Frequently asked questions from prospects
From our pricing to our people to our process. You ask, we answer.
Choosing a strategic branding partner is a big decision. We aim to empower and educate you with open, honest, and reliable information to help you plan for your project. We candidly address FAQs to eliminate the guesswork and make the buying process smoother.
Motto® has worked with over 1,200+ companies in over 75 countries. In 17 years, we’ve worked on every brand challenge imaginable across food, beverage, fashion, pets, entertainment, finance, wellness, and beauty. Today, the vast majority of our clients are fast-growing B2B/B2C tech companies that are shaping the future. Each year we take on select special projects in various categories in the B2c/DTC space.
- Driven by the desire to do well by doing good.
- “Buy-in” at the top; full leadership support.
- Operates with a sense of purpose.
- Believes “brand is everything.”
- Values diversity and inclusion.
- Open-minded to new ideas.
- Active decision-makers.
- Accepts and understands our fees.
- Encourages us to follow our process.
- 20th Century Fox
- The NFL
- Hello Alice
- Year of Small Business
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- Greyston Bakery
- Christine Quinn (Selling Sunset)
- Munk Pack
- Bathtub Gin
- Dashing Diva
- Johnny Cupcakes
- Bleecker Street
- Crown & Buckle
- USA Today
- E&J Gallo Wines
- Scout & Cellar
- Comfort Inn & Suites
On average, between 7-10 Motto® people work on a project. Typically, the following roles are involved: Account Manager, Project Manager, Workshop Facilitator, 1-2 Brand Strategists, Namer, Copywriter, Creative Director, Art Director, and 1-2 Designers. Other talent is brought in if we need expertise in a certain area or are creating activation assets.
Sunny and Ashleigh spend most of their time nurturing our culture, coaching the team, setting the pace, building the business, authoring new books, and giving keynotes. They keep a pulse on client work and contribute ideas to help steer it. If one or both of them are requested at the start of a project, we can discuss options.
A comprehensive, soup-to-nuts rebranding project takes 6-8 months.
A fast-track startup branding project takes 3-4 months.
You will have a wing person, our Director of Client Experience. This includes short weekly phone check-ins and written status updates. There are several other people on our team who you will meet with and who will lead various parts of the work.
Motto® uses Basecamp, a refreshingly simple and effective project management platform. We also use FIGMA, Dropbox and Slack.
Yes. We work with venture-funded startups who are ready to invest in core brand development. Most are Series A, B, or C or self-funded. In a few cases, we engage before a bigger raise to prepare the brand for investment success.
Yes, brand and business strategy are the core of everything we do. All of our client engagements start with strategy. Why? Because without the big-picture clarity made possible with strategy, creative performance falls short and lacks substance. A new identity won’t likely solve a collaboration problem. A new external campaign might not help you recruit and then engage the right people. A brand standards manual won’t help you solve deeper business challenges.
Yes. Strategy is our zone of genius. We’re happy to lead strategic work without creative execution.
We don’t typically work on creative projects if we don’t also do the strategic work. Motto® may accept a design-only project if a client already has a very clear and well-developed strategic foundation and is ready to execute. We would review everything before making this exception to ensure it matches the high bar we set for strategic work.
No, what you see is a small curated collection each year. If there’s a particular industry you’d like to see, just ask. We’ve worked on many brands since 2005 and can’t possibly show them all (though we do archive them).
In an exceptional situation, we may consider equity as compensation. In all equity situations, cash for services is still the lion’s share. We also must be convinced there is a clear and achievable path toward financial success.
Category focus certainly mattered early in our careers. Now, 17 years in, we’ve worked across e-sports, fintech, security, AI, financial trading, cryptocurrency, blockchain, the agricultural loop, and regenerative farming to more common categories like coffee, chocolate, tech, entertainment, food, and wine. Our expertise is now rooted in pattern recognition. We’ve solved similar problems repeatedly, enabling us to synthesize and solve your problems with high confidence.
We hear thousands of business ideas and opportunities each year. We don’t like to be contractually engaged before we’ve had a chance to understand if there’s a fit. If there is some special sauce, you don’t need to reveal it. Most NDAs aren’t clear as to what elements are under NDA. This shouldn’t prevent us from having a meaningful discussion about the aspects of your business you are willing to share.
If you send us an RFP, we’ll consider it if we’re able to meet with the founder/CEO or executive team. As a culture-first company that evaluates leadership chemistry and the people we’ll work with, we need to ensure you’re also right for us too.
We require a signed proposal, a signed Master Services Agreement (MSA), and a deposit to commence work.
We try to prevent this by aligning our thinking to strategy and ensuring we co-create together throughout the process. From day one, we’re on your team and want to keep it that way. If you feel that our work missed the mark, we’ll talk openly about it to figure out why it isn’t working for your team. With clear feedback, understanding, and goals in mind, we’d offer our professional opinion on how to solve the problem, and then we’d get to work on doing just that.
We typically take 50% of the budget as an initial payment, then break up the remaining balance into equal installments billed monthly.
We don’t ask our clients to spend time on the phone or email with prospects out of respect for their time. We do collect testimonials from each project here.
We’re very collaborative and like to work shoulder-to-shoulder with our clients. We can’t do a great job without that iterative partnership.
Motto® conducts a thorough immersion to gain a deep understanding of your business. We listen intently and perform a number of discovery activities:
—360 Discovery Workbook
—Desk research (competitive audits, visual audits, landscape audits)
—Facilitate strategic workshops
We don’t offer this out of respect for the confidential nature of our work. We go deep into various businesses, and sharing that level of detail gives away our work and thinking. It also strips away context. We create unique solutions for each client and reveal what we can on our case study page.