Starfish Integrated Brand Experiences

GOLD VERIFIED

Starfish is a branding and creative communications agency founded on the philosophy that the brand experience is the brand. It is our strong belief that a brand is the sum total of all the interactions a customer has with a brand, and we work tirelessly to ensure that all of a brand’s expressions are in sync. 

 

We believe that the most effective marketing starts with a sound brand strategy and employ proprietary methodologies to achieve an extraordinary level of brand integration. In the era of experience and CX optimization, a unique and compelling brand is critical in creating satisfying customer experiences. We are experts in integrating brand into all digital and physical customer interactions, a practice we call BX. Through our rigorous approach to building brand strategies and our numerous proprietary BX methodologies and processes, we are able to achieve an extraordinary level of brand integration.

 

By aligning and synchronizing a brand's core brand idea with the touchpoints and expression in four key operational segments (marketing communications, internal culture, product/service offering, and operations), we are able to create customer experiences that change people’s impressions and relationships with brands.

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2002
Show all +
New York, NY
headquarters
  • 32 West 22nd Street, 3rd Floor
    New York, NY 10010
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

PwC, Vornado, Weight Watchers, AST, Dstillery, Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Sharp, Hearts and Science, MailOnline, Leaf Vodka, Hu-Friedy, Dunkin Donuts, Cornerstone Capital Group, Purolator, Guardian, RiverSpring Health

Reviews

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Branding, PR, and Video Work for Government Agency

"They knew our deadlines and told us what we needed to do to hit them."

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

After developing a strategic plan for internal communications and perception, Starfish has stayed on as a video production partner to help raise awareness of their client’s services and clientele.

The Reviewer
 
501-1000 Employees
 
New York, New York
Advisor, Government Agency
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The videos have seen significant engagement with the public, as well as garnered positive internal feedback. Starfish has been a responsive team, able to manage multiple productions at once and preserve on-time deliveries. Customers can expect a consistently high production value.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m an advisor to a government agency.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Starfish?

We were faced with public perception issues perpetuated by media stereotypes of our clientele and the reasons behind their situations. It affected our external communications, as well as the perception of our work by our internal staff. Starfish was initially brought in to help with our internal marketing (build our optimism for the work) by building a strategic plan involving an overarching document, video, and internal/external collateral. Now, they’re doing ongoing video work for us.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Primarily, they’ve created digital video for us for our social media and website, as well as other platforms like taxi televisions and kiosks.

After one of our main public-facing services was assigned to a different agency, we were left with a question as to what we were selling and what our call to action should be as an agency. The projects since then have run from general awareness and learning campaigns that drive people to our website to sharing opportunities for volunteer participation and partnering with other agencies.

There was also a public-facing project that informed local residents to call 311 or connect with our team through our app if they saw someone on the streets that was in need of our services.

What is the team composition?

We’ve worked with around 10–12 people in total. I mainly work with our project manager and their associate, but there have also been editors, subcontractors, who did the actual video work, and writers.

How did you come to work with Starfish?

I came on in the middle of our initial internal branding project. The person in charge of our communications team had done some work with Starfish previously or knew someone who’d worked with them before, I believe. When I had these other projects in mind, I thought of Starfish again. Part of the initial strategic plan was a video, so we knew what their video work was like.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent close to $1,000,000 so far with them.

What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve been working together since 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We see a lot of response when we put pieces up on social media, as well as a lot of impressions. It drives an increase in our web traffic too. Internally, people love our videos and think they’re very moving. Starfish seems to get what we’re after from virtue of knowing well what we’re working on. They’re great at bringing that to life.

How did Starfish perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re somewhere between hands-off and hands-on. They’re good at sticking to deadlines but are also able to shift priorities when we have several ongoing priorities, as we sometimes do toward the end of the fiscal year.

