Frequently asked questions
Get to know us
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 hiring Motto® smoother.
At Motto®, our breadth and depth of experience sets us apart. Our diverse portfolio spans over 1,200 clients, ranging from dynamic startups to well-established corporations, in more than 75 countries worldwide. This is a testament to our global reach and understanding of various markets.
Since 2005, we’ve tackled every conceivable branding challenge across numerous sectors, such as food, beverage, fashion, pet care, entertainment, finance, wellness, and beauty. This extensive experience ensures that we bring a wealth of knowledge, insight, and creative problem-solving strategies to every project.
Our current roster predominantly includes fast-growing B2B and B2C companies that are not just participating in their respective industries, but actively shaping the future. We thrive in this space, collaborating with these forward-thinking companies to create compelling brands that resonate with their target audience and drive growth.
To keep our work fresh and exciting, every year we cherry-pick special projects in unique categories that pique our interest. This allows us to explore new and familiar territory, continually broadening our expertise and ensuring we stay at the cutting edge of branding strategies and trends.
A great fit client for Motto® is one who resonates with our core values and strategic approach. They are:
- Driven by the desire to do well by doing good.
- “Buy-in” at the top and 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.
Motto’s client roster is impressively diverse, spanning multiple industries and various sizes of organizations. Here’s a small snippet of our client roster:
- 20th Century Fox
- Comfort Inn & Suites
- USA Today
- E&J Gallo Wines
- Hello Alice
- Year of Small Business
- Munk Pack
- Bleecker Street
- Bathtub Gin
- Dashing Diva
- Greyston Bakery
- Scout & Cellar
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- Christine Quinn of Selling Sunset
On average, between 8-12 experienced teammates will work on your project. Typically, the following roles are involved:
- Account Manager
- Project Manager
- Workshop Facilitator
- Brand Strategists
- Creative Director
- Art Director
- Senior Designer
- Web UI/UX
- Front-End Developer
- Back-End Developer
- Content Producers
Sunny and Ashleigh’s strategic vision and creative insights underpin all we do. They are in high demand and spend most of their time nurturing our culture, building the business, authoring new books, and giving global keynotes.
They do participate in the initial kickoff to set the tone and direction for our engagement. Following this, your dedicated team will handle the project’s intricate details. This structure allows us to give focused attention, remain agile, and deliver the best possible service to you.
Sunny and Ashleigh communicate daily with our team leaders and offer expert advice when needed. They keep a pulse on all client work and contribute ideas to help steer it. If you’d like one or both of them on the project day to day, it can be arranged per a different fee structure.
A comprehensive branding or rebranding project takes at least 6-8 months. A fast-track startup branding project takes at least 16 weeks.
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. In a few cases, we engage before a more significant raise to prepare the brand for investment success.
Indeed, brand and business strategy are the bedrock of all our client engagements and projects. We prioritize strategy because it provides the clarity and direction that all creative outputs need to effectively communicate your brand’s essence and achieve your business goals. Creative outcomes may fall short without this strategic underpinning, as they could lack the necessary substance and alignment with your overarching goals.
For example, if your organization is grappling with issues related to internal alignment, simply redesigning your brand’s logotype or brand identity isn’t likely to rectify the situation. That’s a deeper organizational issue that needs a strategic approach. In another scenario, launching a new external campaign might create some buzz, but without a strategic approach, it may fail to attract, engage, and retain the right audience. No matter how detailed, a brand standards manual won’t fix a poor brand architecture. It needs to be part of a more prominent strategic solution.
Whether redefining a brand, building a new one, or tackling specific business challenges, we always begin with strategy. We aim to align all creative projects with your brand’s long-term vision, values, and business objectives. This way, we ensure that every initiative we lead has a solid foundation, is purposeful, and contributes meaningfully to your business’s success.
Yes. Strategy is our zone of genius. We’re happy to lead strategic work without creative execution.
