we create that.

Zync is a brand, marketing and digital agency in Toronto. Since 2004, we’ve built long-standing relationships with amazing clients that represent a wide range of industries, from start-ups to Fortune 500 organizations. We are focused on strategy, creativity and the evolution of brand—especially when it comes to technology.

Our team has extensive experience building and supporting brands, and creating campaigns and websites that stand out in the marketplace and become strong assets for their organizations—redefining how they communicate with their audiences.

Our proprietary strategic and creative approach is called Business Creative™. With it, we meld an organization's business plan with their client/customer experience, aligning what they say and what they do—making every person who connects with them a brand champion. Business Creative™ is focused on intent, connections and the overall brand experience. From a quick meeting to a multi-day workshop, the elements of Business Creative™ transform the strategic planning process into a practical, collaborative exercise focused on results.

Zync has been recognized with some the world's leading awards for brand, marketing and the web—including Good Design, the London International Awards, ReBrand 100, the Communicator Awards and the Webby's. 

Our ultimate goal as an organization is to create and manage brands that matter, so our clients can memorably connect with the people who matter to them. 

 
Undisclosed
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2004
Show all +
Toronto, Canada
headquarters
  • 282 Richmond Street East, Suite 200
    Toronto, ON
    Canada

Portfolio

Key clients: 

AVIVA, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Olympic Committee, Chris Hadfield Inc., Colliers, Franklin Templeton, GlaxoSmithKline, Hangar9, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, Hicks Morley, IKEA, Lexis Nexis, Loblaw, MaRS Innovation, National Hardwood Lumber Association, NHL Players’ Association, Premier Marine, Scotiabank, Speakers’ Spotlight, Sun Life Financial, TD Bank, Trump®, Umbra Telegraph Pictures, Weston Forest and Women’s Executive Network 

Reviews

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Web Design & Brand Refresh for Large Business Law Firm

"They’ve done really well in juggling several projects for us. They’re very much on top of what they’re doing."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. - Dec. 2015
Project summary: 

In addition to coordinating a brand refresh for a business law firm, Zync designed and developed a microsite to host an online publication for industry news.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Toronto, Canada
Senior Manager, Business Law Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Zync crafted an award-winning design for the microsite, and clients have offered positive reviews of the engaging format. The team capably organizes several projects at once, a product of attentive leadership and creative personnel. Their valuable industry insight has proven itself many times over.

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 manage the marketing and communication team at a large business law firm in Canada.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Zync?

Our first project with Zync consisted of redefining our brand strategy. Our most recent completed project included developing a microsite that housed an online publication.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We were in search of a way to migrate our content from print publications with a limited distribution to a digital publication that we could promote through online channels. We didn’t want to simply turn our print product into a PDF and put in out our website. Zync’s role was to determine a strategic approach and a design ideology that could allow us to function as an online publication. Their solution was to build a microsite to host that publication and its content. In terms of the design we can tend to be quite conservative because we’re a law firm, so we wanted to be creative enough to differentiate ourselves but not push it so far that we alienate our client base.

What is the team composition?

I interfaced most often with an account manager, a co-founder, and the creative director. I would also sometimes speak directly with the designers.

How did you come to work with Zync?

I was familiar with their work after a successful branding project at a different company. When I began working here, I invited Zync to participate in the RFP process because of our intent to do the brand refresh. We reviewed the companies we had been working with, but we decided Zync was a better fit for our needs.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent between $50,000–$200,000 with them.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our first project lasted from January–December 2015, but we have had other projects since then.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We’ve seen a promising level of traffic to the online publication, validating the switch from the print method. Our in-house team supplies that content, but clients have responded well to Zync’s design for the product, which has earned us a design award. The clients find the format engaging and visually impressive.

How did Zync perform from a project management standpoint?

They’ve done really well in juggling several projects for us. They’re very much on top of what they’re doing.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They bring experience from working in a B2B environment, which is extremely important for us. Being able to bring that insight and apply it to our tasks has been valuable. They also don’t try to push us too far, but they try to get us out of our comfort zone.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Nothing specific stands out. Over time, I’m sure there have been times when we didn’t communicate as well as we should have about some expectations, but in those situations, I tend to believe we needed to brief them better.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

A thorough briefing process will ensure that everybody is on the same page.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We have sometimes overloaded them with projects, so it's not possible to make every deadline.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They are not the most expensive firm by any stretch, but they're not the cheapest either.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Branding for IT Consulting Frm

“They've delivered everything on time. ... We're very happy with their work.”