I didn’t use any project management tools. They knew our deadlines and told us what we needed to do to hit them. We communicate mainly over email and phone.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re a great team, and it’s always good to work with them. They’re professionals dedicated to their work, and they’ve worked for similar agencies to ours in the past.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We wouldn’t have them do things any other way because the production value is so high. Anything else would be counterproductive.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

In our environment, which has a lot of internal stakeholder opinions and requests, I try to defer to Starfish. They listen to us and accommodate our specific requests, but we try to let them do their thing since I trust their expertise.

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

Visual Identity Overhaul & Web Design for Law Firm

“They are very accessible and very proactive about staying in contact.”

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

Starfish completed a complete visual design overhaul for a New Jersey-based law firm. Their work included a website redesign and maintenance, logo design, and brand integrations across digital and print media.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
Roseland, New Jersey
Chief Marketing Officer, Law Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new designs and website improvements helped improve online traffic and engagement increase significantly. The honesty, attention to detail, and professionalism of the Starfish team were critical in building the level of trust in the relationship necessary for their client to be successful.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I was the chief marketing officer for a law firm operating out of New Jersey.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Starfish?

Simply stated, we wanted to build our brand, raise the firm’s profile and position it more strongly in the market.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The overarching goal of the project was establishing a visual identity, which essentially consisted of a new logo and accompanying design integrations across the entire firm. That plays out in digital and traditional media, so our website and digital properties as well as stationery and print media.

We did two major redesigns of the website, and they were in charge of the whole design process, from UI/UX planning to the actual execution in development. Beyond that, they provide us with marketing assets and then we use them to elevate the company profile.

What is the team composition?

I was consistently in contact with the owner and our primary project manager throughout the project, but I believe there were about five people working on the project in total.

How did you come to work with Starfish?

They were already engaged in work for the firm when I joined, so I think what I did was continue and grow the relationship.

What is the status of this engagement?

We first started working with them in September 2017, and I left the company about nine months ago, but the two firms are continuing to work together.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

As we implemented the redesigns of our website, we saw very clear improvements in our engagement metrics. I’m not familiar with the exact numbers, but we were definitely seeing healthy double-digit increases in traffic and click-through rates and things like that.

They are really good at coming up with not just creative ideas, but also effective design solutions, if you will. It can be very difficult to develop highly targeted brand messaging while also satisfying the wide range of requirements and personalities that you find in the legal services and consulting part of the business community, and yet they continue to exceed expectations on all fronts.

How did Starfish perform from a project management standpoint?

They are very accessible and very proactive about staying in contact. Their team stays on top of all deadlines and communicates very openly. Throughout the project, it was always very clear that we were being taken seriously and that we were important clients to them, which we really appreciated.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’ve got a wide range of abilities in their personnel, but they are also very accurately aware of what they can and can’t do. It’s clearly important to them to deliver on everything they promise, so they are very careful about turning down anything they feel they might not be able to complete with their standard of quality. Their integrity in that respect was really valuable.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don’t have a recollection of anything I wished they would improve in working with them.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be open with them, not only about your requirements and what you want them to do, but also about what it’s going to be like working with you. At some points in our project, I had to tell them that it was going to get messy because of all the hoops we had to jump through, and preparing them for that made everything go much more smoothly than it would have otherwise.

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

Branding & Web Redesign for Law Firm

“With David and his team, it’s clear that they’ve been around the block.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Starfish provides full-stack web development and advertising services to a national law firm. Their projects range from home page overhaul to branding guideline creation, to video and ad creation.

The Reviewer
 
501 - 1000 Employees
 
Roseland, New Jersey
Director of Marketing Communications, Law Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The services provided by the Starfish team consistently exceed the expectations of all project stakeholders, satisfying granular project requirements and providing guidance to company leadership on more overarching brand decisions. Their team is a rare combination of smart, talented, and honest.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the director of marketing and communications for a law firm of about 350 lawyers across the country. We specialize in Life sciences and technology investment funds, and I oversee all of our advertising, our website, and our social media and public relations.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Starfish?

