Let’s set your project up for success, see some of the common questions we have received through the years of brand building below.
What kinds of companies do you work with?
BLVR (buh · lee · vr) is a branding agency that has worked with over 1000 companies over the past two decades across 35 different countries. About 50% of our experience is with consumer goods brands, 30% with B2B brands, and 20% with nonprofits. The common theme amongst these clients is that they are purpose-driven or would like to be more purpose-driven. In today’s world, an organization’s role is not only to answer to shareholders but to impact the world around them.
What kind of projects do you take on?
We focus on the end-to-end branding experience. Sometimes that means we’ll be creating or refreshing a brand focusing on building out a new brand strategy and design system. Sometimes that means we’re creating go-to-market assets like websites, communication campaigns, or new marketing toolkits. We also do a lot of work with innovation teams working on new social stewardship projects that accelerate a company’s impact in the world.
What makes a great client for BLVR?
They are driven by a deeper purpose. They have the desire to use business as a force for good. They see the value of branding. They are willing to go beyond the veneer of their logo or tone of voice, to solve deeper strategic problems. They are excited to work collaboratively. They see the value of working with long-term partners.
What makes BLVR different than other agencies?
BLVR is more than a branding agency or a creative consultancy. We are a belief company. We work with fearless leaders to shape culture. Through our Belief-Led Transformation Method, we look to build brands from the inside out. We look to uncover the belief at the heart of the organization, translate that into an authentic purpose to drive the business forward, and then activate it through every aspect of the business. As a B Corp, we look to hold ourselves and our clients to a high standard of social responsibility and to use our business as a force for good.
What does a typical process look like?
We work in 3 distinct sprints. Whether we are doing a brand development process or a creative innovation project, these remain consistent.
I) Discovery: Uncovering the Opportunity
BLVR will dig deep to understand the market, your brand’s issues, and where the disruptive opportunities lie.
II) Strategy: Building the Strategy Framework
BLVR will transform the discovery learnings into a brand strategy. Fueled by our Belief-Led Transformation Method™ philosophy, we will create the framework that underpins every aspect of your brand.
III) Execution: Bring the Brand to Life
BLVR will help evolve your brand to position it for future growth. From a compelling
new brand story to a modern identity, BLVR will craft a solution to position your
brand for the future.
Do you work with small nonprofits or start-ups?
Yes. We’ve reserved a portion of our time to work with smaller nonprofits and impact-driven start-ups throughout the year. In 2021, we worked with Love Light + Melody to help build a school in Nicaragua. In 2022, we partnered with PUSH For Empowered Pregnancy to help raise awareness around preventable stillbirths in the U.S.
How are your agency engagements structured?
We work in a number of different ways with our clients. With some, we work on a retained basis offering annual branding, marketing, and creative support. We have a dedicated team of thinkers and doers who are the subject matter experts on your account, delivering in-depth, consistent knowledge of your account. We also have extended relationships with Clients that may begin with one project and then extend into longer-term additional projects as we build out the long-term vision. We have a smaller portion of short-term one-off projects that offer immediate value to a Clients business.
When is the best time to start a rebranding project?
We get asked this one a lot. Taking on a rebranding project can be time intensive, so when looking at the perfect timing, this can be tricky. Branding agencies will tell you that when you feel there is a disconnect between all the initiatives at a company or when your employees don’t truly feel united in a common purpose are usually tall tale signs that it might be time to recenter yourselves as an organization.
Is all the work you’ve done featured on the website or creds deck?
No. We share a small curated number of case studies on our site and capabilities deck. But we have a much wider range of case studies we can pull from once we understand what is most relevant to your business and your needs.
What tools do you use for collaboration and communication?
We use a wide range of tools for communication and collaboration. Typically we’ll use the google suite of products to share work and collaborate. We also love using slack to connect whilst on the go. Internally we use a fantastic platform called Mavenlink to project manage all our team’s work, ensuring we stay on time and on budget.
How do your invoice and payment terms work?
Our goal is to offer flexible payment options that work for you and your business. For some clients, we’ll set up a milestone-based payment system along with a 25% deposit upfront. While for other clients, we’ll focus on a month-by-month payment system broken up across the duration of the project.
What happens if I’ve already done my own audience research?
BLVR is very experienced in working with Clients who already have their own audience research. Our goal is to come alongside you by understanding and learning from the research completed. If there are any gaps that will be important to our project, BLVR will highlight the insights needed and suggest what would be the best research plan to complement your existing work.
What are the values of your agency?
BLVR’s goal is to ensure our team, clients, and the wider community is filled with a sense of purpose. The kind you feel when you’re a part of something bigger—something that’s making a difference in the world.
To build this culture, we live by four key values:
I) Create with Soul – Believe in what you do. Do it with all your heart.