 

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
June 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Spearheading a branding campaign, Zync helped develop/implement a brand strategy and designed a new website. They oversaw both the visual aspect of the site and content creation.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
Toronto, Canada
Barbora Hruba
Marketing Manager, Adastra
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new brand reflects the unique voice of the organization, making it stand out among competitors. Zync’s creative and hardworking team helped accomplish all goals, while their exceptional customer service contributed to the positive experience.

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 marketing manager at Adastra. We're an information management consulting firm with headquarters in Toronto, the Czech Republic, and Prague. We specialize in artificial intelligence, machine learning, Cloud, and digital business services and solutions.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Zync?

We needed help with refreshing our brand and developing a brand strategy.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

First, we had a discovery session with their strategist, where we went through brand positioning and different tactics. We also discussed how they could help us stand out among competitors and show our voice in a unique way. Then, they started implementing that strategy. They've also designed our website, managing everything from the visual aspect to content creation.

What is the team composition?

We work with their owner, a brand strategist, a managing director, and a creative director.

How did you come to work with Zync?

I did an online search and checked different review websites, like Clutch. I was looking for a digital marketing agency that would provide comprehensive services, and Zync fit my criteria.

How much have you invested with them?

We've spent between $80,000–$100,000 CAD (approximately $60,000–$76,000 USD).

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in June 2018 and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

They've delivered everything on time. Also, they're very punctual and hardworking. We're planning to launch the website in December of this year. We're very happy with their work.

How did Zync perform from a project management standpoint?

They stay on top of everything and make sure they meet our deadlines.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They have a very creative and collaborative team. Also, they have a positive company culture and provide fantastic customer service.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. I worked with other agencies that made promises but never delivered. Zync did everything they had promised at an affordable rate, which differentiates them from other companies.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They gave us everything we needed and made very good revisions if we asked them to.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Naming for Business Strategy Company

"No client is too small or too big for Zync."

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

Zync provided branding and naming services to broaden exposure and clarify branding focus. Their team researched and brainstormed to keep the client as the clear staple in the marketplace.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Vancouver, Canada
Reg Cran
COO, NextMapping
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

It is still early, but the company has received business inquiries through Google. Zync took the time to get to know the existing brand and build off that. Customers can expect an immersive and proactive team that will deliver a refreshing look to your company’s brand.

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 COO and co-founder of NextMapping. Cheryl, my wife, and the other founder is a consultant that travels around the world. She speaks on what companies should be watching out for in the industries. Our specialty has been in the area of the future of work, and we’ve worked under the motto “The future of work is now” for a few years. Our company looks into the future for insights that will help drive business strategies.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Zync?

We had been operating under three different brands for years. We were looking for a branding company that could clarify our focus and helps us merge the brands into one, making life easier for us going forward. We were looking to promote Cheryl as the brand.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Zync provided branding services for several aspects. We were running a leadership training site for keynoting, coaching, and consulting, which contained online courses curated by my wife. We also had a website for philanthropic efforts.

Brad (Founding Partner & Strategist, Zync) listened to what we were looking for. Their team researched Cheryl, called her clients, and took all the feedback to identify our white space. Doing that in today’s market is difficult, but he found a white space, determined why we would be called NextMapping. Once he explained what was behind his research and how he came up with the wording, it all made perfect sense.

After figuring out the name, we wanted to elevate our pitch. Cheryl spent the day with Zync whiteboarding everything their team could think of concerning the process and promotion.

Cheryl is well-known in the marketplace, so we had to make sure we didn’t lose that during the branding and make it clear to clients that yes, this is still Cheryl. This is why the process took a bit longer than anticipated. It took between 9-10 months.

What is the team composition?

Colette (Managing Director, Zync) was our project manager, while Brad worked on the creative side. There was also a processing person who determined color choices and other branding elements.

How did you come to work with Zync?