We’ve had lots of challenges that Starfish has addressed with us. One of the largest ones was a complete overhaul of our website's home page and a refresh of all of our internal pages, which they worked closely with us over a period of months to complete.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Their team started by coming up with design concepts for the home page and taking that all the way through our internal approval processes, which can take a lot of time at a law firm. From there, they designed our internal pages, helping to refresh our branding guidelines and producing content.

Starfish manages all of our advertising, including prominent videos on our site and about 70–80 print and digital ads over the course of the year. They handle everything from color palette, typography, and placement of graphic elements, to advocating for content and investment decisions with the partners at our firm.

What is the team composition?

We have a couple of primary contacts on their team, primarily David (CEO, Starfish), Dayna (Account Director, Starfish), and Elizabeth (Assistant Account Executive, Starfish).

How did you come to work with Starfish?

We started working with Starfish before I joined the firm, but I’m sure it was a competitive pitching process. Since then, it has been a really easy decision to stick with them because of the quality that they deliver.

How much have you invested with them?

I’m not sure how much we’ve spent in total on the account, but it is certainly upwards of $1,000,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working together in 2015, and we continue to rely on them for all of our advertising and website needs.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The feedback from within the firm, which is one of our most important factors, has been extremely positive. Leadership loves the new home page and the way the whole web site works.  People feel that it is clean, efficient, attractive, and gets the right message across. They managed to strike the right balance so that design doesn’t get in the way of content.

In terms of metrics, our website gets many more eyeballs than it used to on our old site. Page views are up. Our headlines get more attention, and people stay longer on given pages. Their whole team has just been incredibly helpful and really efficient. They never sacrifice quality for the sake of expedience, which is really important to us.

How did Starfish perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re super organized and always start with a consultative approach, which I think is the right way to go. They ask lots of questions and get feedback, and they know who to go to for approval on different things in order to start work.

Then, they come back with concepts and ideas and walk us through the whole design review process. When it’s time to execute, they do that in a very organized, calendar-driven way, which is really helpful.

We have weekly project status calls, but the majority of our communication is via email. We use phone and schedule in-person meetings, but those are much harder to arrange, just logistically speaking.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re incredibly smart. Lots of places can do good design or provide good copywriting. With David and his team, it’s clear that they’ve been around the block. I came up in advertising as well, and it’s obvious to me that David has been in advertising for decades and really knows what he’s talking about.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Unless they wanted to give us things for free, I really don’t have any criticisms.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

The most important thing as a client is to do some of your own thinking. Price matters, but you have to think about what your goals are. Be ready to come to the meeting prepared, because their team is great at making those kinds of decisions, but it has to be a two-way street.

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

Re-Branding Effort for Anti-Hate NPO

“They are able to really dig in and understand their client’s problems and challenges.”

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Jun. 2017 - Dec. 2018
Project summary: 

Starfish managed the organizational rebranding of a 100-year-old advocacy nonprofit with the goal of increasing awareness and engagement. They conducted extensive research before making recommendations.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
New York, NY
Vice President, NPO
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The rebranding services provided by Starfish pleased project stakeholders and allowed them to successfully transition their logo and brand positioning to one they felt was more effective for the challenges of the modern world. Their team tackled problems creatively and thoroughly at all times.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work for an anti-discrimination non-profit organization, and I’m the vice president of branding and marketing.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Starfish?

We were trying to rebrand the organization to become closer to our changing constituents. Our organization has been around for 100 years and we brought Starfish in after the hundredth year of our existence, so our audience and the needs of that audience have significantly started since we got started. Our new leadership wanted to make sure that we were presenting ourselves in the most compelling and current ways.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The first step was to conduct a lot of interviews to help Starfish form a really deep understanding of the organization and the challenges that we were facing. They spoke with leadership, long-term and new staff, and donors to really get a sense of what people need from our organization.

That set the stage for a very broad research study that we did about awareness and segmentation. From there, the challenge was to segment the market and determine where we should be focusing our publicity efforts and how we should be positioning our brand to encourage people to get engaged.

What is the team composition?

We worked with David (Owner, Starfish) as well as two account leads and several designers. They also partnered with a research agency for the study.

