The Arsenal of Innovation

Bronze
VERIFIED

Xhilarate is an experiential branding firm that creates visual brand expressions that engage people, excite the senses and inspire our inner awesome.

Xhilarate joins together a team of experts in experiential branding, interactive design, immersive storytelling and cultural engagement. Each of us bring over 20 years of branding experience across a range of industries, including the arts and communications, education, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, insurance, technology, transportation and professional services. We will help craft your brand story, create your brand expression and establish experiential brand connections with your employees, customers and investors.

We know that a brand is built on so much more than its logo and how it visually represents itself. A dynamic brand delivers on what we call the xFactor:

-   the promise that it makes

-   Its overall expression

-   the experience that it delivers

We work in collaboration with our clients to ensure that your brand’s xFactor is fully integrated to create the ultimate brand experience that has a positive impact on your company’s overall reputation.

Our Core Capabilities: Brand Strategy, Storytelling, Brand Identity, Digital Strategy, UI / UX / IDX / XD / CX, Web & Interactive, App & Mobile, Environmental Design, Employee Engagement and Photography & Video.

Awards & Recognition: Our work has been featured, awarded and or published in numerous international design reference books and magazines:

Communication Arts, Logo Lounge, The Addys, Webby Awards, Adobe Film Festival, Graphic Design USA, SXSW Awards, The FWA, The Art Directors Club, Media Inspiration Awards, Print Magazine, Site Inspire, Awwwards.com, .Net Mag, etc.

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2016
Show all +
Philadelphia, PA
headquarters
  • 444 North 4th Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19123
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

AON AB Brands, Assero, American Express, Brett Webber Architects, Capital One, Citadel, Comcast, Davidoff Cigars, Discovery Channel, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, Globus Medical, HBO, Janssen, J.P. Morgan, Michael Grecco Photography, MTA, The New Orleans Multi-Cultural Tourism Network, Pinnacle 21, Procter & Gamble, Shire, Viacom, Teleflex, Temple University - Fox School of Business, University of Pennsylvania and Vanguard.


 

Comcast Image

Comcast

Overview: As Comcast was preparing to cut the ribbon at their new national headquarters in Philadelphia, we worked diligently with a multi-faceted team of real estate partners, facilities teams and HR leaders – along with our partners at Hess Design – to create a welcome package for employees to make them feel right at home in their new digs, while also helping them to get to know their way around the

incredible new office building and the surrounding areas of interest. Xhilarate created a welcome kit that included a fun and engaging book allowing the Comcast team to be productive in their new home.

 

Services: Brand Photography, Image Library, Welcome Kit, Marketing & Print Collateral.

Globus Medical Image

Globus Medical

Overview: The Globus Medical team worked hand-in-hand with us to create a non-linear story that allows field reps to prioritize content based on customer’s needs and on-the-spot inquiries. With this content ecosystem, we then crafted the assets in a way that would be delivered in-person via a tablet. The assets also included custom videos that we shot on site at Globus Medical. The videos  feature the thought

leaders who brought the product to life along with the device features and specifications. With tablets in-hand, the sales force was now able to provide a customizable and interactive and thorough demonstration with prospective customers.

Services: Interactive iPad App, UI/UX/IXD, App Design, Photography, Iconography, Storytelling, Video & Photography.

Xhilarate Sizzle Reel

Our 24-second sizzle reel highlighting some of Xhilarate's work.

Assero Services Image

Assero Services

Overview: Assero Services was in need of a brand identity and messaging that represents the team’s collective strength and experience and supports its high-quality workforce. The Xhilarate team aligned directly with the managing partners to create a brand identity that is as foundationally sound as the organization itself. From this, we expanded the brand’s personality and messaging to create compelling tools

and resources for the company including; photography, print design & collateral, website, mobile apps, trade advertisements, trade show environments and ongoing strategic consulting.