II) Never Settle – Whatever it takes. Do it right. No matter what.
III) Live it out – Inspire others by your example. Be a light in the world.
IV) Grow Together. Invest in one another. Cultivate a brighter community.
What happens if I only want the strategy or creative portion done for a project?
Yes. As a branding agency, we can work in a number of ways. We’re happy to do strategy-only projects just as much as creative-only projects. But we’ll ensure before we commit that we feel confident it is the right thing to solve your business problems. That means we’ll work with you to assess what you already have and if needed, provide any recommendations on what else needs to be completed.
Do you take on RFPs?
We sure do. But we try to be selective about what we take on so that we can value our team’s time and efforts. Put simply; it has to be the right fit. We want to make sure there is a true need for our services, that we are values aligned, and BLVR’s capabilities are well suited to solve the business problem you have.
What about your philanthropic and DE&I efforts?
Our agency fuels our activism—to make a difference in the world by supporting humanitarian organizations that provide disadvantaged children and families around the globe with opportunities to thrive. In 2020 we formalized that commitment by becoming a B Corporation. This certification means that BLVR meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. As part of our efforts with B Corp, we donate our profit and time to various causes. In 2020 we partnered with an organization called Love Does to help fund scholarships for children in Uganda. In 2021, we worked with Love Light + Melody to help build a school in Nicaragua. In 2022, we partnered with PUSH For Empowered Pregnancy to help raise awareness around preventable stillbirths in the U.S.
Creating a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion is a challenge and opportunity for many companies, including BLVR. It’s an ongoing process, but we have implemented a range of strategies, including Implementing fair hiring practices that standardize the qualifications we look for in candidates, asking each candidate the same questions, and creating a standard evaluation system and metrics to evaluate candidates. We also track and share a number of DEI metrics quarterly to understand our agency’s progress and hold ourselves accountable for the work still to be done.
I have other agency partners that you’ll need to work with. How do you work with other agencies?
It is common for BLVR to collaborate with other agencies when working with large-scale clients. We’ve had experience working with media agencies, digital performance agencies, website shops, experiential agencies, and promotional agencies, as well as a wide range of business and creative consultants. We enjoy this process so much that we’ve built a channel partnership program at BLVR to foster strong reciprocal relationships with our partners. No matter the agency we are working with, the approach remains the same – We’re here to make our clients succeed. To do this we leave our egos at the door, we build relationships, we foster open communication, and we craft cohesive, integrated approaches.
Do you have client references for your branding and creative projects?
To get you started, check out a wide range of testimonials from our Clients here and here. If you need to reach out to speak with a Client in more depth, we can arrange this prior to a new project kicking off.
What materials should we be compiling internally to set this project up for success?
The project that has the best result is when we receive an RFP that defines the following information so that we are able to be on the same page right off the bat:
– What is the background of the company?
– How are you making a larger impact in the world as a company?
– What business challenges are you looking to solve with this branding project?
– Who are your audience segments? Are these new or existing?
– How does your company solve your customer’s biggest pain points?
– What has prompted the project now, and what do you feel is the purpose?
– Who do you feel are your biggest competitors in the space?
– What deliverables are you looking for from an agency partner?
– What does success look like to you at the completion of the project?
– What are the KPIs and criteria for success?
– What are your budgets and timelines?
– What qualities are you looking for in an agency partner?
Once a project is kicked off, we ask our clients to provide us with as much information as possible for our team to get up to speed on who the client is and become the subject matter expert. This could include information such as:
– Identify five (5) Stakeholders and provide contact information to schedule interviews
– Compile all data for review (ex. financial data and projections, existing customer data, Google Analytics reports, prior research reports, etc.)
– Gather information on current customer profiles + demographics
– Existing audience research
– Existing personas
– Identify five (5) core competitors
– Identify ten (10) current customers to use for 1:1 interviews
– Defined KPIs you’ve established, understand your baseline research, and how best to evaluate results post-launch.
How much should someone invest in a project like this, and how do I build a comprehensive budget?
As with any type of company initiative, the more you invest in it, the more you are going to get out of it. There are plenty of branding agencies out there that can design a logo for your company. But, here at BLVR, we hold ourselves to a higher standard than just putting a pretty wrapper around something; we want to make sure that our designs are backed by strategic intent and will set a brand up for future success for years to come.
With that said, things like market research, brand strategy, and comprehensive brand identity come with a price tag that correlates to the quality and value of the work provided. A good way to think about it is that a typical project might cost $200k, but when you split that over the 10 years that the branding is going to continue to provide ROI and company cohesiveness, the investment can seem more manageable.
I’m interested in working with your branding agency. What’s a good next step?
That’s great to hear. Reach out to BLVR here or schedule a meeting with Lenya McGrath, our Executive Director of Business Development here.
SD / CA