How did you come to work with Starfish?

I had met David several years earlier and was really impressed with his diligence and customer service, so when this job came up, he came to my mind first. Since I wasn’t the only decision-maker, they had to present and impress out of about 14 other organizations through three levels of review by my colleagues. In the end, they were the group we decided to go with.  

How much have you invested with them?

All in all, we spent somewhere between $250,000–$500,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them from May 2017–December 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They really helped us come up with a new positioning for our work which centered around a great tagline that we were able to settle on after many, many rounds of trying to figure out the perfect one. We are extremely pleased with their copywriter’s skills and the result they were eventually able to produce for us. The new brand is extremely sharp, flexible, and fresh.

How did Starfish perform from a project management standpoint?

I think they are a little stronger creatively and strategically than they are with project management, but they hit all of our changing deadlines and worked well with my colleagues. We took a long time to make decisions and considering that, they worked at a very high level.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They are able to really dig in and understand their client’s problems and challenges. They take the core issues to heart and figure out how they can really solve the most underlying problems. We were very impressed with their creativity as a group.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They have some room for improvement at the mid-level of project management. They were great with the overall planning and the granular detail-oriented stuff, but some of the day to day gets a little bit lost in the process. I do have to add that they had some staff turnover issues that may have contributed to that as well.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I thought I really got a lot of incredible value out of their work.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Branding & Design for Commercial Electronics Manufacturer

“When it comes to their attention to detail, my experience there has been second to none.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
Jan. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Starfish handled end-to-end brand strategy and design services for an appliance manufacturing firm, developing principles and applying them to packaging, web presentation, and print materials for dealers.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Wayne, New Jersey
John Homlish
President, Haier America
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The branding principles and design work provided by Starfish has received highly positive feedback from partners and consumers alike, helping their client’s products to stand out. Their team is enthusiastic and communicative, prioritizing close collaboration to tackle challenges and stay on budget.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

At the time of the project, I was president of Haier America, a consumer appliance and electronics manufacturing company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Starfish?

They were responsible for pretty much everything regarding our brand design, so they were helping us with web and packaging design, as well as in-store displays and numerous other side projects.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

From planning to implementation, they were really essential partners for us. They helped develop a brand strategy for Hair around television products to establish us more firmly in that market. From there, they delivered a go-to-market strategy around display and packaging for our products.

Their team also completely managed our web design from start to finish. At the time we were working with Google on an Android platform for our newest product and Starfish was right there with us through discussions between Google and our product people. Thanks to their work, we were able to communicate our proposition to the marketplace and our dealer partners as well.

What is the team composition?

We worked very closely with their president and one of the senior partners at Starfish that was responsible for our account, as well as with several staff members at their headquarters who were more behind the scenes.

How did you come to work with Starfish?

One of the main reasons that I reached out to Starfish when I got into the role was that it was clear to me that we needed somebody who fully understood the electronics business who could be a real partner with us. They are more of a boutique agency and demonstrated pretty early on that they had the ability to really provide support at any given moment, regardless of timing. That convinced me that they could be the essential partner that we needed.

How much have you invested with them?

The budget for the whole project was in excess of $1,000,000 for that period.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in January 2018, and that team is continuing to work together on the web design and subsequent product launches.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

From an external standpoint, I think the fact that our dealer partners receive the information that we provide to them very favorably says a lot. Package design is a huge challenge in the television space because there’s such a highly competitive market. Starfish really played a strong role with us making sure that our packaging stood out on the floor.

We also received a lot of comments from our retail partners on our web design basically thanking us for being able to provide a good tool, not only for them to be able to research information on the product, but also for consumers that want to learn about the products that are in their stores.

How did Starfish perform from a project management standpoint?

We communicated very regularly with their senior management, which I really appreciated. When it comes to their attention to detail, my experience there has been second to none.