We started the discussion a few years ago, regarding a new branding scheme. We made a couple of websites over the years, and all developers gave their input. We listened to them for a while, but we decided it was time to find a company to work within alignment with what we wanted to accomplish. We researched and spoke to two or three companies, but we didn’t see an energetic fit. However, when we found Zync, we arranged for them to meet us when we were visiting Toronto. We immediately discovered that Brad could read our minds and that we could work harmoniously together to create what we wanted to create.

How much have you invested with them?

We invested approximately $70,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with Zync from June 2017 to March 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

It’s still a bit early to determine this, but from a Google perspective, we started receiving inquiries without doing any Google ads or investing a ton in SEO. During the keynotes my wife has done since the launch, every time the NextMapping process was mentioned, people think it’s the best thing they’ve ever heard.

Cheryl’s next book will be titled NextMapping and is an example of the creative push that Zync has instilled in our company.

How did Zync perform from a project management standpoint?

Brad understood our business. He took the time to ask the right questions and complete the research. He wanted to understand who we were and where we wanted to be before he made any suggestions, which is something we appreciated.

There was a lot of communication going on during this engagement. Colette was on top of things. Cheryl is extremely busy traveling, but Colette reminded us when we had meetings and needed to get work done firmly. Zync is a professional team.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Other providers didn’t take an interest in our business and treated us like just another company. Some branding companies we looked at worked for large clients but promised that they cater to smaller companies as well. We felt talked down to by them. It was the complete opposite when we met Brad. They have amazing and huge customers, but Brad made us feel extremely welcomed. No client is too small or too big for Zync. That stood out as something refreshing in the branding field.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There was a bit of a cultural shift between the creative and business side of Zync. I understand that as the project manager, Colette keeps everything on track, but there were times they became testy with each other in terms of cost. Whereas talking to Brad or someone from the creative side, the culture seemed to be entirely different. All in all, I couldn’t recommend them any higher. Zync is completely 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

Branding & Design for Professional Development Company

“Zync goes above and beyond project expectations to serve us as a client.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Sept. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Zync provided various branding and design services for a newly founded company. They developed marketing materials, designed wireframes, and currently manage an ongoing social media campaign.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Toronto, Canada
Peter Iracleous
CEO, Intellectures Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Zync collaborated with an internal team to refine key messaging and develop a cohesive brand identity. They delivered innovative designs that attract potential customers and consistently turns them into clients. Executive-level engagement ensures a flexible team that works within varying schedules.

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 CEO and founder of Intellectures Inc. We offer professional development services to healthcare professionals like physicians and nurses. Our online conferences consist of fully accredited material that’s geo-locked to each client’s location of choice.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Zync?

We’re a newly founded company, so we needed an experienced marketing agency to design our branding materials and bring the concept to life.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

After our initial meetings with Zync, we collaborated on a creative report to establish our role within the market and overall objectives. That process utilized exercises in building up our strengths, addressing weaknesses, and recognizing opportunities. As a result, we figured out what brand personalities we needed to use.

Zync refined both our overall and targeted messaging to better captivate specific audiences. They helped select the company name, tagline, and created our stationary. They also designed our website, conference booth, and organized a framework to facilitate company growth. We continue to work with them as we develop new modules. Ongoing tasks including managing our social media marketing effort.

What is the team composition?

We’ve worked directly with Brad (Co-Founder & Lead Strategist, Zync) and Marko (Co-Founder & Creative Director, Zync) since the beginning of the project. We also interact with Colette (Managing Director, Zync) quite regularly.

How did you come to work with Zync?

We considered 10 different agencies and eventually met with five. We chose Zync over the other firms because of their unique introduction. They understood our brand and the values we wanted to convey.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent over $170,000 CAD (approximately $130,000 USD).

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in September 2017 and the engagement is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

We only launched a few weeks ago, so I don’t have access to noteworthy metrics at this time. However, our first conference as a company was a substantial success. Brad and his team taught our staff how to approach conference attendees. As a result, our booth was well-received by each visitor. Since then, we’ve been able to book 14 accounts and seven conferences. The preliminary reports we’ve received regarding our social media numbers are slightly above the industry average. Also, our first email campaign will be launching in two weeks. Overall, we’re happy with what they’ve delivered so far and look forward to how they’ll perform for us throughout the upcoming months.

