We launched The Banner Years in January of 2017 after merging our two agencies together. We brought our teams, networks, and ways of thinking to one place. It took off, fast. So fast, that this is our first living, breathing website to launch.
Over the past 14 months, we’ve been working with Fortune 500s, A-list celebrities, and single-employee startups. Day to day we’re solving challenges that run the gamut.
Prior to The Banner Years, the typical client for each of us needed a logo, website, brand name, user interface, etc. What most would call artifacts. But, what we’ve experienced this past year has been a wake-up call.
Clients and agencies kept asking us for more. Not more artifacts. They wanted more services. It wasn’t a lack of skill or staff that was driving the demand, it was something much bigger.
We kept getting asked to come on board earlier or stay on longer. Slack turned into therapy sessions (good ones, we love our clients), and conversations dovetailed into pricing, revenue models, SLAs, churn, and more. The kind of things normally reserved for consultants. We’re not consultants. In our book, consultants don’t really do anything. We do, a lot. And we happen to know a lot about these challenges.
Because good Experience Design & Brand Creative touches every aspect of the business. And since we’re research-driven, the only way to understand the problem, was to understand all of the problems. Neither of us were new to business management or solutions architecture, we’ve both held those roles in the past.
But now, clients were trusting us with large projects that ran from research all the way through post-launch monitoring. And they refused to work with anyone else. At first, this boosted our ego, but then we realized that it was a protective measure. Critical data and knowledge was being lost in hand-off from team to team–or external agency to internal team–and the customer experience was suffering.
We knew that we’d always been a sort-of Customer Experience Design Studio. But we also thought that sounded like a load of shit that some “Digital Marketing Guru” pivoted to in order to win search terms while growth hacking (read that and try not to throw up). Academic research, not bloviating start-up bro advice, has been telling brands that Customer Experience is the single most important measure of brand stability going forward. But wasn’t that up to marketing agencies or consulting firms to solve?
Well, it’s not.
Customer Experience is designed. It’s intentional. And it has to be researched, documented, built, and managed by people who understand design. It’s why companies are creating Chief Design Officers, Chief Digital Officers, and Chief Experience Officers (a title Brad has already held) faster than they can find qualified candidates.
Social media isn’t the only culprit. Consumers have a choice, too much maybe. They have the entirety of human knowledge at their fingertips. The world has changed and with it, how brands work. This isn’t just for influencers, this goes down to utilities and government services. We recently worked with a logistics company losing $MMs per year on processing fees for payments made outside of their website. Getting their customers to use their website, and enjoy it, meant funding an entire division of the company–or not.
So, The Customer Experience Studio was born. We get how it sounds, and it took us a while to get used to it, too. Those that know us know we hate jargon. We find ways to get it into our worst versions of Cards Against Humanity. But sometimes, the shoe fits. And we’ve got big ones to fill. We have a very unique skill set, spanning almost twenty years, and we know we can help a lot of brands build great experiences. So, we are.
Through our careers we’ve worked with brands including Disney, Turner, MTV, Warner Brothers, Holiday Inn, Coca-Cola, ESPN, CAA, NPR, Salesforce, NATO, Lionsgate, Kimpton, AT&T, SunTrust, Olive Garden, Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Health Group, UPS, Chick-fil-A, Macy's, Hard Rock Cafe, GE, Nokia, State of Georgia, State of Tennessee, The U.S. Department of Defense, Sony, and Microsoft.
And we’ve lead retail and environmental programs for brands like Verizon, Costco, The NFL, Home Depot, Best Buy, American Eagle Outfitters, and Bath & Body Works.
We know our shit.
We also get that even saying that makes us sound like we’re in fact, full of shit. We’re not. We do this because we love it, and we love working with brands that want to create great customer experiences. And that’s what we’re here to do.
We’re accepting new clients and looking for vendors to help us fulfill projects. But even if you just want to talk about the future of design and experience, or tell us our new tagline is groan-inducing, get in touch.