It was also very common for them to jump in a car and come meet with us after-hours to discuss whatever particular issue we were having at the time. No matter what the time or budget restrictions there were, they were always willing to work with us to make it happen.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I think the enthusiasm about the brand that they would bring to the project, along with their creativity and willingness to explore new opportunities on how to present the brand, makes for a really enjoyable partnership. They became a strong partner that I hope to and plan to work with in the future.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Quite frankly, I really can’t think of anything that they could have done better.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Have a really good sense of who you are, what your brand stands for, and be specific in translating that to goals that you want Starfish to achieve. If you can communicate that clearly to them, they can take the ball and run with it and come back with some really great ideas.

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

Development for Voice Shopping Assistant

"They're totally focused on the client and service."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Dec. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Starfish is developing a voice shopping assistant for an organic grocery store chain. Emphasizing UX, this project includes consumer research and strategic development.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Lakewood, Colorado
Kevin Miller
Chief Marketing Officer, Natural Grocers
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The project is ongoing but is expected to drive growth. So far, everything has been delivered on time and in budget, pointing to strong and effective project management. Starfish’s team provides excellent customer service and has gone above and beyond to deliver a quality product. 

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

We are a multi-unit Natural and Organic Grocery store chain with 155 stores located in 20 states, primarily west of the Mississippi river. My position is Chief Marketing Officer.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Starfish ?

To develop the persona of a voice shopping assistant as well as the consumer journey and user experience when interacting with the voice assistant.

What were your goals for this project?

Develop a world class voice shopping assistant that would be uniquely differentiated in the marketplace and that would drive brand reach, awareness, engagement and store traffic.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

We interviewed several brand experience/brand journey agencies via a traditional RFP process. They provided the best knowledge and insight into the assignment and were best able to demonstrate their strategic process and approach to developing the solutions and outcomes we were seeking.

Describe the project and the services they provided in detail.

Strategic development, consumer research development, insights and findings. Project management of the software developer. Vision.

What was the team composition?

Hands on accountability and involvement with CEO David Kessler, Account Director Grant Wood and Project Managers ran day to day. Their design teams and other support teams provided services when needed.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Project is still ongoing but we have very high expectations regarding the long and short term impact of this project to drive top and bottom line growth.

How was project management arranged and how effective was it?

Hands on accountability and involvement with CEO David Kessler, Account Director Grant Wood and Project Managers ran day to day. Their design teams and other support teams provided services when needed. This has beeen a very effective structure and has achieved all phases of the development process on time and on budget while exceeding goals and expectations at each phase of the development.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

Strategic vision and leadership. World class service. They're totally focused on the client and service. Commitment to quality. Committment to the purpose. Willingness to go above and beyond. Fearless recommendations and advice.

Are there any areas for improvement?

So far so good!

5.0
Overall Score They are the best at what they do
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Easy and always accountable
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Fair. Not cheap but not accessive.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Exceeded all goals - World Class strategic marketing vision and leadership
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They will deliver and exceed goals and expectations.

Internal Advertising Campaign for Management Consulting Firm

"The aesthetics, design, and copywriting were really good creatively." 

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

Starfish provided visual development (both print and digital) for an internal awareness initiative. Based on a strategic brief, they provided several possible campaigns and worked to refine their concept.

The Reviewer
 
5,001-10,000 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
CMO, Management Consulting Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Internal stakeholders are pleased with the anecdotal feedback they’ve received, as well as with Starfish’s ability to work creatively while staying within timeline and budget. Their hands-on executive management was notable, as well as their commitment to learning about their client’s space.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CMO of a management consulting firm. We provide services to public and private companies.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Starfish?

Our most recent work was an internal communications program, but we’ve also expanded it into our social media and recruiting materials. This program had two goals: create positive feelings about working here and provide employees with a better understanding of the work of our different business units. Not that working here was bad, but we wanted people to feel proud and engaged and help them to know more about what’s happening outside their aspect of the business.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They developed an ad campaign that was manifested with posters, visuals, and copy that went up in our offices. They also appeared as digital wallpaper and digital images, like social media posts, on our employee intranet.