How did Zync perform from a project management standpoint?

One of the primary reasons we hired them was their flexibility and responsiveness. As an emergency doctor myself, I usually work overnight shifts. Therefore, I have to sleep a lot during the day. They’re willing to accommodate me and work around my schedule. Zync goes above and beyond project expectations to serve us as a client.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Brad’s ability to break things down, guide us through processes, and brainstorm unique ideas makes him an asset to our brand. Marko leads the design team and they consistently present new ideas. While their efforts have caused us to undertake a larger project, we’re in a much better place due to their initiative.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They’re an organized team of professionals. I can’t say that there’s an area of their business that needs improvement.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

At least have a meeting with them to assess whether or not they’d be a good fit. They’ve done excellent work for us, so I recommend them.

5.0
Overall Score There’s always room for improvement.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Website Upgrade for Keynote Speakers Agency

"They cared about our business objectives, which was the key to our successful relationship."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Aug. 2012 - Feb. 2013
Project summary: 

Zync redesigned a website, updating its look and feel and improving the functionality. They worked collaboratively with an in-house team to make the website reflect the overall brand of the organization.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Toronto, Canada
Martin Perelmuter
President & Co-Founder, Speakers' Spotlight
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The business has been growing rapidly after the launch of the website and the in-house team is happy with the new design. Zync delivered a secure and visually-pleasing website on time, while their forward-thinking, yet friendly approach contributed to the positive experience.

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 president and co-founder of Speakers' Spotlight. We represent keynote speakers who speak at conferences throughout North America and internationally. We've been in business for 23 years.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Zync?

We had issues with our old website, so we were looking to update it.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They helped us upgrade the backend functionality and refresh the look and feel of some of the features. We have about 500 speakers on our website, so we wanted to make the site easy to navigate. We told Zync what we wanted the website to look like and they came back with some design ideas. They made our website match our company's overall brand experience and made our video more prominent.

What is the team composition?

We worked with both of their principals, a project manager, and a design lead.

How did you come to work with Zync?

They were referred to us by a client. We met with several other companies and found that some of them were focused on the tech side of things, while others were focused on the design. Our business objective was to create a beautiful website that works for our clients, and Zync could offer us exactly what we were looking for.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them between August 2012 and February 2013.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The last six years of our business have been the most successful years we've had, and a portion of that success can be attributed to having an attractive and user-friendly website. Zync brought a lot of great ideas to the table, so we were very pleased with the value they provided. It's been about seven years since the website was launched and we've had very few issues with its functionality. They also eliminated any back problems we had been experiencing with our old website. They delivered everything on time, so we were able to launch the new website before our big event.

How did Zync perform from a project management standpoint?

It was a very collaborative process and they were great at communicating with us. They also let us know what they needed in order to accomplish the work we asked them to do. They stayed on budget and met all the deadlines, so we didn't have any issues. We usually used email and phone to communicate.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We liked their forward-thinking approach. They cared about our business objectives, which was the key to our successful relationship. Also, they're nice people to work with and have a great company culture. Everyone was responsive, friendly, and passionate.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can't think of anything.

4.5
Overall Score The quality of their work and the customer service have been extremely positive.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They managed the timeline very effectively.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their rates were right in the middle. We got a good value for what we paid.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We were impressed with the design elements and the site's functionality.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I've recommended them many times. No company is for everyone, but I'd always recommend them as a forward-thinking, progressive organization.

WordPress Development for National Sports Organization

"I think Zync strikes a good balance on being small yet effective."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

A sports organization hired Zync to redesign their primary website's front- and back-end using WordPress and WordPress VIP.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Toronto, Canada
Executive Director, National Sports Organization
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The organization won several prominent design awards and received significant increases in web traffic, which they attributed to Zync’s excellent work. The agency earned praise for their obliging customer service, swift communication, and investment in their work.

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

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company.

I work a national sports organization. We are responsible for fielding and marketing the team.

What is your role and responsibilities?

I am the executive director of brand and digital marketing for the organization, so I do all of our social and digital campaign event marketing initiatives.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your goal for working with Zync?

