Be Evocative.

Bronze
VERIFIED

XO Agency is a brand marketing firm focused on making your brand evocative, authentic, and digitally-relevant.

We specialize in design methods that pull from the best of agile models, design thinking, and strategic creative. Our world is increasingly connected – and XO design, strategy and development all focus on the digital context in which all brands now live.

Our consulting model is based on dedicated leadership support in design, strategy, and technology on every project. We ensure you receive the attention and partnership of a consultancy, with world-class agency talent for production support. 

 
$5,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2018
Show all +
Portland, OR
headquarters
  • 2818 NE Ainsworth St
    Portland, OR 97211
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

We are fortunate to partner with organizations including NW Natural, AT&T, Gartner, Multnomah Athletic Club, Alfresco, Mercy Corps, The Wiseman Group and more. 

 

Reviews

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Web Design & Technical Consulting for NGO Online Platform

"I would choose them in a heartbeat for another design project, and I would refer them without any reservations."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Oct. 2018 - Feb. 2019
Project summary: 

XO Agency provided web design services, with technical consultation around the definition of the MVP. They worked on the UX, developed a content strategy, and offered their technical expertise.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Portland, Oregon
Anita Ramachandran
Executive Director, Micro Mentor, Mercy Corps
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team produced excellent design options and essential advice to direct the future development of the project’s MVP. They were dedicated, professional, and reliable partners who were always willing to discuss their deliverables and associated documentation.

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 part of a large international NGO called Mercy Corps, within which I lead a social enterprise called MicroMentor, as its executive director. It’s an online platform that connects entrepreneurs and volunteer mentors from around the world.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with XO Agency?

We were operating with a platform built 10 years ago, also by an outsourced firm. In 2018, we decided to rebuild from the ground up. We needed someone who could deliver top-quality design, and who had a grasp of both design principles and technology support.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They redesigned the platform that connects entrepreneurs and mentors. Our goal was to increase our recruitment threefold, bringing more conversions through the funnel based on the UX of the platform. We needed to address some pain points at various points in the funnel.

They worked on the definition of an MVP, taking advantage of the existing research, but also augmenting it with their own. We needed a well-defined content strategy, a UX roadmap to build it, and some technical expertise to guide the process.

What is the team composition?

We worked with Scott (Partner, Head of Design, XO Agency), Laura (Partner, Head of Account Strategy, XO Agency), and Mark (Product Development Consultant, XO Agency). They pitched the offer and then stayed with us throughout. They also brought in a UX designer. Mark served as the technical architect, Scott was the design lead, and Laura was in charge of content and project management. Each of them brought their expertise, helping us refine our ideas and break them down into discrete decision blocks. They complemented each other well.

We’ve retained Mark in a consulting capacity, as our solutions architect. He functions in a CTO-like role for us now. I like his vision, persistence, and ability to give advice.

How did you come to work with XO Agency?

We did a thorough search of design firms, shortlisting the people to send RFPs to. We received responses from about seven firms, of which XO Agency’s was the strongest. They were one of the few who actually referenced the MVP we’d be getting. The other candidates weren’t right with the research, and some were way above budget.

XO Agency and one other firm made it to the top of my list. Even though we had prior experience with that other company, we felt that XO was really hungry to make a good deliverable, and they pushed us to maintain realistic goals.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent $60,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them between October 2018–February 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Their design team found five things that were essential for us to consider as the underlying fabric of our platform. They then came up with three design and technical directions that we needed to go toward, which were incredibly insightful. We got a lot of positive reactions from donors, investors, and people from the community, validating the direction.

We brought an engineer on-staff during the last two weeks of the project, for the hand-off. He was very comfortable with the documentation and with the design, enough to actually implement and code it. We’re still in the building phase, but the technical implementation of XO Agency’s design seems feasible.

How did XO Agency perform from a project management standpoint?

We had an aggressive timeline, and they kept us honest on it. Any delays were due to the large volume of work and our team’s capacity to respond in time—we had 1–2 weeks built in as a buffer. The project was well-managed and well-documented, from communication to its form and fashion. I was able to get on a call with Laura at any time, and they made adjustments on the fly. They felt like an extension of our team.