Services: Brand Identity, Strategy, Website, Print Design, Signage, App,  UI/UX/IXD, Vehicle, Iconography, Photography & Video, Tradeshow Exhibit.

View Assero Website →

View Assero Case Study →

3.0 University Place Image

3.0 University Place

Overview: 3.0 University Place is creating a corridor of certified LEED Platinum commercial and retail space in the University City District section of Philadelphia. As the launch of the first in a series of over a half-dozen buildings approached, the development team sought to ensure that all bases were covered in promoting the site and its new and modern services & amenities. The Xhilarate team was

brought in to create a brand identity and key messaging platform for the complex. The application of this visual and verbal expression included: marketing collateral, sales brochures, website, digital promotions, signage, wayfinding and fence wraps.

Services: Brand Concept & Identity, Wayfinding, Responsive Website, Print Collateral, Iconography, UI/UX/IXD, Photography.

View University Place Website →

Michael Grecco Photography Image

Michael Grecco Photography

Overview: Michael Grecco is recognized the world over for his stunning photography, especially his unique images of celebrities and professional athletes. He has been dubbed “A Master of Light” by his peers and the caliber of his work is undeniable. As Michael completed an entire series of new works, Michael turned Xhilarate to provide a brand identity with an entirely new energy...including

logo design, print & interactive applications, a display system and categorization; along with a promotional social & advertising campaign to generate interest his new body of work.

Services: Brand Concept & Identity, Strategy, Responsive Website, Print Collateral, Advertising, UI/UX/IXD, Social Media, Video Brochure.

View Michael Grecco Website →

 

Reviews

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Web Design & Branding for Law Firm

“Their ability to deliver on our creative vision in such a short time was really impressive.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
Dec. 2019 - Feb. 2020
Project summary: 

Xhilarate provided web development and creative brand work for a startup legal services firm in Philadelphia. They produced a set of logo options along with other marketing assets and a full website.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
David Stern
President, Stern & Cohen
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The branding work delivered by Xhilarate has received highly positive feedback from a variety of legal industry members and potential clients. Their team worked incredibly quickly and communicated well to ensure all parties were satisfied with the deliverables.

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 president of the law firm Stern and Cohen, which is a legal services firm in Philadelphia that represents individuals who get hurt at work.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Xhilarate?

We are a startup company, so we hired their team to help us with our branding, logo, and the first iteration of our web page.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The project was a collaborative effort, but for the most part, we focused on translating our culture and mission as a company into requirements that they could take and then implement on the creative side in all of the assets that we needed.

What is the team composition?

Three members of their team worked with us on a regular basis, but I believe there were a couple of others involved behind the scenes as well.

How did you come to work with Xhilarate?

Originally, they were referred to us by someone else in our industry, and then after diving into a little more of the details of their work, we decided that they would be a good fit for us.

How much have you invested with them?

The total cost of the project was around $6,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them between December 2019–February 2020.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The work they did for us has received really good feedback so far, especially around the logo. Both competitors and other people in the legal market have been very complimentary of the website and other brand assets, especially given the amount of time we were able to turn them around in.

How did Xhilarate perform from a project management standpoint?

Their team did a great job of managing the project overall. They were always transparent about the work and were able to deliver on all of the milestones for the project on time. Along the way, they also contributed a lot of ideas for how to improve the site, which we really appreciated.

We primarily communicated over email, but we also had a few face-to-face meetings and video conferences as well where we could sit down and look at the work together and really do a deep dive into fine-tuning all of the work.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Within a week of our first interaction with them, they came back to us with a selection of eight logos that all satisfied our requirements and could have been selected as the final version. Their ability to deliver on our creative vision in such a short time was really impressive.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Honestly, I can’t think of anything they could have done differently.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Be as forthright and open with them as possible. The better you can communicate what you want and provide feedback to them, the more they will be able to tailor their product to your requirements.

