Meet Motto

(Got questions? We’ve got answers)

Our Ethos

Our purpose is to empower our clients to capture the spirit of their brands, so that together, we can create Ideas Worth Rallying Around®.

We’re excited you’re here 👋 It means you’re curious to know more about us. We’re curious to know about you, too.

Not only do we vet each project for fit, we are selective in who we choose to work with and why. If there’s a great fit, the likelihood we’ll win together is far greater.

Here’s what we look for:

🤔 Can we solve your business problem?
🤔 What value do you place on solving it?
🤔 Can we push beyond the comfort zones?
🤔 Is your leadership invested in the process?
🤔 Do we get each other? (Chemistry rules!)

You have the right to gather as much information as you need on how Motto thinks, acts, and works. And, why we’ve earned such a great reputation.

If we do decide to work together, it will be because we both worked equally hard to choose the best.

To your success,

Founders, Motto

How is Motto different?

There’s an over saturation of creative agencies in the market (few stellar, many not-so-stellar). You’ve probably hired a few of them with mixed results. Now that there’s a lot more on the line, you’re looking for a highly experienced team who delivers. You should be choosy.

All good agencies have smart researchers, strategists, designers, developers, writers, storytellers, and project managers. The bottom line is we all do similar things with talented people.

So, how is Motto different?

  1. The first agency to focus on brands with purpose.

    Since 2005, we’ve led the charge on purpose-driven companies that care about culture and impact. In fact, we coined the phrase in the media. We’ve consulted with and led — thousands of companies to articulate their message and brand their purpose.

  2. We align leadership teams.

    A major problem with today’s companies and brand is alignment. What could you achieve if your leadership and team were all rallying in the same direction? We align your team and steer you away from weak strategies, unfocused tactics, and mismanaged branding. We’ll ensure your brand is understood and communicated clearly across every level of the organization.

  3. Our experience is your secret weapon.

    We’ve spent the past decade building brands for our generation. We’ve immersed ourselves in the inner workings of companies in every category and at every stage of business. We’ve led critical conversations across hundreds of founders, c-suite execs, and consumers. This  knowledge helps us create influential brands that are connected to the human experience.

  4. We wrote a bestselling business book.

    We are seen as though leaders in the business and brand space. Our book Rare Breed, a Guide to Success for the Defiant, Dangerous and Different (HarperCollins) is a business book that teaches leaders and teams how to become the stand out or “rare breed” in their category. If you want a powerful tool to inspire yourself, your employees and organization, order your copy now. We offer bulk discounts for team orders. Shoot us an email, if interested.

  5. We’re a race car, not a ball point pen.

    If you’re making a big mistake, we’ll tell you. If your strategy isn’t smart, we’ll show you the way. We’ve worked with the toughest, smartest visionaries in the world. From your first call with us, you’ll sense something is different about Motto. We’ll often contextualize your situation very quickly. One client put it this way, “Comparing Motto to other agencies is like comparing a race car to a ball point pen.”

  6. Our name is stands for something. 🏴

    These short simple phrases have been worn on armor in battle and etched over castle doorways since the beginning of time. The word “Motto” means, “A short phrase that encapsulates the beliefs of an individual or organization.” We help companies express their motto through their brands. Netflix, Disney, Patagonia, WD-40, and Everlane all drive their brands with an inspiring motto.

Who is the ideal Motto client?

We are highly selective about the companies, teams and founders we work with. We look at the team dynamic, decision-making process and how eager you are to find solutions and activate those solutions.

Motto’s ideal client:

  • B2B, B2C (with selective B2B’s).
  • Driven by a bigger purpose.
  • Believes “brand is everything.”
  • Funded and has traction.
  • Facing a transitional business challenge.
  • Requires bold or visionary thinking.
  • Values diversity and inclusion.
  • Open to different perspectives.
  • Willing to implement suggestions.
  • Decision-makers are engaged.
  • Accepts our fees because not hiring us is more expensive.
  • Trusts in our ability to define which problems are relevant.
  • Lets us decide which processes are required to provide proper solutions.
  • Doesn’t impose unrealistic timelines that set teams up for failure.

What are your typical timelines?