At one point, I organized a day-long session to assess our direction, which they responded well to. They understood that the project wasn’t extremely clear and that we were a small team working with a tight budget. They made it work, giving us a high-quality product without compromising their own setup.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I would choose them in a heartbeat for another design project, and I would refer them without any reservations. XO Agency is reliable in terms of customer service, content, and genuinely caring about the final product.

Are there any areas they could improve?

At one stage, they came back with wireframes that I wasn’t happy with. I got on a call with them about it, and they also sensed that their UX person had missed the mark, turned around, and fixed it immediately. These things are bound to happen in any project; it’s a matter of how people respond to them. There was nothing that really gave me cause for concern.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

The product will only be as good as the effort we put into it, but we failed to account for the amount of time it would take to review their work. They’re thorough and on top of their game, but it’s good to think about structure and project management so that we can keep up with their pace. Their documentation was thorough, sometimes as detailed spreadsheets with 100 lines of things to be verified, along with PowerPoint presentations, and design files. It required us to serve as a counterpart to their team.

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

Design & Branding Services for Athletic & Social Club

“Scott was passionate about the project and delivered a high-quality product.”

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

XO Agency developed a design system that helps establish consistency across various branding materials, including digital displays, posters, and a monthly magazine.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
Portland, Oregon
Jen Scott
Director of Marketing, Multnomah Athletic Club
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The materials look much more professional, and the in-house designers find the system easy to use. XO Agency went above and beyond to meet all needs, while their commitment, responsiveness to feedback, and willingness to follow up made them a reliable partner.

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 director of marketing and communications at Multnomah Athletic Club. We're the largest non-profit private athletic club in the U.S.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with XO Agency?

We use posters, website graphics, and email marketing to promote our classes and activities to our members. We had no brand consistency within those materials. We wanted to create a system that our designers could use to produce the materials in consistency with our brand, so we were looking for a vendor to help us.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We provided them with our brand style guide, and then, they created a design system for us. We have digital displays throughout the club, and we put promotional materials on those displays. The design system that XO Agency developed helps us achieve consistency on those digital displays and in our email marketing. We’re now starting to use the system for our print materials, such as posters.

What is the team composition?

We mostly worked with Scott (Head of Design and Executive Creative Director, XO Agency).

How did you come to work with XO Agency?

I met Scott when he was working at a different agency. Then, he left that agency and started his own company. When I had a chance to hire him for this design project, I didn't hesitate.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them from May–August 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Both our members and our internal team like the professional look of the materials, while our in-house designers find it easier to produce them. We're also incorporating many elements of the design system into the production of our monthly magazine, so it now has even broader implications for our department. We've hired a new designer since the project was completed, and once he got trained on the system, he was really impressed with it.

How did XO Agency perform from a project management standpoint?

Scott did an excellent job and always came prepared for our meetings. He also helped us with various presentations to our stakeholders. We mostly used email and phone to stay in touch.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Scott was passionate about the project and delivered a high-quality product. As he was developing the system, he was working with our in-house designers to get their feedback on it. Once we launched, they were able to adopt it very quickly. He was also great at following up and making sure the system was working for us and that we were using it the way he intended.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can't really think of anything.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Trust him and let him guide the process. Also, give him as much information as possible. He did an amazing workshop with us upfront to understand our brand and our members.

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

Brand Strategy & Visual Identity for Leadership Development Company

“They’re detail oriented, communicative, and to the point. They move quickly and make the process feel like progress.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
May - Aug. 2018
Project summary: 

XO Agency created a new brand vision for a leadership development company after its acquisition. They established a new logo, guidelines, templates, and a written manifesto for future content.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Portland, Oregon
Michelle Auchter
Former VP of Marketing, Evanta, Gartner
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The changes resonate with the brand mission, and XO Agency’s work makes cohesion with the parent company easier. They managed the project well and met deadlines, even in the face of last-minute requests.

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 vice president of marketing for a division of Gartner called Evanta.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with XO Agency?

The brand was antiquated and didn’t fit with its new parent company after it was acquired. We needed a firm to help with a new brand strategy to refresh its identity.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They took all the brand pillars and the role the brand plays in people’s lives to create a new vision statement, tagline, tone, and everything necessary to present a fresh identity perspective. They created new photography and iconography guidelines and a new logo.

