We Craft Perception

States of Matter is a full service branding agency for consumer and tech companies. We’re a diverse, experienced team that nails the fundamentals of branding. Rely on us to be a little obsessive, very polished and always hungry. Your business is our purpose.

We give you form so you can make money, launch a new product, fuel the funnel, scale, choose to be great, build stuff, change perception, teach your team, be relevant, have crazy loyal customers, win friends & influence others, innovate (duh), be huger than huge, make a difference, measure measure measure, fight the power, get to the point, create your legacy, just be cool and so on and so forth.

 
$5,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2014
States of Matter
108 South Jackson St.
Seattle, WA 98104
United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

La Marzocco

Stanley

Playfab

Stratos

Bluenile

Dolly

Unium 

Gourmondo

Reviews

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Brand Refresh for Cybersecurity Firm

“Their strengths are their process, and taking people through a journey, which is the most important part.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Dec. 2017 - May 2018
Project summary: 

States of Matter refreshed a brand, which included developing logos, redesigning a website, and re-orienting messaging. After creating wireframes, they centered the site around three buyer personas.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Seattle, Washington
Thom Robbins
CMO, MediaPro
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Internal reviews are positive and web traffic has increased, even though the site only launched May 1st. States of Matter invested significant time up-front to effectively comprehend project requirements, which helped them facilitate engaging and innovative branding sessions with top executives.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the CMO for MediaPro. We’re a cyber security and privacy education vendor. We sell to companies who are interested in training their employees on cybersecurity risks. About 80% of all breaches happen because somebody clicks something or does something wrong, so we sell programs to companies to enable them to better educate their employees.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with States of Matter?

We went through an equity investment back in October, which led to a new CEO, and we needed to do a brand refresh. It had been 10 years since the last one, so we wanted to include everything from logos to websites to messaging.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They started by developing the logo and then moved on to the website with design wireframes. They helped us do messaging and positioning as part of overall value propositions - and then we launched our new site. We did the development in-house, but they did pretty much everything up to that point.

They helped us move away from a very content driven site, and helped us with re-visualizing ourselves as more of a cybersecurity company. The second part is they needed to bring in the three buyer personas we’d researched and developed. They also helped us create our site navigation, based on those personas.

What is the team composition?

We have both a project director and project manager, in addition to a designer and a marketing resource.

How did you come to work with States of Matter?

They did a good job for me on a project I worked on while with another company. I was looking at a bunch of companies, including States of Matter, and they worked well with our CEO. They helped him figure out what he wanted, and asked all the right questions.

How much have you invested with them? 

We spent more than $100,000-$150,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from December 2017 until May 2018. We launched the site on May 1st.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our internal folks are really excited about the new branding and website, and our Board of Directors has been excited about what they’ve been seeing. We continue to see a rise in web traffic, and there are all other sorts of good indicators, but it’s a little early to make any ROI calculations.

How did States of Matter perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project manager did a great job, especially regarding expectation management, which is always difficult when you’re doing any type of agency work. They were consistent in their communication and provided the right level of feedback to keep the project on track. They communicated especially well with our executive leadership. We mainly talked via email and phone calls.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They spent time figuring out what it was we wanted in the beginning. They always seemed to ask the right questions, provided the right level of facilitated sessions, and have exercises that are interesting and engaging. A lot of the executive leadership team, when we did our website and core branding, came into the session expecting to be bored with the standard, stupid exercises. But they did a great job of keeping them engaged, providing compelling, value-ridden exercises. People walked feeling like they had accomplished something. Their strengths are their process, and taking people through a journey, which is the most important part.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I've used them twice, and I don't really have any bits of feedback. There's always trouble, in any project. For example making sure specific communications are correct, but I don’t’ have any major feedback.

Any advice for potential customers?

I'd probably tell them to make sure that they invest time upfront to help States of Matter understand what they’re trying to do. They're very good at making sure to hold those frank discussions as well.

5.0
Overall Score Having worked with a lot of brand agencies, you tend to end up with executives who only care about the next project, but they were always interested in what we were doing.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were always good at letting us know they if they were running late. We're moving fast as a company, so sometimes we weren't as good at responding, which certainly held them up.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their cost was reasonable, based on what I would expect, and the value they delivered was fantastic.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They delivered our brand on time, within budget, and were very reasonable at working with us through inevitable revisions. They were always good at letting us know they if they were running late. We're moving fast as a company, so sometimes we weren't as
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I refer them to other colleagues all the time.

Branding & Craft Web Design for Architectural Firm

“They clearly translated our brand into visual and verbal mediums, which helped bring order and energy to our message.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Aug. 2016 - Feb. 2018
Project summary: 

States of Matter designed a Craft website for a climate-concerned architectural firm. They undertook market research efforts, developed design palettes and concepts, and did digital content creation.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
 
Seattle, Washington
CMO, NK Architects
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Business picked up, and both internal and external reviewers were impressed by the site’s client recruitment potential. Although there were some false starts, States of Matter exhibited flexible engagement and communication styles, and nurtured a collaborative, creative partnership.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CMO of NK Architects. We're a B2B architecture firm that focuses on the Passivhaus method, which helps accelerate a transition to clean energy by designing zero-carbon buildings at scale.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with States of Matter?