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

Branding & Collateral Design for Medical Nutrition Company

“Their combination of quality in their work and continual flexibility in adapting to our needs was truly incredible.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
Dec. 2019 - Feb. 2020
Project summary: 

Xhilarate provided logo design services for two brands under a biotechnology and bulk ingredient manufacturer and supplier. They conducted brand research before providing an initial round of options.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Boulder, Colorado
Katie Lowery
Brand Manager, PanTheryx
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

All of the deliverables provided by the Xhilarate team have been provided within incredibly tight timelines while still maintaining a high standard of creative and professional quality. The first round of logos was approved unanimously by the board and has received positive feedback from customers.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

PanTheryx is a biotechnology company as well as a bulk ingredient supplier for Colostrum. We provide both product development and sales as well as contract manufacturing for businesses.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Xhilarate?

Our goals have evolved a lot over the time we’ve worked with them. We originally contracted with them for design work on a line of products we were releasing, but the scope has since narrowed a little bit.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

When we came to Xhilarate, we had just ended an engagement with another company that had provided some branding resources that did not meet our requirements, so we were really looking to go back to the drawing board.

Since then, their team has worked with us to brainstorm and iterate on logo development for the ingredient brand of our core product, as well as for an offshoot product that is currently in development.

What is the team composition?

We work with both Russ (Partner) and Lou (Vice President) on a day to day basis, which has been a huge benefit to the engagement.

How did you come to work with Xhilarate?

We went through a formal RFP process, and their team pitched to us in person and were really impressive throughout that process. The main things that we liked about them were the depth of experience and expertise they bring to the table, as well as the chemistry between our two teams. They’re very nice people, and we decided that we wanted to continue working with them.

How much have you invested with them?

Between the two projects, we spent a total of just over $7,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our work began in December 2019, but we put the project on pause while our requirements changed. We picked back up again in January and finished up in February 2020.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We are a privately held company, so everything that goes out the door from us has to have board and leadership approval. Xhilarate delivered on our strategy right away, providing a first round of logos that we were incredibly excited about and included an option that was chosen unanimously by the board. That was a huge win for us internally.

Now that the ingredient brand is out in the world, viewers on both the B2B and B2C side of things have really accepted the new designs and provided really positive feedback overall.

How did Xhilarate perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management has been really impressive throughout our entire working relationship. Whenever I had a question, I could reach out to them and get a quick response, but on their end, they were just as proactive about managing timelines and reaching out to us to set up meetings and get information that they needed.

Even though we were working on a very tight timeline, they made us feel completely comfortable that they were going to be able to handle the work. The team kept us updated the entire way, so we had no complaints at all in that regard.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their combination of quality in their work and continual flexibility in adapting to our needs was truly incredible. I don’t think we could’ve done what we needed to do without their ability to turn around the deliverables with the speed that they did.

Not only that, but the first round of logos included the one that we are using now. Their experience in the industry really shows in their work, both through the creativity of their deliverables and the professionalism with which they produced them.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don’t think there’s anything I wish had gone differently. We’ve been thrilled with all of the work they’ve done.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

I think it was really important for us to brief them as thoroughly as possible when we brought them on and put a lot of work into giving them complete visibility. That level of openness in the relationship really benefited both teams and helped them to function as an extension of ours.

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

Digital Marketing and Dev for Software Company

"It’s like they’re an extension of our team, not a separate company."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Jan. 2012 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Xhilarate has provided web development and design throughout a startup’s growth. They’ve also produced design and branding materials for trade shows and conferences to align with current messaging.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
Max Kanevsky
CEO, Pinnacle 21
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Customer feedback has been largely positive, focusing on the one-of-a-kind designs Xhilarate provides. They’ve also been praised for their consistent timely responses and willingness to work outside traditional hours when necessary. They’re deeply committed and excel in long-term partnerships.

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 founder and CEO of Pinnacle 21, a life sciences software company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Xhilarate?

