FAQs

— You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Welcome

Excited you’re here! 👋

We want you to gather as much information as you need on how Motto thinks, acts, and works. Our FAQs are a great place to start. It will give you a deeper sense of who we are as people, as a company, and as a branding partner.

You’ll find us more selective than other agencies. For example, we vet each project for fit. We also evaluate things like your company’s approach to brand, team mindset, culture, and ambition. If everything aligns, the likelihood we’ll succeed together is far greater.

A few things we look for:

❗️ Can we solve your business problem?
❗️ What impact can we have together?
❗️ Can we push beyond comfort zones?
❗️ Is your leadership invested?
❗️ Do we get each other?
❗️ Do you value brand as a solution?

If we do decide to work together, it will be because we both worked equally hard to make it so.

To your success,

Founders, Motto

Motto Difference

There’s an oversaturation of creative agencies in the market (few stellar, many not-so-stellar). You’ve probably hired a few with mixed results. Your business has to rise above the noise and you’re looking for a highly experienced team who can deliver. You should be choosy.

All good agencies have smart researchers, strategists, designers, developers, writers, storytellers, and project managers. We all do similar things with talented people. So, why choose Motto?

✳︎ Brand from the inside-out.

Since 2005, we’ve led the charge on purpose-driven companies that care about culture and impact. We are one of the first agencies in the world to brand purpose and coined the phrase in the media. By driving brand from the inside out, we close the gap between what a brand promises and what a brand actually delivers.

✳︎ Female-founded + radically inclusive.

Motto was built by two rebellious women who didn’t fit the mold. Creating an environment of belonging has always been personally important to us. We are inclusive leaders who have built an intentional, diverse culture where everyone is valued for their differences. We are anti-racist, warm, and welcoming to all people regardless of their race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, belief, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or other status.

✳︎ Leadership and culture-focused.

Motto has a unique blend of expertise making us one of few. We work directly with C-Suite leaders to set the direction of their businesses. We are more than a branding company—we align your brand, culture, and leadership at every level. All the typical processes others use to tidy up your brand are actually the last phase in our engagements. You choose Motto when you need to innovate, differentiate, clarify tough brand challenges, simplify complex brand architecture problems, reshape ineffective strategies, or when you can’t afford to lose.

✳︎ Wrote a bestselling book on differentiation.

Endorsed by Seth Godin, USA Today, New York Post, and renowned French chef Daniel Boulud, our Founders’ book Rare Breed®, a Guide to Success for the Defiant, Dangerous and Different is taking the business world by storm. Sunny and Ashleigh’s unconventional mindset has led to global recognition. Under their leadership, our team dismantles business-as-usual using Rare Breed® thinking to deviate from the norm and challenge the status quo. Rare Breed thinking is uniquely ours and instrumental to our work.

✳︎ Provocative and boundary-pushing.

From your first call with us, you’ll sense something is different about Motto. We’ll often contextualize your situation very quickly. We ask tough questions. We’ve been called “provocative”, “boundary-pushing” and “status-quo breaking.” And at one point a client called us “A race car in a world full of ball-point pens.”

✳︎ Never settle.

Even in great success, even when you have achieved something that is good, trying to be great is powerful. We’ve witnessed a lot of people along the way who settle for good when it can be great or accept mediocrity which is a lot worse. Our team never settles for “good enough.” Teams who are audacious, strive for excellence, and want to make their brand matter work well with us.

What makes a successful client?

▸  Driven by a bigger purpose.
▸  Believes “brand is everything.”
▸  Funded and has traction.
▸  Facing a business challenge.
▸  Requires bold, visionary thinking.
▸  Values diversity and inclusion.
▸  Open-minded.
▸  Willing to do the work.
▸  Decision-makers are engaged.
▸  Accepts our fees.
▸  Allows us to define the problems.
▸  Doesn’t tell us how to do the work.
▸  Doesn’t impose unfair timelines.
▸  Respectful and responsive.

What categories do you work in?

▸  BTC
▸  DTC
▸  BTB

What are typical timelines?

Timelines average 3-5 months with an average project spanning 4-6 months. For extensive rebrands, it can take longer.

Can I speak to your clients before hiring you?