While we strongly believe in the transformative power of Motto’s well-crafted strategic work, we understand that your organization might already have a strategy in place. In such cases, we would appreciate the opportunity to review your existing strategy to ensure the depth of strategy is up to par, and we can confidently execute against it. If it is, Motto® is happy to provide creative or activation services that align with your existing strategy. Our experienced team can bring your strategic vision to life through impactful design, compelling copy, and innovative campaigns. We aim to work collaboratively with you, ensuring the highest standard of quality and coherence in all the work we deliver.
We pride ourselves on the depth of our experience, and the projects showcased are a curated collection updated annually. With a history spanning since 2005, we’ve had the privilege to work with numerous brands across various industries, many more than we can display in a single portfolio. However, we do maintain an archive of all our projects. If there’s a specific industry or type of project you’re interested in, please don’t hesitate to ask. We’d be more than happy to share relevant examples from our comprehensive body of work.
Understandably, you may wonder if we possess experience in your specific category. While the category-specific focus was certainly important during our early years, our expansive work now includes a diverse array of sectors. These include cutting-edge fields like e-sports, fintech, security, AI, financial trading, cryptocurrency, blockchain, the agricultural loop, and regenerative farming, as well as more traditional sectors like architecture, coffee, chocolate, tech, entertainment, food, and wine.
Our expertise has since evolved to be rooted more in pattern recognition. Through years of working across numerous industries, we have solved a multitude of unique challenges. This vast experience has equipped us with the ability to identify patterns and apply our learned insights to new scenarios, regardless of the industry. We can confidently synthesize the challenges unique to your category and address them effectively, backed by our rich history of problem-solving across industries.
We certainly understand the need for confidentiality, especially when discussing potentially sensitive business ideas and strategies. However, we interact with thousands of businesses and hear hundreds of ideas yearly. To keep this process efficient and straightforward, we prefer not to enter into a contractual agreement with a company we haven’t met. We’d like to have at least one conversation and establish if there’s a good fit.
That said, there’s no need for you to disclose any proprietary secrets or “special sauce” during our initial discussions. In our experience, most NDAs tend not to specify clearly what aspects fall under their purview, which can complicate matters. We believe this shouldn’t deter us from having a productive conversation about your business and its needs, focusing on the elements you’re comfortable sharing. If we find a mutual fit and decide to move forward, we can then discuss other contractual matters, including NDAs, as required.
We completely understand your desire to see behind the scenes of our work. However, the nature of our work often involves diving deeply into our client’s businesses, which requires a high level of confidentiality. Out of respect for this, we do not share strategies or client work that isn’t publicly available.
Moreover, sharing these elements in isolation can strip away the valuable context that informs each unique solution we craft. Our case studies page provides a carefully curated showcase of our work, offering insights into our thought process, methodology, and the outcomes achieved. Each case is a testament to our commitment to creating tailored solutions that address the unique challenges and goals of each client.
While we do entertain Requests for Proposals (RFPs), our approach is unique. We believe that successful collaborations are built on strong, mutual relationships. Most RFPs don’t allow for deep questions around scope, compatibility assessments, or alignment with senior-level leaders.
As a culture-first company, we value leadership chemistry and compatibility with the teams we partner with. So, when we receive an RFP, we consider it under the condition that we can meet with the founder, CEO, or executive team. This allows us to understand your vision better, align our goals, and evaluate if we are the right fit for each other. This approach helps us maintain our commitment to creating meaningful and effective brand solutions for our clients.
We deeply value the relationships we’ve built with our clients and respect their time commitments. Therefore, we don’t request our clients to participate in calls or correspondences with prospective clients. We understand the importance of receiving insights about our work from those who have experienced it first-hand. As a solution, we have gathered testimonials from a range of projects, which are available for your review here and also via a third-party reviewer Clutch. These testimonials should provide a clear idea of our approach, our working relationships, and the results we’ve achieved.
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.
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.
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)
—Facilitated strategic workshops
We typically take 50% of the budget as an initial payment, then break up the remaining balance into equal installments billed monthly.
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.