we’ve hired our own marketing and web design team, but at a fraction of the cost. She does a little bit of everything. When it gets into a larger project, like web design, that’s when she consults her team member.

How did you come to work with SONDER COLLABORATIVE?

A friend of mine in the tech startup community mentioned Maria to me. I was trying to work with the original web designers, but I didn’t feel that work was excellent, so I had already decided I wasn’t going to use them. I talk with three or four people before I do any action. My friend mentioned her, and I reached out. I liked what she was showing me and talking about, so I engaged her on a small basis to see how she functioned. I liked that, and I knew we were going to redesign our site down the road, so I decided she was who we wanted to hire.

How much have you invested with SONDER COLLABORATIVE?

We’ve invested $15,000 so far.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in October 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?

One thing I wanted to do was raise awareness on Facebook. Maria helped manage a lot of the team’s posts through Hootsuite. I think we had 20–30 likes, and it’s in the hundreds now. That’s all a direct result of her influence and help.

Our previous website, which cost $17,000, was just simple on WordPress. Maria uses multiple design platforms that are far better than WordPress and still easy to update. Each of the websites she’s shown me that she would emulate was what we’d needed from the beginning. She was already designing webpages that were easier to use. They laid out the vision and mission rather than the product. They were organized in a way to drive retail, which is what we wanted all along but wasn’t present in the original design.

How did SONDER COLLABORATIVE perform from a project management standpoint?

So far, from what I’ve seen, the project management is managed well. I’ve told everyone on my team to treat Maria like our marketing person. Everyone, from our techs to our CEO, calls her, and she helps in any way she can. We had an accelerated deadline because we wanted our website yesterday when we were going to California. She moved on that pretty fast. She’s committed to a truncated timeline that none of the others would commit to, even at a much higher price.

What did you find most impressive about SONDER COLLABORATIVE?

Everybody else wanted to do a complete marketing analysis. They wanted to sell me the whole show, which ranged from $15,000–$30,000. I think in that realm, the people who do web design and marketing are overpriced in my opinion. I just wanted some simple tips and advice, but the mainstream people weren’t even interested in talking to me about any of that. They wanted to tell me what it would cost to get them to work for me, and it was the whole kit and caboodle. I was determined to do it on my own. I talked to Maria, and she said she would help and be very flexible. She agreed to work on a retainer basis. She was very open to that. She helped and gave advice for free initially.

When it came to the web design, I did want to consult some other companies because I have my predetermined rule. Even though I was set on Maria, I wanted to get pricing from others. Again, I got hit with the same thing. Maria was showing us some examples of design, and even a slight outline of what she would do, for free. Others wouldn’t even show me what they had until I signed on the dotted line. She’s so much more flexible, easy, affordable, and really customer-oriented.

Are there any areas SONDER COLLABORATIVE could improve?

I’ve been working with her on sales and marketing. She’s newer, so I’ve been helping her on that. I think she sells herself short a lot of times. She doesn’t ask for enough. I think she could expect a lot more out of her clients. 

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Everything’s been met so far.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Others in the market charge way too much and don’t want to help all that much.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    She’s moved us forward on the marketing side, coming into the office and offering us a reasonable rate.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I already do. When anyone mentions marketing, websites, or anything, I immediately refer them to Maria.

Logo and Website Design for Environmental Compliance Company

"Sonder Collaborative's team is exceptional."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
June 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

After evaluating a current marketing strategy, Sonder Collaborative rethought the strategy and offered a refined vision for moving forward. The team is now executing a website update and social media marketing.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Hartford, Connecticut
Owner, Compliance Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The updated strategy is  vastly improving the approach to marketing. Sonder Collaborative conveyed the brand and website changes in a compelling way to employees, helping to ensure everyone is moving in the same direction. The team is consistent, responsive, and understands the mission of the work.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Our company is involved in national environmental health and safety compliance support, predominantly for manufacturing clients. Our focus is mainly in the Northeast, but we do have clients coast to coast. I’m the owner of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Sonder Collaborative?

We were interested in working with Sonder Collaborative to remarket ourselves as a company more focused on providing on-site support versus general health and safety compliance support.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our work with Sonder Collaborative started with an evaluation of our current marketing strategy, and reformat that strategy in a manner that focused on a new, more refined vision for moving forward. The initial assessment included website and social media, in addition to the general content of our business plan. When we spoke to Sonder, they went through the assessment, then made some recommendations on how to streamline that and get more focused on our goals and objectives.