We opened as a startup in 2011 and brought them on in 2012 because we needed branding, a website redesign, and marketing collateral.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

When we first engaged them, all we had was a minimalistic site and we needed everything else.  They helped us establish a strong, unique brand, launch a new site, and create tradeshow materials.  Since then, they’ve done a lot of work for us over the years. Branding for our annual customer conference, an interactive product demo, photo and video shoots, and several site redesigns, to name a few.

What is the team composition?

Michael is a co-founder and creative director, he’s the one we’ve worked with from the beginning.  Depending on the project, other folks may get involved, such as a content writer, photographer, video editor, etc. If they don’t have a talent in-house, they will bring one in. For instance, we just shot a video about our company and they brought in a drone operator to shoot our campus.

How did you come to work with Xhilarate?

When I started the company, a friend of mine recommended them.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent $200,000–$999,999 with them so far.

What is the status of this engagement?

We brought them on board in January 2012, and it’s still ongoing. As the company grows and evolves, so does our brand and Xhilarate is helping us with all our creative needs.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I don’t have specific metrics but our website traffic has been going up every year. Our brand recognition is very high in the industry.  And of course, there’s the “wow” factor, we receive endless compliments from our customers on how good everything looks.  The new site we’re designing is the most ambitious we’ve done with them. It’s focused on recruiting and driving more candidates to apply on our website, so we’ll have another metric to track soon. 

How did Xhilarate perform from a project management standpoint?

They’ve done very well, working nights and weekends if they have to. It’s the reason we’ve been with them for seven years. They’re very responsive and get things done.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their approach to partnering with us stands out. It’s like they’re an extension of our team, not a separate company.  They make us part of the creative process with frequent checkins and idea sharing so we feel like we have a say in the direction and can own and be proud of the end result because it feels like “us”. What we really love is that they’re an idea machine. Xhilarate is constantly innovating and putting out ideas nonstop. They want us to stand out, so they’re always pushing us forward based on research they’ve done into market trends.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of anything. They always deliver what we need.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Give them space to do their creative thing. Don’t try to micromanage. Their end product is amazing.

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
    I don’t want to tell anyone about them because they’re so good.

Branding & Web Dev for Manufacturing Company

"Their size is great, so they can pay attention to our needs while providing all the services we require."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. 2019 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Xhilarate provides ongoing branding support to a client looking to freshen their company image. Along with creating a strategic direction and brand identity, they’ve also developed a new website.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Bensalem, Pennsylvania
Dean Dalson
Co-Founder, First Look Display Group LLC
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The improved branding materials and overall identity have been well-received by internal stakeholders and key customers alike. As a partner, Xhilarate remains reliably creative, producing work that goes beyond expectations and accurately reflects the client’s company. 

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 co-owner of First Look Display Group LLC. We predominantly do point of purchase merchandising displays, as well as industrial and architectural products.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Xhilarate?

We had just acquired the company and needed to establish a new identity and freshen our approach. We wanted to make sure our brand identity reflected where our company was headed in the future. Also, our existing website was about 10 years old and needed to be redone.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

To start, they helped us with market research by interviewing customers and stakeholders. They evaluated the competitive landscape, also. Together, we came up with a new brand identity that was both descriptive and a strategic direction. They worked with us to come up with the graphics that would go along with it, including the colors, shapes, and logos. Additionally, they’ve developed a website for us, adding new features to make it more user-friendly and attractive. 

What is the team composition?

We work with 5–6 people from their team.

How did you come to work with Xhilarate?

I had a prior relationship with a partner at Xhilarate. After interviewing their team, everyone felt comfortable moving forward so we decided to use them for this project. 

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent between $30,000–$35,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in January 2019 and our engagement is ongoing. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We don’t have any metrics on the work yet, but the feedback from key customers about the new logo and website has been extremely positive. Our internal team feels great about the deliverables, too. We feel like we’ve taken a huge step forward because of Xhilarate’s work. 

How did Xhilarate perform from a project management standpoint?