It was a very collaborative process. We gave them a strategic concept, but we didn’t have any executional guidance. We told them about communications channels with employees and that we needed ideas on how to get employees to be proud and feel good about the firm. From that brief, they built five campaigns that we narrowed to 2–3, made refinements to, and shared with our CEO. We then executed one of them.

After the campaign, they interviewed employees and published their stories, handling the copy, photography, art direction, and layout.

What is the team composition?

We worked with five people I can think of, but I’m not sure how many behind the scenes there were.

How did you come to work with Starfish?

We were introduced to their president several years ago by a peer in marketing at a law firm. Then, we attended one of their roundtables for marketing people in professional services like us. Over time, they gave us confidence that they understood our industry because selling consulting services isn’t like selling gum or shoes.

When this project came up, I called them for a proposal. We didn’t go to bid or interview multiple firms because we knew they’d done similar concepts for other firms before.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $100,000–$250,000 with them.

What is the status of this engagement?

The first phase ran during spring 2019, and the employee interviews were in the fall of the same year.  

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The aesthetics, design, and copywriting were really good creatively. They also did a good job of including insights from people they interviewed about the work they do and how they feel about it. The bottom line is, they did quality work on time and budget. Additionally, there’s been a lot of internal buzz and anecdotal comments posted on our internal sharing tool.

How did Starfish perform from a project management standpoint?

I would say they were good but not great on the really little details. We’ll forgive the business details because the work was pretty good.

What did you find most impressive about them?

One, they demonstrated that they understood our business and industry very well. Second, we got to work with their founder and CEO. Even though he didn’t do all the work himself, we weren’t simply handed off to a copywriter and an art director.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Other than the dotting I’s and crossing T’s of project management I can’t think of anything.

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

Communications for Aviation Outsourcing Firm

"…they’re incredibly proactive and frequently delivered the best possible result within a very tight timeline."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Nov. 2018 - Apr. 2019
Project summary: 

Starfish created a digital marketing strategy and employee value proposition for a cargo airline’s pilot recruitment efforts. They led photo shoots and created a WordPress website as well. 

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Purchase, New York
Stacey Hubbard
Consultant, Aviation Outsourcing Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The strategy received executive approval within five months and increased recruitment success by 35%. Starfish delivered that success thanks to their top-notch expertise and ability to address challenges against extremely short deadlines. Their thoughtfulness, responsiveness, and agility stood out.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m a consultant for a large outsourced cargo airline.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Starfish?

We had an urgent need to recruit pilots for our company. We needed help to reform our marketing efforts to hire pilots and retain existing employees so we can continue our growth and galvanize our team during a time of significant change.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I called Starfish in for an RFP on very short notice. They had only 18 hours notice and still turned it around in time. Within a week of signing our contract, we hit the ground running to develop a digital marketing strategy to market the pilot job. At the same time, Starfish prepared an employee value proposition for us. They also built a WordPress website for us.

What is the team composition?

We worked closely with David (Founder & CEO, Starfish), a dedicated project manager, and a dedicated account manager. I know that our team worked with other projects, but they were so responsive in working closely with us that it felt like a dedicated team.

How did you come to work with Starfish?

At a previous company, I was a stakeholder during a design project that Starfish ran. I thought they were smart people that thought strategically and had in-depth knowledge of the business. I also enjoyed their working style and believed that they would deliver what we needed. 

In the RFP process, we considered 3–5 companies. While the other vendors mostly talked about themselves, Starfish spoke about our company, showing that they had worked to understand our business and the environment we were dealing with. They added value right from the pitch presentation, which helped them stand out.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent about $350,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project ran from November 2018 until April 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Before Starfish came on board, we were facing a restrictive, competitive market for pilots and seeing a long decline in our ability to hire them. This year, we achieved a 35% increase in our success rate. Starfish also convinced our executive team to approve the employee brand strategy within five months. This incredibly fast turnaround rate speaks to their proactiveness and strategic nature.

How did Starfish perform from a project management standpoint?

