New and Improved: The Puppies

By May 20, 2014Blog

“New and Improved” is a series of posts on our own brand refresh: not our logo but our whole story. This is the first post.

Here at OBS, we think it’s important to pause regularly and take stock of our business. (We don’t do it often enough, but we think it’s important :)). A few months ago, we actually took the time to do this and we found some surprising ways we had gotten off track, and have taken steps to straighten our course. First up: The Puppies.

It’s as if someone left a box of puppies on our front porch, and we just started taking care of them because someone should, and plus they were really cute. We had taken on some clients like this: we liked them, they needed help, etc. Everyone knows you can’t take in all the stray dogs in the neighborhood, but we forgot to apply this to our clients, and it resulted in us getting really busy but not enjoying our work as much as we’d like. Also, those clients weren’t enjoying US as much as we’d like. So, we started finding other loving homes for some of those puppies, and started developing a “Client Manifesto”. Here are a few things we determined:

  • Clients must believe that brand matters. We most enjoy working with higher-end, creative clients. We take on non-creatives (we have some businesses, law offices, and non-profits that we really enjoy working with as well), but we really like to work with folks who inspire us. And regardless of if you are creative or not — you must understand the importance of branding, because that’s kind of our thing.
  • Our clients must trust us. This is non-negotiable. It just doesn’t work otherwise. I know trust is difficult, but we do it all the time, with really big issues. We trust the gas station to be putting the right mixture in the pump. We trust the valet with our car keys. We trust the bank with our money. If you can’t bring yourself to trust our experience and talent to come up with a great solution to your problem, it’s okay, we understand. But don’t hire us.
  • Clients have to be ready to invest. Branding takes time, money, and effort on the client’s part as well. Really getting to the core of who you are and developing content around that can frankly be a drag at times, and we can’t do it all for you. But it IS worth it!

Does this seem like we are trying to push clients away? Well, kind of. We just want to push away those that aren’t the right fit, because we don’t want to waste anyone’s time. There are tons of folks out there who will do design work for you and not require these things, so by all means — please hire them! Overall, here is our new mantra:

“We don’t take clients who have less of a commitment to their story/brand than we do.”