They’ve done well in this area. The follow-up for our needs is handled smoothly and their team adheres to timelines, so we’re happy with that. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their size is great, so they can pay attention to our needs while providing all the services we require. They can understand our goals and get to know our team because they’re not too big or small. We feel very comfortable working with them. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of anything significant for them to improve on. 

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

They’re a good, creative team, so if you’re looking for those types of ideas instead of boilerplate work, they’re the right team. They can go beyond just a typical web redesign project. 

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

Visual Design for a CPG Company

The speed of their delivery, as well as how quickly they adapted to feedback, were both outstanding.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Aug. 2019 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Xhilarate created design materials for the communications of a global food and beverage packaging company. Focusing on delivering a coherent corporate theme, the team also developed the annual report cover.

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
Baltimore Metro Area
Brand Manager, CPG Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Xhilarate’s visual designs successfully brought the corporate theme for 2020 to life. Their delivery was quickly approved by all levels of management, indicating the quality of their work. The team ensured the client’s satisfaction by gathering, absorbing, and responding well to feedback.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We’re a global consumer-packaged-goods (CPG) company that operates in the food and beverage space. I’m the brand manager for our corporate marketing sector.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Xhilarate?

We had developed our corporate theme for 2020 through marketing research. We engaged Xhilarate to create a visual concept that would bring that theme to life. We were also seeking assistance in designing the cover of our annual report.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Xhilarate generated several visual concepts that could be used across multiple channels and communication materials throughout the year. We had several rounds of feedback and worked together to fully develop the design that we eventually decided on.

What is the team composition?

I worked with three people, including Russ (Partner, Client Relationships, Xhilarate). Michael (Founding Partner, Xhilarate) was our design lead.

How did you come to work with Xhilarate?

We knew someone who had worked with them in a different capacity at a previous job.

What is the status of this engagement?

While that particular project began in August 2019 and has wrapped up, we plan to continue working with them on a project-by-project basis.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Xhilarate went above and beyond to deliver the precise results that we needed. The level of leadership buy-in was a definite measure of their ability to deliver. Typically, there are tedious layers of approval, but the fact that their work was quickly approved by the many layers of our management committee indicates their success. In addition, they responded and adapted very well to feedback.

How did Xhilarate perform from a project management standpoint?

They performed very well. They followed up after each call with notes to clarify the deliverables we discussed. They ensured that everyone was kept up to date with project progress. They never hesitated to jump on a phone call with us to gather our thoughts.  

What did you find most impressive about them?

The speed of their delivery, as well as how quickly they adapted to feedback, were both outstanding.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I can’t think of anything.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

I highly recommend them!

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

UX Design for Digital Agency

“They’re my go-to team for visual design because they always deliver great results.”

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

Xhilarate provides digital design work, mainly focusing on improving UX. They collaborated with the internal team and end client to develop wireframes and design a web-based app.

The Reviewer
 
2-10 Employees
 
Newton, Pennsylvania
David DeBonis
Chief Experience Officer, Foxgroove Interactive
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Xhilarate is organized and efficient, meeting deadlines and clearly communicating project goals and setbacks. They’re professional and interact directly with the end client, explaining their design concepts and proactively integrating suggestions into their 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.

I’m the chief experience officer at Foxgroove Interactive, a UX-focused digital agency that services numerous verticals, including government, finance, and education. We work with anything in the digital world, such as mobile and web apps.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Xhilarate?

One of our clients does election services and petition management, and they wanted a web-based app. We needed a partner to do the digital design work.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We developed the strategy for the project while Xhilarate collaborated on the wireframing and visual design. They guided us through some of the design components and provided professional insight. From there, they then transitioned into designing a subset of some of the pages and working directly with the client to get them approved and ready for production.

What is the team composition?

I work with two people.

How did you come to work with Xhilarate?

I’d known one of the founding partners for over 20 years. He was a great visual designer and knew how to manage projects well, so I hired his company.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent about $10,000 on this project.