We were dealing with high-pressure tasks and deadlines, and Starfish remained nimble throughout the process. If we called them up and asked for a job to be done by tomorrow, they usually said yes.

We could also challenge them to work creatively around our constraints. For example, one of the central components of our pilot recruitment campaign was stand-out photography. However, I didn’t have the budget to staff and run a full photoshoot. 

Starfish and I put our heads together, and we ended up running the photoshoot virtually. We had a photographer on set and the creative director over the phone, and they’d coordinate on shots through quick iPhone pictures. It ended up working well without going over my budget.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Starfish invested heavily in understanding our business. I felt like David and Grant (Management Supervisor, Starfish) knew more about the business than I did. They were an extension of our team and a frequent thought partner on not just the project but also on our entire strategic challenge.

Are there any areas they could improve?

On occasion, I’ve had to chase Starfish down for a deadline. This is only really because they’re incredibly proactive and frequently delivered the best possible result within a very tight timeline. Starfish often came to me with suggestions to improve on our request and strive for excellence, which I appreciated. 

Any advice for potential customers?

Invest in the time to brief Starfish’s team thoroughly on the strategic challenges you’re facing so that they have the full picture. Don’t treat them as a tactical partner and give them only pieces of the story. Starfish will add more value having the whole context.

5.0
Overall Score It’s been a very satisfying experience on many levels. I enjoyed working with their team—they’re smart, strategic, and nice to spend time with.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Marketing Campaign for Real Estate Company

"They were an integral part of the process and our success."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Feb. - June 2018
Project summary: 

Starfish created a marketing approach that included props for a marketing center, direct mail pieces for a brokerage community, print ads in NYC publications, and digital ads.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
New York
Craig Panzirer
Senior Vice President- Director of Leasing , Global Holdings Management
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Starfish's efforts were met with positive acclaim. Their innovative ideas and open communication fueled the project's success. Customers can expect professionals that meet expectations every step of the way. 

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

Global Holdings is an Owner of Commercial Real Estate, I am Senior Vice President and Director of Leasing for the company which means I am responsible for among other things the Marketing and repositioning of our assets

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Starfish ?

We were looking to reintroduce 875 third Avenue to the brokerage community and highlight that we have 350,000 square feet becoming vacant. We hired Starfish to put together a marketing concept to compliment our marketing center and also provide direct mail concepts to the brokerage community.

What were your goals for this project?

The goals for the project was to create awareness for 875 Third Avenue, make sure the brokerage community knew about the upcoming availability and have a little fun with the project too.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

I had worked with Starfish briefly when I was at another company and we gave them the opportunity based on that .

Describe the scope of their work in detail.

The scope was for Starfish to come up with a comprehensive marketing approach for 875 Third avenue that would include, props for the marketing center, direct mail pieces for the brokerage community, print ads in NYC publications such as Crains, NY Observer and NY Post, and digital ads .

What was the team composition?

Jeff Negrin led the team. He is a senior partner there and was involved in the whole process. He added to the team as necessary and everyone involved in the project was knowledgable about the project and the process. The entire team worked very well with both our leasing agent and us.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

The results were as follows: we created a great marketing campaign that included 3 mailers to brokerage community with various little"gifts" that were designed to stay on the brokers desks and keep 875 in their minds as well as creating a marketing center that made the tour of the building very clear and highlighted the space coming available, building amenities, etc. We leased the entire block of 350,000 square ft to 5 separate tenants in under 12 months, which was likely 6-9 months faster than we had anticipated. During tours we were routinely complimented about the marketing center for its creativity and cool props that we had outfitted the space with at Starfish direction . They were an integral part of the process and our success.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

they were great throughout the whole process. Jeff and his team took direction well and got the concept of what we were trying to do right away. It was great working with them . Never had issue thru the entire process.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

They were always prepared, had ideas that were relevant, but not afraid to reach for something different. We never had a bad meeting with them , all deadlines were met on time and the work product was always top-notch. We will definitely use them again should we have another big project.

Are there any areas for improvement?