The specific goal was redesigning our primary website. I inherited a pretty beat-up infrastructure as far as the back-end of the site. The front-facing side was pretty dire, so we wanted to do a couple of things. We needed a pretty well-versed WordPress development company who could do WordPress development in particular, and work with WordPress VIP, which is more of an enterprise-grade development environment. We also wanted a shop that was from a user experience and design perspective. We didn't want to have two shops, we wanted to have one company that could do all that for our redesign at that time, and they won the business for that.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their work.

It was a technology build, a full UX [user experience] and interface redesign. Everything from figuring out how the content and information design would exist, all the way to the back-end coding.

We went from wireframe development on the user experience and the interface, all the way through to functional prototypes, and then once we had things quite locked up in the second phase, they got into development.

What was your process for selecting Zync?

I know they were referred in some way. Even now, when they're launching a new project, they'll send out it out to the current client list to check the stuff out. Maybe one of those type of emails was forwarded to me from somebody else, either internal or within my network. At the time, it was happenstance. We ended up putting out the RFP [request for proposal] to them.

Can you give a sense of the size of the initiative?

It was in the $70,000 to $90,000 range. I will say their scope was significantly larger than that. That's pretty typical of us as we are well funded, but still a nonprofit. For the initial relaunch, it was probably a quarter million dollars' worth of work that they did for $80,000.

When was the project completed?

We started working with them in early 2013, and we've been working with them since. We relaunched the site, we have an ongoing monthly retainer with them to do site maintenance and design upgrades, and they're working with us on two other projects.

It was mapped out as a 12- to 14-week project, but it probably took longer than that. I brought in a very detailed brief on what it is I wanted, and they just kind of took it and ran.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What were the results of the project?

We won several design awards, and continue to set the trend for our sport community. A lot of them are embracing the look and functionality.

Do you have any statistics or metrics on the project?

I don't know if it's because of the site, or if the site helped, but it was wildly successful. We had to design this for massive traffic spikes, and our ongoing reality for a property like that is maybe 100,000 to 150,000 uniques a month. During the sporting events, it can have 20, 30, or 40 times that. We had to build it to handle that kind of load, and the previous version of the site collapsed during the games, literally a month before I got here.

I don't remember what it was, but about a 3,000 percent increase in traffic on the traffic load of the previous games. It was without a hiccup. Part of that was WordPress VIP, but obviously, the people who built it get a portion of the credit for it holding up under the strains.

What differentiates Zync from others?

I think Zync strikes a good balance on being small yet effective. They're not a big shop by any means. Going in, I was leaning towards small because of our budgetary constraints, but having come from working inside that size of a shop and hiring that size of shop, I know the downsides are typically bandwidth.

They're great on customer service, but as long as they can get to you because they have major capacity issues as a small company. They still battle those, but they seem to have struck a decent balance on being able to prioritize and maintain that customer service element. They are available the same way you would get with a big agency, but with a much more dedicated, personal touch that you don't get with a big agency.

They have a good investment in the projects – not literal ownership. You simply don't get that with a bigger agency.

Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or something that you might do differently?

For that relaunch, I don't have anything but good things to say. It was great, and it was massive. It was one of the biggest projects I've ever worked on. Since then, as far as improvement goes, no. Strength is an ongoing concern, and it can be a strength or it can be a weakness.

I don't know if they have designs on becoming a 300-person shop – I don't think that they do. If you're not in growth, then you're always going to be battling the resource issue. We've had a couple ebbs and flows in the last year where we've started doing things a little bit more out there, and had to press pause a couple times to make sure we've got things resourced properly and make sure things are going on the right path. We've experienced a few of those growing pains around just the size of what they are.

What advice would you give a future client of theirs?

I would just say every place is just as good as the brief. Go in, know what you want, and be very detailed. Even if you don't know, work with them on it. I think there's correlation between a smaller shop and a poor brief or misconceptions with what people want.

Because these guys are project-based on their budgets, and because they have limited resources, they drive towards a clear brief. The only time we got stuck in the mud was when we overdid the shorthand from working with them, as far as what we wanted. We didn't spell it out real clearly. I'd just say spend some time to know exactly what you want.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have given them a reference on a few projects. I have no hesitation there.