They then started executing on the strategies suggested, and we’re about halfway through. We modified the marketing strategy, and we just had a conference call last week to go over the final edits to the website. From there, we’re going to start engaging in the next phase, which will be the social media aspect. They also redesigned our business logo as part of that remarketing.

We create the factual content for the website, and Sonder then chooses a way to convey it to our client base. We were not involved in the design, per se. They took that over, and they will continue to maintain that moving forward. We’re a fairly small company with about ten employees, so we don’t have the resources to maintain that day-to-day. Sonder will continue to manage that in the days and years to come.

Sonder is also going to engage in the SEO [search engine optimization] aspect of the business, but not until the final website is complete, which should be tomorrow.

How did you come to work with Sonder Collaborative?

I had done the website design previously, and I had met one of their artistic people. He put me directly in touch with Maria Little, who is the founder of Sonder Collaborative. We’re in Connecticut, and she’s in Kansas, but it was as if she’s in the office next door. She’s very good at communicating and keeping in touch. It was a very good fit for us. We’re a virtual company in many ways, so we understand that business model. It was very cost-effective compared to some other options we were looking at locally.

How much have you invested with Sonder Collaborative?

We’ve invested $5,000–$7,000 so far.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working together in June of 2016, and the relationship is ongoing. We’ll continue to work with Sonder Collaborative; they’ve done a great job.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

As the owner of the company, I’d say that the project management is very successful.

From a different perspective, it may be premature to comment on the success, as the website isn’t up and running yet. The way Sonder conveyed the change to our employees was very compelling. They got everyone to move in the same direction, especially when we were talking about remarketing, refocusing our efforts, the new branding, and logo. All that was new, but the message was conveyed very well and received well by the employees. The future will show whether we get to the desired outcome. We’re not a marketplace; our website provides a message and validation that we exist. Based on what we had previously, compared to what Sonder has given us, it’s a vastly improved approach.

How did Sonder Collaborative perform from a project management standpoint?

Sonder Collaborative's team is exceptional. I wish I could have some of their folks working for me. They do a very good job. The communication is consistent. We have a standing, Monday morning conference call, and they’ve stayed on top of that. It’s been very effective. My schedule is very tight, as well as the employees’. Our client demands are sporadic, and when they do call upon us, we have to react quickly. Having that consistent call coming in, knowing that there’s an update, has been very helpful. Collectively, I cannot say anything negative about the communication. They’re very responsive as well.

We don’t use a shared project management tool. I use a task manager, and Sonder has a summary of objectives. We didn’t track them in a database, but we start our conference call with a recap of what’s been done since the last call and what’s coming next. The project isn’t enormous, so I don’t think it warranted a database, per se. They certainly use the resources available, and the way they managed the project was very effective.

What did you find most impressive about Sonder Collaborative?

I'm working with the owner of the company, which I find to be very comforting. The focus and the intellect that Maria, the Founder, and Luann, their Marketing Strategist, bring to the table made very good use of our time. It eliminated me talking to someone who’s just assigned to the project. We worked from the conceptual stage, through to execution and completion, with the same people. There was no delegation. They understood my mission from the beginning and executed it very well.

Are there any areas Sonder Collaborative could improve?

No. It was my first experience working with a company like Sonder Collaborative. From a general business perspective, I wouldn’t say I could make any recommendations that would be fruitful for their business. I think they’ve managed it very well. Sonder has met all the standards that I hold companies to when I work with them. The cost, deliverable, reaction, and communication expectations were all followed very well.

5.0
Overall Score I would use Sonder Collaborative for any other element we choose to execute in the future. Our first phone call will be to them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Sonder Collaborative was always on or ahead of schedule. They were actually finishing work faster than we could process, so they were waiting on us at times.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Sonder Collaborative's rates are extremely competitive. I have no complaints about that. If they raised their rates, I wouldn’t even squawk at it. Maria is very good for the fees she collected working with us.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The first couple of rounds were probably more difficult and wasn’t as impressive as we would have liked. Maria came back with another round, and those proved to be very good. Part of that may have been communication on our end.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Sonder Collaborative. They were exceptional. Of course, not all clients can work with a long-distance relationship, but we had no issue with that.