What is the status of this engagement?

We partnered in October 2018, and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They worked directly with our end client and are well-spoken. Instead of just showing their work, they take the time to explain the choices they made, which our clients appreciate.

How did Xhilarate perform from a project management standpoint?

They’ve met all our deadlines and let me know if there are any problems with the project.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re receptive to feedback and are more than willing to integrate new ideas into their work. They’re my go-to team for visual design because they always deliver great results. Unlike many other agencies, they do a good job balancing innovative design ideas with current project needs and expectations. They’re incredibly easy to work with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. They took my direction when needed and didn’t have any issues.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

Engage with them; they’ll bring an additional level of expertise and design skills to your project.

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

Photography Services for Engineering Firm

“Xhilarate’s co-founder is friendly, quick to respond, and highly accommodating.”

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Xhilarate provides photo documentation for events and marketing requirements. The images are published on both print and digital platforms.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Kansas City, Missouri
Alayna Russell
Biopharma Market Manager, CRB
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Xhilarate’s work has elicited positive feedback from viewers. Their co-founder’s direct involvement and friendly approach have contributed to a long-term 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 am a marketing manager for a company that provides engineering, architecture, construction, and consulting services.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Xhilarate?

We needed photography services for our firm.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They have taken photographs of our employees, company events, and project sites. We use Xhilarate’s work in all of our strategic marketing in both print and digital platforms.

What is the team composition?

We regularly communicate with Zave (Co-founder, Xhilarate).

How did you come to work with Xhilarate?

They were hired before I started working for the company.

How much have you invested in them?

We spend up to $10,000 per year on their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with them in August 2014, and the relationship is ongoing. We use them frequently.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

I’m happy about their work, which has received positive feedback from stakeholders.

How did Xhilarate perform from a project management standpoint?

They have performed extremely well. We mostly communicate through phone and email, and we have also met in person.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Xhilarate’s co-founder is friendly, quick to respond, and highly accommodating.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No.

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

Extensive Photography for Law School

“They’re a very high-touch organization, acting like partners rather than service providers.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
Sept. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Xhilarate took professional photos of faculty to augment a college’s promotional campaign. The new portraits are professional and engaging, capturing individual personalities and the school’s overarching brand.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Brian Crooks
Creative Director, Drexel University Kline School of Law
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The portraits garnered positive feedback. Xhilarate was very personable and involved throughout the photo-taking process, engaging with faculty members to capture high-quality images. Their key strengths include creativity, technical expertise, and a willingness to challenge the original idea.

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 creative director and marketing manager at Drexel University Kline School of Law.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Xhilarate?

With the US News & World Report rankings looming, the school initiated an aggressive peer-to-peer marketing campaign, promoting our message through our peers to reach a more expansive market.

As part of our amplified marketing campaign, we wanted to promote our staff’s scholarly efforts within the greater community. This initiative required us to update our collection of faculty photographs from a hodgepodge of various visuals with different locations, lighting situations, and backgrounds, to a series of uniform portraits. The original photos were formal and stiff; we wanted the new ones to reflect the school’s brand and each individual’s personality in a polished and professional manner.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Xhilarate helped us create a collection of portraits that align with our brand message. We broke the process into two sections specifically dedicated to capturing each faculty member, including some of the student-facing staff. The team was very personable, connecting and engaging with personnel to best capture their individual personality.

We’ve completed most of the work. I predict we’ll completely wrap up the project within the next two weeks. Right now, I’m reaching back out to their team for some minor adjustments and retouching requested by the staff.

What is the team composition?

I mainly work with Zave (Co-Founder, Xhilarate), their resident photographer, but I’m familiar with the rest of the organization.

How did you come to work with Xhilarate?

I first encountered them at an outing hosted by an art director in Philadelphia. Zave set up an outdoor studio, grabbed people, and photographed them throughout the social event. I also knew some of their team from my tenure as a creative director and advertiser in the same area, so I was familiar with their portfolio. I’d used them for a few past projects before approaching them for this one.