I thought they were great.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    always able to get them
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We would always like to pay less but we certainly feel like we got what we paid for
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Great execution which led to us having great success
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Consumer Insight & Branding for Global Wellness Organization

“They deliver as well as the most prestigious strategic partners but engage us like next-door neighbors.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Starfish created a detailed consumer journey map that detailed opportunities to keep customers engaged with their wellness. They then conducted extensive research to determine new prospective audiences.

The Reviewer
 
5,001-10,000 Employees
 
New York, New York
Deb Benovitz
SVP of Insight & Community Impact, Weight Watchers
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Starfish’s insights and strategic suggestions have helped skyrocket both retention and recruitment rates. Though they’re a small team, they’re well organized and produce exceptional results that rival larger firms. Their strong project management and humble approach ensure smooth collaboration.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the SVP of insights and community impact for Weight Watchers. In my role, I oversee insights related to reimagining our brand (e.g., advertising, positioning, vision, packaging). I also look for ways to democratize wellness, bringing access to healthy habits and education to all communities.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Starfish?

About four years ago, we were going through a period where we wondered if we’d become irrelevant in the wellness world. As a result, we initiated a four-year turnaround strategy to reimagine our brand, working with numerous partners, including Starfish, to support our ventures. We needed resources to help us retain our existing customers while recruiting more leads.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

One of the main projects involved creating a consumer journey map to identify opportunities to keep customers engaged. They conducted a full assessment, outlining a clear map of the different points where people faltered in their wellness journey. They then suggested different ways to move forward depending on the journey.

In another project, they did a deep dive into potential target consumers. We’d identified a number of demographics that faced wellness challenges, including men, new mothers, and newlyweds. They helped us figure out the strongest targets to pursue and came up with activation ideas for them. Since then, we’ve continued to reach out to Starfish for various assignments, the most recent being a naming project.

What is the team composition?

At my level, I worked directly with their CEO, but my team primarily worked with their senior brand strategist.

How did you come to work with Starfish?

Our SVP of marketing had worked with them previously for several design projects. He knew that they had expertise in the insight area as well, so he introduced me to them. Upon meeting the team, I was impressed by their quality of work. They delivered strong results like bigger companies while still providing a mid-tier price structure. I also appreciated their humility and how well their culture aligned with ours.

How much have you invested with them?

For the insight projects alone, we’ve spent between $150,000–$200,000 thus far.

What is the status of this engagement?

Their work began in 2015 and is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our retention rate grew considerably thanks to the insights from their journey analysis. Not only did they provide in-depth assessments, but they presented the content wonderfully in a clear, visual manner. It was so comprehensive that I could easily share it with our CEO.

While our recruitment has significantly increased since last year, it’s hard to say which of our many initiatives drove those conversions. Nevertheless, we’ve implemented several of their identified sub-targets and are confident that they’ve contributed to our higher recruitment volume.

How did Starfish perform from a project management standpoint?

Because they have small teams, they’re really able to get to know us. They’re responsive, organized, and well managed. In terms of timeliness, they always meet their deadlines and often outpace them.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I appreciate their capacity to produce high-quality work while still providing a small-firm experience. They deliver as well as the most prestigious strategic partners but engage us like next-door neighbors.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, nothing comes to mind. They’re a perfect fit for our company thanks to our similar cultures.

5.0
Overall Score Our culture allows us to work well together. I’d recommend them to companies with a similar culture and size.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They always meet their deadlines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’d absolutely recommend them.
Verification

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GOLD VERIFIED
Business Entity
Business Entity Name
Starfish LLC
Status
Active
Jurisdiction of Formation
New York
Id
2847588
Date of Formation
Dec 19, 2002
Payment & Legal Filings
Bankruptcy
No
Tax Lien Filings
1
Judgement Filings
1
Collections Count
0
Last updated
May 1, 2020
Client Reviews
VERIFIED CLIENT REVIEWS
16
OVERALL REVIEW RATING
4.9
Source
Clutch
LAST UPDATED
December 13, 2019