We were in the process of rebranding our firm to more clearly align with the high-performance building design approach called Passivhaus. We hired States of Matter to help us think through our rebranding, develop a design, and launch a new website.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Initially, they had to understand and learn about our world, and our specific type of work so they could effectively communicate it to our customers. Then, they did market research, including interviews with some of our longtime clients to identify what their pay points and priorities are. Based on these findings, we worked together to create a brand framework and archetype cards, which determined the voice of our website copy, as well as the color palette for the site.

We then developed a wireframe for the Craft site, keeping in mind the journeys we wanted our primary and secondary audiences to go through. Then it was on to design palettes and actual concepts, which was a very collaborative process. After, we honed our messaging of the Passivhaus method, deciding to focus on the certainty it lends to building performance, financials, and quality.

On the website itself, States of Matter created a strong video hook at the top of the site and reworked our “Why Work With Us” section, to focus less on ourselves and more on the certainty our services provide. The site has an active blog, that they create content for, and showcases featured projects that allow potential clients to see our portfolio. The CMS is easy for us to use as well since there’s a lot of plug and play stuff we can do with quotes and social proof of our work.

What is the team composition?

We had a project manager, but we also worked with four other people, including a project architect and a designer.

How did you come to work with States of Matter?

We wanted a fresh perspective and a new set of eyes. We’re moving into a new approach and new space in the architecture field, so we wanted new, creative ideas around us. Our CEO had a friend that knew of their work so we had them in for an interview. They gave a really effective pitch and came with great questions and a great portfolio.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them from August 2016 until February 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’ve had really great feedback on the website from both potential clients and people we’ve hired. It’s been a good recruiting tool as well. We’re already seeing major projects come in, like a 500-unit Passivhaus job north of Washington D.C., that is partly thanks to the website. We’re also very active on the high-performance building design speaking circuit, so having this site align with our work has really helped us position ourselves as though leaders.

How did States of Matter perform from a project management standpoint?

We spoke at least every couple weeks, and it was certainly more frequently than that at some points. We weren’t always an easy client to manage, but they cajoled us where we needed it and were flexible when they needed to be.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They clearly translated our brand into visual and verbal mediums, which helped bring order and energy to our message. They really did a great job collaborating on that.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The creative process had its hits and misses, but that’s kind of the way it is. Their first attempt at translating our stuff into a visual form was less vibrant than we had hoped for, but they expanded their team and were able to fix any problems, meeting our hopes and expectations.

Any advice for potential customers?

I think you have to be ready. Engagements are successful when you have that investment and spend time and creative energy in the process. Be ready to make that investment because they’re going to ask for it.

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

Branding for Backend Service Company

"I can’t imagine using anyone else for this kind of work. States of Matter is too good."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Sept. 2015 - Mar. 2017
Project summary: 

States of Matter handled a rebrand for a backend service company. They built marketing brochures, booths, logos, UI designs, and a new design for the website.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
 
Seattle, Washington
James Gwertzman
CEO, Playfab
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

States of Matter impacted the companies brand; the brochures were cited as some of the best, and the booth has received praise as well. States of Matter intelligently approached the work: they brought an intellectual rigor in their decision making that uncovered the right brand.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

My name is James Gwertzman, and I am the CEO of Playfab. We are a backend services company which provides services for game studios.

 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with States of Matter?

We’ve had several projects with States of Matter, the primary one focusing on clarifying the brand and messaging of our company. We wanted to work with a design firm because, to me, that was how we could get a good sense of what our brand was.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

States of Matter has created a logo for our company, UI [user interface] designs which helped us visualize the product we were building, a booth for a trade show on two occasions, a marketing brochure, as well as a new design for our website. States of Matter has also helped us create an overall messaging brand framework for Playfab.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our very first project was in the summer of 2015, for our logo work. We subsequently engaged States of Matter on early UI work. In the fall of that year, we kicked off the branding and messaging work. In January 2016, we worked on the trade show booth design and marketing brochure. At the moment, there is no ongoing work.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I have no hard KPIs [key performance indicator], but I can mention qualitative feedback from people who have visited our trade show booth and looked through our brochure. I was told that they were some of the best brochures they’d seen. It tells our story clearly, and it’s attractive. Likewise, the booth itself has received praise many of times.

Our website was terrible before, and now it looks good, but I don’t necessarily have numbers which would show that we’re making more money because of it.

A big part of being a small company is what we call “the big lie,” namely communicating a much larger footprint or impact than we necessarily have. A big part of broadcasting that larger footprint has been looking like a much more professional company. Things like the booth, the brochure, the logo, and our website are at the top-notch, professional level they should be at.

I feel that, instead of States of Matter pushing their own ideas in a disruptive manner, we were able to come up with an extremely organic result, which fit who we were very well. Much of the help in figuring that out was based on States of Matter’s input, so their ideas did go into the process but in a positive way. They were helping me uncover what the brand was, as opposed to steering it in a wrong direction.