Digital Strategy for Financial Services Organization

"They're the first group I think of whenever we need to do this kind of work...Zync really gets it."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
2009 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Over the course of their partnership, Zync has provided a variety of marketing services for a financial firm, including building strategic platforms and refining branding messages.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
Toronto, Canada
Cynthia Wujek
AVP, Marketing at Sun Life Financial
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Zync contributed a fresh perspective on the firm's brand and enabled them to significantly enhance their branding and marketing strategies. The team impressed with their high level of technical expertise and the enthusiasm and creativity that they bring to their projects.

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

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company.

I work for Sun Life Financial, and we are an insurance and financial services company. Our head office is here in Toronto.

What is your role and responsibilities?

I work specifically in the group employee benefits area. I lead a team of about 35 folks who do the creative work. We do anything from design and writing, to the strategic marketing planning for all the programs that we're launching that have to do with employee benefits.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your goal for working with Zync?

I worked with them from their inception. I actually knew Marko [Zonta, principal and creative director at Zync] when he was a freelance graphic designer, and then he built the company.

Originally, there were three partners, which were himself, Brad [Breininger, principal and strategist at Zync], and Paul Russell [former principal]. At first, we were leasing Marko for a lot of design and Paul for our writing, and then as Zync developed, we really used them a lot for strategy. I'd say, as we've used Zync, it's been for strategic strategy when we're building out large programs here.

While we do use them for creative treatments, it's more the marketing strategy that they've been helping us with in the last five to seven years.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their work.

They've done a number of things for us. What I'd say is they've helped us build a number of strategic platforms for group benefits. For example, most recently, they've helped us position our new value statement for our business. Brad came in and did a lot of research and conversation with the different stakeholders in our group to ascertain where the gaps are, and what we want to get done, and really built up the strategy.

We had a one-day session with him, which he facilitated for us. We had our sales folks, our marketing folks, and our product folks really just talk about our business today and, in that instance, he really helped to bring out some things. Then, he went away and did some work on the model and the creative approach that they've built. Then, he came back with a proposition on where he thought our whitespace was. We've now taken that report, which included some good follow-up conversations on how we should be positioning certain things, how we could move away more from talking about ourselves, to focusing on our client, for example.

I think that's the value they really bring to us, is being able to kind of change the lens. Being in an industry with the same work every day, you have a focus on doing the same stuff repeatedly, where you talk about yourself and how great you are. What they've been able to do with all our products is move that strategic lens to seeing what the value is that we provide to customers so that when we're positioning ourselves, it's not all about us.

In the recent project that they've worked on, they did a good job of helping us understand that. We've recently just done another product launch with them, where we have a very boring administrative service that we offer, and we needed help telling the story. They used that same kind of creative visioning to help us really pull out what the unique features and benefits were, and position them in a new and different way. They've brought out elements of it that are exciting. They've helped us with some naming of certain product feature, and people are actually getting excited about it.

I'd say the value they bring is that clarity, and that level of excitement and understanding about distilling the benefit down to its core, whether it's the salesperson or the client. They've been successful in doing that. In the last five years, they've done six to eight large strategic projects with us.

What was your process for selecting Zync?

It was a previous relationship with both Paul and Marko. Then, Marko created his own company, and it just kind of developed from there.

Can you give a sense of the size of the initiative?

It's probably between $20,000 and $30,000 per project. It depends on whether or not we ask them to do creative as well. There's the first part of it, that Brad facilitates, which is more of the strategic thinking and the insight part of it, and comes back with kind of an overall plan. Sometimes, we get them to do creative. If we add everything up, it averages out between $20,000 and $30,000.

When did the project begin? Is it still ongoing?

I've worked with them closely in my current role and in my previous role as well, so I brought them over to my current role. Strategically, I'd say we've been using them heavily on some strategy stuff for the last five to six years. They're the first group I think of whenever we need to do this kind of work because I feel like Zync really gets it. It's still ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What were the results of the project?

It was a year ago in March that we first engaged with them on this new brand positioning work that we're doing, and this new value proposition work that we're doing. We're just now rolling that out because we decided in the interim to put our other group business in with it, and we repositioned it.

I think from a general awareness standpoint, we've moved to something that makes sense, easy for salespeople to understand, and is very useful. We're kind of using this brand now as an anchor for everything else we're building. In addition to rolling out this new value prop, we had a new product that we're launching with it. We put all the branding for that new product in this framework, and it worked beautifully. It just makes things so much easier when we have that level of clarity that they've help add to it.