I asked Zave to set up a photo shoot similar to the one at the art director’s outing but more controlled. I was confident in his ability to capture natural, yet unique pictures of the faculty.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent $7,500 on their services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working on the project in September 2017, and it’s an ongoing partnership.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

So far, everyone has reacted positively to the image’s quality and authenticity. I’ve used a few of the first portraits in a print piece that we’ll be releasing soon. We've gotten so much more value from their services than we would’ve with a formal photographer.

How did Xhilarate perform from a project management standpoint?

Xhilarate is great and executed the project seamlessly. A majority of the project required everyone involved to just go with the flow, and Zave was very flexible. He easily handled scheduling changes, efficiently working around time constraints.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re a very high-touch organization, acting like partners rather than service providers. The team listens carefully to what I say, and they offer valuable feedback. Some photographers just agree with their clients, but Zave brings creativity and personality to his craft.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I haven’t encountered any problems while working with Zave. I’m looking forward to partnering with them again in the future for more digital or print projects.

Any advice for potential customers?

Clients should anticipate a mutually creative partnership. Don’t hold stubbornly to the original idea, but instead allow Xhilarate to offer their guidance. Their team makes an effort to listen and understand their clients’ plans and are committed to achieving that vision, but they won’t just take orders.

The best way to work with Xhilarate is to facilitate open discussions. Clients should thoroughly explain their story, vision, and goals, then consider the different approaches that the team suggests. Hire them as partners, not as a production agency.

5.0
Overall Score They brought creative insight to the partnership, not just technical skills.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They followed their strategy, staying on time and on budget. The communication was good, and they worked fast.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The cost was very fair; they put in a lot of effort for what they charged. I’m happy with the balance.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They invested a lot of emotional capital to assure they delivered high-quality work.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They were a valuable asset, helping with a lot of the intellectual heavy-lifting.

UX/UI Design and Video for App Development Company

“Overall, the team’s creative capabilities and their pragmatism produce great products.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2013 - Sept. 2017
Project summary: 

Xhilarate worked on several projects, lending a variety of UX/UI, graphic design, and video services. Using provided requirements, the team would create a series of visuals, which would guide the final build.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Rick O'Brien
President, SemperCon
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

With a deep understanding of each project and its goals, Xhilarate delivered high-quality work that consistently satisfied end clients. Their unique approach generated creative designs. Despite some scheduling struggles, the team managed their customer relationships well and rarely missed a deadline.

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 founder and president of SemperCon; we’re an app development company that builds mobile, web, internet of things (IoT), and custom software solutions.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Xhilarate?

We needed a vendor to provide UX/UI strategy and video services for various projects.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We’ve done about five joint projects with Xhilarate where they provide UX/UI, graphic design, and video services. Basically, their team translated our written concept into corresponding visuals. We'd then use their work to inform and guide our development process.

For one project, Xhilarate designed an app that offers directions. We provided the requirements, but they completely handled our graphic design needs. Another project involved a sales training app. The end client appreciated their design work, so they also asked Xhilarate to produce a corporate video.

What is the team composition?

I worked with Michael (Founding Partner, Xhilarate) and Zave (Co-Founder, Xhilarate).

How did you come to work with Xhilarate?

I met Michael previously through one of my clients. We did a number of projects together in the past. I was familiar with his work and knew the level of quality he delivered, so I chose to partner with Xhilarate.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from 2013–September 2017.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Our end clients were always happy. Xhilarate understood each set of requirements and always offered recommendations to improve the final product. We’ll gladly continue working with them whenever we need an outside vendor.

How did Xhilarate perform from a project management standpoint?