How did States of Matter perform from a project management standpoint?

Stephanie [Producer, States of Matter], our project manager, has been in charge of the process and has always been extremely attentive to our schedule and budget, letting me know when something I was asking for had the potential of shifting our plan.

What did you find most impressive about States of Matter?

A part of why I like working with States of Matter so much is that they’re very smart and good at figuring out different elements, as opposed to making random choices. Their decisions never felt like toss-offs, but rather are rigorous around what’s the right answer for us.

We’re a very smart company, and we do well working with other smart people. By this, I am referring to the intellectual rigor that States of Matter can bring to the work. It’s never a choice based on what they’re feeling like on a certain day. This goes a long way into our relationship with States of Matter.

I’ve never seen States of Matter’s egos get involved in decisions. It’s always a collaborative process, even though they may push back sometimes.

Are there any areas States of Matter could improve?

States of Matter is an expensive company, but I keep coming back to them. Ultimately, this is the level of work I’m willing to pay for. I don’t blame them for the hours being put in, but I do have realizations over the amount of money we’re spending. It’s easily worth it, though.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with States of Matter?

Put your time into it. From working with States of Matter, I have discovered that the best results come from a high level of engagement with the client. I’ve heard them complain that certain clients don’t do that, which makes it hard to get the best results. Delegating the collaboration to the lower levels will not get the best results.

5.0
Overall Score I can’t imagine using anyone else for this kind of work. States of Matter is too good.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We were given very good expectations of how long things would take, and States of Matter always hit our deadlines, even though we gave them some tight ones.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    States of Matter is expensive, but the value is there.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The work is top notch, and States of Matter always hit deadlines.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve referred States of Matter many times.

Branding for Wifi Software

"They’ve got a good imagination. They’re super collaborative and we came out with a quality product."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Aug. 2015 - Dec. 2016
Project summary: 

States of Matter spent nearly a year on a complete rebranding of a Wi-Fi software company. Beginning with strategic marketing advice, they offered a name change, a new visual style, and a new website.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
 
Seattle, Washington
VP Marketing, Software Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Although the site is new, the new brand identity has significantly helped build the desired perception in the marketplace and sales are increasing. Throughout the project, States of Matter’s project management and collaborative skills increased, to the point they became an extension of the team. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Our company licenses embedded software to fix the challenges that are experienced with Wi-Fi. Our target markets are consumers and businesses that have hardware with Wi-Fi radios inside. I’m VP of marketing, products and business development.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with States of Matter?

We needed a complete rebranding of the company. A number of years ago, the company started by targeting the Department of Defense and Public Safety. We built up a lot of expertise around Wi-Fi and wireless networking. But over the last three years, it's become apparent that the bigger opportunity is with commercial customers and, longer term, early adopter end users of connected products. We wanted to lock down our story, including a name change, new visual identification, and website.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

There were multiple projects, including brand strategy, naming, visual ID, and website with the associated collateral.

How did you come to work with States of Matter?

They were referred to me by a friend who worked with them and thought highly of them. I also knew of Henry’s work through his time at Hornall Anderson. They were a good fit because Britt did the Intel Inside campaign so she was familiar with B2B branding of an embedded system. All good advertising starts with a solid brand strategy so you have to do the foundational work first before you can come up with good advertising, which is why we went with a branding agency as opposed to a marketing agency.

How much have you invested with States of Matter?

We have spent between $200,000 and $10 million. Although costly for a small company, their team delayed the need for internal hires.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our first project started in early 2016, and the project was completed in December 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

This is foundational work, but we’ve received positive feedback from all of our customers and the people in our pipeline. The materials that we produced clarified our message significantly. We’ve only been in the marketplace with it for a couple of months so I don’t have any numbers. We’re starting to accelerate our pace of moving customers through the pipeline and into sales.

How did States of Matter perform from a project management standpoint?

They did well. They were on time. We took longer than we expected in providing feedback to them. The relationship was very collaborative. The first project there was a bit of feeling out how we’d best work together. Through that, we learned how to collaborate better and it got better as the projects continued.

What did you find most impressive about States of Matter?

They’re solid creatively. They’ve got a good imagination. They’re super collaborative and we came out with a quality product. Britt [Stromberg, Founder and Strategy Director] and Henry [Yiu, Founder and Creative Director] both believe in brand marketing and they stuck to their guns about the importance of doing things the right way and I think that’s shows in the end product. We became friends over the course of this work.

Are there any areas States of Matter could improve?

Early on, we asked them to be sure to make us aware of their process and what to expect at each step so that we weren’t surprised. We’re working with a number of internal employees who are new to marketing, and it was important for them to understand what they should expect at a certain point and what the goals were for each session. States of Matter improved as the process went forward and it worked out really well.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with States of Matter?

States of Matter is a great choice if you believe that marketing and branding move your business forward.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were delayed a little when we didn’t get back to them in time but they were on top of it.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The budget we had was significant but it was a great value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We ended up with a great product that everyone was satisfied with. It was creative and differentiated.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve recommended them several times.