Shorter timelines average 2-3 months with an average project spanning 4-6 months. For more 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 when we were relatively unknown, we welcomed this request. However, now asking our clients to spend time on the phone with prospects (who might never become a client) isn’t a feasible ask of them. Especially when they’ve likely already given us an incredible testimonial.

We encourage you to:

🔥 Read our testimonials
🏴 Review our case studies
💡 Read our articles (full of awesome tips)
🚀 Get inspired by our Inc. column
💥 Listen to various podcasts we’ve been on
📙 Get your hands on our book

If you’re still not ready:

👋 Hire us by the hour: We offer consultations for a single issue.
💪 Sign up for a Workshop:  We offer half day and full day virtual and in-person workshops where you spend time with Motto’s leadership team solving a specific problem.

🥰 We never want a client to hesitate before hiring us — we want you to love (and be excited) that you’ve chosen Team Motto.

Is everything you’ve done in your portfolio? How do I know you can specialize in my particular business?

No, it’s not. What you see is a curated collection.

We have solved such a diverse range of branding problems, the category you’re in is no longer as important as it once was early in our careers.

We’ve worked in highly specialized fields like security, AI, financial trading, cryptocurrency and blockchain to more simple businesses like chocolate bars, pop tarts and beverages. We’ve been the first agency to disrupt traditional categories such as law, audiology and finance, and even innovated the agricultural loop.

There is simply no industry or branding challenge we haven’t solved for.

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

Sure! Clients often request an on-going weekly or monthly retainer so that we can service them beyond our initial scope. Branding is a comprehensive service with many moving parts. It’s much easier for a company to utilize those services under one roof than try to patch the brand together with too many different people. It sets the brand up for inconsistencies.

Retainers may be used for creating social media strategies and on-going social media implementation, production work, creating product extensions, packaging production and even branding company environments.

Can I see strategic decks, style guides, or behind-the-scenes work you’ve done for other clients? Even if you hide any confidential portions?

Would you want us to give away your brand secrets to a prospect? Probably not 🧐 It’s common practice for us to sign strict NDA’s and showing that level of strategy gives away our work and thinking. It also strips away context.

We’ve created many case studies on our work page that offers a high level overview of our projects. It won’t however, show every project we’ve ever worked on (your mind would 🤯). Nor will it show you every unique insight, deliverable, strategic deck, development work, or project nuance.

Each business is unique, with its own challenges. No two companies are alike, both in leadership, vision and culture. While products and benefits may be similar, we’re in the business of differentiation.

What worked for one client won’t necessarily work for you. We tackle each project individually and position your brand to lead, not follow.

What is a typical investment?

Every project is unique 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 evaluate each project by:
👉 Company size and revenue
👉 Complexity of scope
👉 Resources needed
👉 Length of project
👉 Client investment
👉 Business objectives

Here’s a few general ranges:
✅ Name Development: $20k–$50k
✅ Brand Strategy: $40k–$80k
✅ Visual ID and Style Guide: $50k–$75k
✅ Verbal Identity: $35k
✅ Packaging: $30k—$80k
✅ Photoshoots: $20k-$150k
✅ Social Strategy: $20k-$35k
✅ Websites: $50k-$100k

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 ($15k or less). Can I work with you?

It’s likely 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’s good news! If working with a smaller budget, there’s still a few other ways to work together:

💪 Retained-based Consulting at a fixed fee per week. This is best for small teams who need strategic or consultative branding guidance. Email us for more info.

👋 Download our Workbook Bundles. These are fantastic foundational brand building tools for teams with smaller budgets. At just under $200 for the bundle, it’s packed with value and based on a decade of our brand and leadership workshops.

👀 Look at our virtual/in-person Branding Workshops. These are great for brand challenges where a team needs facilitation of an important issue.

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 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.

Do you trade services for equity?

In an exceptional startup situation, we may consider taking equity as a form of compensation to close the gap between what services a company needs vs. what their budget is or what they can afford. They must be well funded with great leadership, and there must be a clear path towards a successful acquisition. Even in those situations, we see cash as the lion’s share of compensation.

Questions?

We’ve got the answers.

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

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