The short answer is no. The long answer is… early in our careers we loved this request. Now asking our clients to spend time on the phone with prospects (who might never become a client) isn’t a fair or feasible ask. We make it a habit to collect testimonials and they’ve probably already given one here.

We encourage you to:

📙 Read our book
🔥 Study our testimonials
🏴 Review our case studies
💡 Read our articles
👀 Read our recent press

👋 Still not ready? Hire us for a Discovery Workshop. It’s a smaller engagement where we can focus on a specific problem and see how we work together.

Is everything you’ve done in your portfolio?

No, what you see is a curated collection. We’ve worked on thousands of brands to date and we post case study’s as we have time. (hint, hint) We’re busy branding you!

How do I know you can solve my problem or have experience in my category?

We have solved such a diverse range of branding problems, the business you’re in is no longer as important as it once was. Category-focus certainly mattered early in our careers, but 15 years later, we’ve touched every category imaginable. We’ve worked in highly specialized fields like e-sports, security, AI, financial trading, cryptocurrency, blockchain, agricultural loop, and regenerative farming to more common categories like coffee, chocolate, tech, entertainment, food, and wine. Today, our specialization is rooted in pattern recognition. We’ve solved similar problems again and again making us able to quickly synthesize your situation quite quickly.

Can I work with you beyond our initial scope of work?

Sure! Clients often request ongoing services so that we can service them beyond our initial scope. Motto has a retainer service called Motto+. This service may be used for ongoing work like art direction, video production, photoshoots, social media strategies. social media design, production work, graphic work, developing product extensions, packaging production, and even branding company environments. We can be hired on a rolling weekly or monthly basis.

Can I see strategic decks, style guides, or behind-the-scenes work you’ve done for other clients?

Out of respect for our clients and the confidential strategic work we do across their brand and culture, we can’t accommodate this request. So much of what we do is what you can’t see. Transformation isn’t in a keynote deck. There are strict NDA’s involved and revealing that level of detail gives away our work and thinking. It also strips away context. Our case studies provide an in-depth look at the challenge, immersion process, and each phase of our work. They will elicit a high degree of confidence if you’ve done your homework.

What is a typical investment?

Every project has varying degrees of complexity and what you need to accomplish paired with what needs to be done will drive what you need to invest to do it right.

We look at a few things include:

🏢 Company size and revenue
🤯 Complexity of scope
👫 Resources needed
🗓  Length of project
💰 Client investment
📈 Business objectives

To discuss your project and see if there’s a fit, contact us.

I’m a startup and we are working with a small budget. Can I work with you?

If you’re pre-revenue, self-funded, or only working with a seed round, you wouldn’t be the best fit for one of our branding programs. However, there are still a few ways to work together:

🎩 1:1 Session with Sunny
Work directly with our co-founder Sunny Bonnell in a 1:1 hourly session. This is best for individuals who want quick tips, strategic, consultative brand guidance on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis.

✍️ Workbooks
These are fantastic foundational brand-building tools. Define your purpose, vision, values, and brand archetype. At just under $200 for the bundle, it’s packed with value and based on a decade of our brand and leadership workshops.

⚡️ Workshops
These are great for startups who need facilitation on an important issue and want to maximize value, speed, and clarity in one day.

Do you design and build websites?

Yes! Almost all branding projects we work on have a digital need. This includes UI/UX planning, content architecture, web design, CMS, and development. We also design and build Shopify websites for many of our D2C brands.

I’m a B2B. Can you work with me?

Yes, we have worked with several B2B companies. However there are some exceptions to who we’ll work with and why. Typically, the B2B companies we work with have a B2B/B2C model or if they are strict B2B, they value brand as a differentiator (most B2B’s don’t put a heavy emphasis on brand).

If you are a B2B company, we’d be happy to speak. Contact us to set up a meeting.

Do you trade services for equity?

In an exceptional startup situation, we may consider equity as a form of compensation. This would close the gap between what services a company needs vs. what the budget is. We have strict criteria that a founder must meet. We also must be convinced there is a clear and achievable path towards success. In all equity situations, we see cash as the lion’s share.

Do you offer flexible payment terms?

We’ll both agree to a payment schedule in our proposals. Generally speaking, we take 50% upon commencement and equal monthly installments of the balance thereafter.

Questions?

We’re here for you! If you’ve got a question you’d like us to answer, contact us.