I think that's the uniqueness they bring, that attention to detail, because they're so focused. But, then again, I think they could work with a large company or a niche player. I think they really have that ability to delve into different types of organizations.

We're actually just in the end of a cross-country road show to all our sales offices, where we have essentially taken the positioning that they created for us and weaving it through all of our sales material. It's been very well received because it's a brand promise that's easy, and I think that's the value that they bring. They're able to create something that is in plain language, and it distills what we want down to very easy to understand positioning.

What makes Zync unique compared to others?

I love that they're small. They're nimble, and there aren't a lot of layers to get through. Plus, they involve the people that they need to – no more, no less. The value that they really bring is they understand the B2B [business-to-business] market. I can call my account rep and say, "I need a meeting next week to discuss this," and they're on it.

They know us really well now, and the value that they bring to us now is, they know our business because they've dealt with this so many times. Now, they're able to come in and hit the ground running when we have these larger strategic initiatives.

The other thing they do really well is getting to know your business, but that takes times. Once you make a commitment with an organization like them, you're so relieved that you don't have to spend three meetings just talking about what your business is and who your clients are.

Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or something that you might do differently?

I think at the beginning, like with any project, there is always conversations about budget and what we can afford and what we can do. I think they could make those conversations maybe a little bit easier upfront. We've had to go back and forth on budgeting a few times, which I don't really like to do. Nobody does. But, I think maybe just more clarity around budgeting and around estimated costs before we get started. Because obviously, like everyone, we're constrained by budgets, and it's not cheap every time we go out.

What advice would you give a future client of theirs?

I would say don't hesitate. They're great. I know they're doing a lot more jobs for bigger projects and I've seen the work that they've done recently, which I think that's great, but I'd like to see them stay small.

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 Strategy for Business Law Firm

"Zync is a creative agency, and what I appreciate about that is they're starting from the inside out."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Feb. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Zync assisted a business law firm throughout their branding refresh and update, from initial workshops and research to strategy and messaging.

The Reviewer
 
1001-10,000 employees
 
Toronto, Canada
Director, Marketing at Business Law Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Zync’s work for the firm has been consistently exceptional. They used workshops to develop effective strategy documents and define a strong brand foundation. The agency impressed with their thorough analysis, creative approach, and precise articulation of core concepts.

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

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company.

We are a national Canadian business law firm.

What is your role and responsibilities?

I am the director of marketing.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your goal for working with Zync?

We were looking at doing a brand refresh and update. The brand hadn't been updated in about 10 years, so looking at that from both a messaging point of view and a creative point of view.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their work.

We had them be the drivers of the project. We were looking at running workshops, potentially to gain insights from the subject matter experts internally, and crunching the output from those workshops to identify patterns and so on. So, they did that, they created the strategy report, and then provided us with a recommendation for visual identity. They did both the design and the strategy behind it. We had our human resources team and our legal talent team involved as well, to make sure that our employment brand is addressed as well. So, Zync ran similar workshops with them focusing on that, which would be more strategy and messaging.

What was your process for selecting Zync?

Actually it was word of mouth. I had done a lot of branding in the past, and one of my colleagues had done some work with Zync in the past, as well, so I sort of compared other people I worked with and what I saw from them and selected them. It was pretty informal, to be honest.

Can you give a sense of the size of the initiative?

It was probably $70,000 to $80,000 in total.

When was the project completed?

We started it in February, and it's still ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What were the results of the project?

We're still working on that. They have developed the strategy document, and it's great. The people we've shared it with have said that it's dead on. They did a good job interpreting the output from the workshop and essentially articulating what we were struggling with internally.

What differentiates Zync from others?

Zync is a creative agency, and what I appreciate about that is they're starting from the inside out. They're thinking about who we are and who we want to be, so it's not just about colors, logos, and images. It was really the fundamentals of defining our brand foundation. A lot of the other agencies we were working with were like, "Let's get your colors straightened out," but that's not what we needed to focus on.

Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or something that you might do differently?

Honestly right now, nothing. Everything's been terrific, start to finish.

What advice would you give a future client of theirs?

Let them do what they know how to do. Don't get in the way.

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