Branching off their brand work, they illustrated what everything should look like in context, from direct mail and email, to brand templates, to extensive work on the visual direction of the website. They were heavily involved in the features, functionality, and strategic planning for the new website launch, always with the end user experience in mind. They helped form features that would generate leads, build the community, and be most impactful for the business.

What is the team composition?

We worked with three or four resources. Scott (Executive Creative Director, XO Agency) was my primary point of contact. I also worked with his partner and a third-party technical director.

How did you come to work with XO Agency?

I worked with Scott previously, trusted him, and had a good sense of his design capability. I knew he could execute the brand work I needed and would understand our business and our target audience. I considered a few other agencies, but he was the first person I thought of.

XO has a reputation as a flexible, easygoing company, and those attributes meshed well with our executive leadership team. They demonstrated an easy ability to unearth certain characteristics of the brand, and we decided to hire them.

What is the status of this engagement?

This project lasted from about May 2018–August 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The group we have socialized with the new vision felt it was spot on and really got to the heart of the brand. The accompanying manifesto really embodies what we do and why we exist as an organization.

From a practical perspective, the brand guidelines help our studio of graphic designers do their jobs. The brand book gives them everything they need to guide them and give them the flexibility to be creative. Our design team was very enthusiastic about this kind of piece to work with.

How did XO Agency perform from a project management standpoint?

Their management was fantastic, and they were very responsive. They met every single deadline, even as last-minute requests came through. Due to some technical challenges on our side, most of our communication was via email.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The caliber of their talent and the leadership of their organization are top-notch. They’re some of the smartest, brightest, most talented people we’ve worked with. I’m very fortunate to know them and would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a team with their abilities.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don’t think so. They’re detail oriented, communicative, and to the point. They move quickly and make the process feel like progress.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Set clear expectations at the start and be as specific as possible about what you hope to achieve. They’re communicative, but the more they know about key considerations, the better value you’ll get from 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

Website for Management Consulting Group

"The team demonstrated dedication to our project and careful attention in our goals and needs."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Oct. 2018 - Jan. 2019
Project summary: 

XO Agency designed and built a WordPress website. They migrated content from three existing sites and helped develop graphic elements. Key features include an appealing design and a low-maintenance backend.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Menlo Park, California
President, Management Consulting Group
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The site has not yet launched, but its updated look and feel received positive internal feedback. XO Agency led a seamless collaboration from start to finish. Customers can expect a highly responsive team with technical expertise and the drive to go above and beyond in their delivery.

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I am the president of a management consulting firm. We advise and develop leaders in profit, nonprofit, and government sectors around the world.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire XO Agency?

We had three main company websites that lacked coherency across our brand and were difficult to maintain. We engaged XO Agency to consolidate our content and brand into a single WordPress site.

What were your goals for this project?

We wanted to create a company website with a modern look, a clear message, and a unified brand. It also needed flexibility for us to make new iterations and improvements down the road.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

We connected through a mutual branding and marketing partner.

Describe the scope of their work in detail.

XO Agency first reviewed our prior work to use as a starting point. They helped us what content to migrate from other sites to the new site. They then designed and developed a WordPress site. Their team worked with ours to create and curate icons, graphics, and copy.

What was the team composition?

We worked with three team members from XO Agency.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The website has yet to launch, but it has garnered overwhelming praise from our team. XO Agency delivered a visually appealing site that met all our requirements. They went above and beyond the original statement of work and accommodated scope changes with ease.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

The collaboration ran smoothly from start to finish. XO Agency communicated exceptionally well throughout the project.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

The team demonstrated dedication to our project and careful attention in our goals and needs.

Are there any areas for improvement?

No, I can’t think of anything.

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
Verification

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Verification Level
Bronze
VERIFIED
Business Entity
Status
Active
Jurisdiction of Formation
Oregon
ID
82-5200370
Date of Formation
Jan 20, 2018
Last Updated
Mar 5, 2019
Payment & Legal Filings
Bankruptcy
No
Tax Lien Filings
0
Judgement Filings
0
Collections Count
0
Last Updated
Jul 19, 2019
Client Reviews
VERIFIED CLIENT REVIEWS
4
OVERALL REVIEW RATING
5.0
Source
Clutch
LAST UPDATED
March 8, 2019