We had some difficult customers, and Xhilarate managed those relationships well. Despite postponed schedules, moved timelines, and miscommunications, the team rarely missed a deadline. Their project management skills are above the average vendor.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their creative process is unique, always using something new and cutting-edge that meets requirements in an original way. Michael understands that UX is key to a successful application and is committed to his ideas. He submits designs that aren’t just pretty, but also work well. Overall, the team’s creative capabilities and their pragmatism produce great products.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, we would love to work with them again.

Any advice for potential customers?

Give the Xhilarate team sufficient information on the project, then let them run with it. Clients shouldn’t place too many constraints on them. Rather, they should give them the latitude to do something innovative.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There’s a lot of back and forth in the creative process.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re very reasonable. The price isn’t the best, but they’re competitively priced for what you get.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Our customers are always happy, which reflects well on me.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I recommend them all the time.

Branding and Direct Mail for Architectural Firm

"They're an engaging and highly collaborative team that does really unique and remarkable work."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2004 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Xhilirate has been a comprehensive partner for an architecture firm for 14-years. Completed and ongoing projects include branding, website development, digital and print advertising, and direct marketing.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Brett Webber
Owner, Brett Webber Architects
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Xhilirate’s interdisciplinary and creative approach has stood out throughout the entirety of the relationship. Their website development has won numerous awards, while their advertising campaigns have been received positively by clients who often refer back to them years after production.

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 owner of Brett Webber Architects. We are a full service architectural and interior design firm focused on hospitality, commercial, and high-end residential work with high performance designs. Our work is based in the Philadelphia region, but we have completed projects across the country.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Xhilarate?

The original challenge was advancing our brand through logo, print, and website development. However, we have done a multitude of other projects together during the expanse of our relationship.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Over our 14-year relationship, Xhilarate has helped with branding, direct mail print campaigns, direct email campaigns, online and print advertising, website development, and special presentations such as videos. The advertising has been very targeted towards high-end residential, hospitality, and commercial clients, and they have helped us to implement multiple marketing strategies over the years.

What is the team composition?

We usually work with two to four people on a given project, and their founding partner has been our point of contact since the start of the partnership.

How did you come to work with Xhilarate?

We became aware of their design work and engaged with them based on their creativity, enthusiasm, and knowledge of the market.

How much have you invested with them?

We have done around $50,000 worth of work together.

What is the status of this engagement?

We have been working together since 2004.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

After we began working together we had an immediate and strong response from our clients. Our direct mail has been received positively to the point that I will see our past marketing pieces on our client’s desks long after they went out. New clients refer back to our print and digital media years after their production, proving that Xhilarate’s work has a lot of staying power. Additionally, our initial website won a number of awards, and we are always pleased with their ability to get things out there and recognized.

How did Xhilarate perform from a project management standpoint?

They are always responsive about putting together detailed deliverable sets and budget proposals. They set realistic timelines, and have consistently stuck to them for the entirety of our partnership.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They're an engaging and highly collaborative team that does really unique and remarkable work in the Philadelphia market. They have a very open-ended level of creativity and a great network of collaborators across multiple disciplines. We have always focused on concurrent efforts between digital and print media, and they are very tactile at transitioning between the two realms. Their open-ended creativity and can-do attitude is always exciting and great to work with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, we have a good relationship and are always able to do the things we set out to.

Any advice for potential customers?

It is important to have open and honest conversations about expectations and budgets along with a willingness to learn their process. Having open conversations leads to the best results no matter the business.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They are neither the least nor most expensive, but they are of great value for their cost.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We have always been pleased with their quality of work.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We have never hesitated to recommend them to clients, and I bring them in frequently to collaborate.
Verification

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Verification Level
Bronze
VERIFIED
Business Entity
Business Entity Name
Xhilarate, Inc.
Status
Active
Jurisdiction of Formation
Pennsylvania
ID
6408184
Date of Formation
May 19, 2016
Client Reviews
VERIFIED CLIENT REVIEWS
15
OVERALL REVIEW RATING
5.0
Source
Clutch
LAST UPDATED
March 27, 2020