When we started Brandscapes in 2006 there was a huge gap between advertising, marketing, digital service providers and the clients they were serving had Fortune 500 budgets. If your small business wasn't playing in the main event you were left to scour through the lists of lower end service providers.
Having worked at several larger advertising and marketing firms we saw the small-to-medium-sized business market segment that was being completely neglected. They could not afford the big retainers that go along with advertising agencies nor could they afford to pay the salary of a Marketing Vice President so they're forced to find lower end services.
When you go there you find very low returns because most are narrow-focused and driven by projects or ala carte services with no regard for strategy or measuring results.
Brandscapes is very strategy-centered, offers integrated services and is affordable, making us the perfect fit.
What separates Brandscapes from other firms?
With Brandscapes, you get the best of two worlds: strategic and creative execution.
Pricey advertising agencies focus on advertising but that's just a small portion to a bigger picture. Their compensation structure increases with every project they create as well as passing along big mark-ups when it comes to printing, media buying and other services.
Brandscapes provides strategy based on research through our Brand Snapshot — from there we set a platform from which everything you do is based and your marketing efforts grow. Our interests are aligned with yours in a partnership, with a compensation structure that doesn’t reward us for recommending service providers. As your steward, we make sure every dollar you spend is spent intelligently.
How would you describe Brandscapes?
We are a big-picture team creating solutions specifically for small to medium-sized businesses fighting to be heard amongst the clutter.
We take a comprehensive approach to branding your business that begins with Brandscapes getting “inside” your challenges, your budget and your goals to create cost-effective, results-driven creative strategies, tactics and solutions.
How does Brandscapes get compensated?
You pay an affordable hourly, monthly or project based retainer and that’s all. Costs for the vendors we contract with on your behalf are not marked up in any way, but merely passed through to you, in total transparency.
This operational simplicity takes away our incentive to overspend your money in order to pad our invoices. There’s no commission, no upselling and no conflict of interest.
Can I afford Brandscapes?
Yes, you can. When you outsource your marketing and branding to Brandscapes, you eliminate the cost of in-house salaries, retirement benefits, paid vacations and 401Ks. Instead, you pay only for what you need, for as long as you need it. The Brandscapes philosophy is not to spend-and-see-what happens. We’re business owners and entrepreneurs to, we focus, tighten and pinpoint spending, so in some cases, we may recommend turning off your output in areas that aren’t delivering a sufficient return.
Our compensation structure includes no markups or commissions for any of the services we contract. For the cost of an entry-level employee, you gain the invaluable expertise of several Chief Marketing Officers.
In Omaha, Nebraska, where salaries are on the conservative side, a Marketing Director's median salary is over $125,000 per year (according to Salary.com). When you add in vacation time, benefits, taxes, hardware, software, office space, etc. that figure becomes pretty substantial and out-of-reach for most small businesses. Brandscapes’ programs start around $2,500 per month so you've already saved yourself over $100,000.
Everyone has different needs. Contact us, we'll work through the details and get your business on track.
Can you actually help me with leads and sales?
For sure. Brandscapes isn’t about handing you a high-level strategy, or overly fancy creative and saying, “Here you go. Good luck.” We work with you, step-by-step, to execute a practical real-world strategy. Brandscapes isn’t just another business coach or consultant — we like to get our hands dirty and execute every step of the game with you. We not only help you design an overall game plan, we’re on the field with you, directing and carrying out the plays —kinda like the quarterback and offensive line all rolled into one.
Can’t I just hire an internal person to do this?
You sure could. But have you ever tried to find someone with the depth and breadth of expertise you’d get with an entire Brandscapes team? It’s a matter of having a single person who’s a general jack of all trades versus the knowledge of a seasoned team with decades of combined experience.
There’s really no comparison in terms of the level of the work, and how quickly it can take shape.
Can you really offer completely objective advice?
We have no specific products or services we need to sell. And no matter what we recommend, you pay Brandscapes the same agreed upon project price or retainer. Since our compensation is fixed and transparent, it’s not tied into getting you to spend more money. For instance, we won’t make a penny more by recommending a $50,000 website versus a $10,000 website. We won’t make a commission by recommending an expensive buy. Brandscapes is actually incentivized to prove our value by doing more with less — treating every client dollar as if it were our own.
How can you make all of this affordable?
Easy-peasy. We do strategy and execution for business development all day, every day. The only real learning curve is to dive into what your business is all about. We’ve developed streamlined and effective ways to do this quickly, one of the tools we use is our Brand Snapshot but we also draw on a wealth of knowledge and experience gained from tackling similar challenges for our diverse client base. Some of this can easily be applied to the projects we do for you.
What if I need services beyond what you do in-house?
To address these needs, we’ve built a network of the best specialty, creative and production talent available: locally, regionally, nationally and globally. These pros have low overhead or streamlined rate structures that we pass on directly to you without any markups or added fees.
Using a method sometimes referred to as the Hollywood Model, we tap our network of creative partners to select the best talent for each project. Just the way a director casts actors and other talent for a film. Once the movie is completed, the crew disperses. For the next project, the director can choose to call them back or assemble an entirely new cast.
Do I need to sign a long-term contract?
No. You only pay for services you need, for the period you need them. What’s more, you can gear our involvement-level to coincide with your growing needs. If you’re like most companies, you may have a more intense need for our services during the early stages of our relationship. Once Brandscapes has done most of the groundwork and has set a strategic direction, it’s often feasible to scale us back to a maintenance or retainer level and we’ll continue to bring our expertise to the picture.
How would we begin working together?
You'd use our contact form to send us some basic information like your name, phone and email. We’ll contact you to set up a face-to-face meeting, if feasible or a phone/video conference.
We’ll use the introductory meeting to learn more about your needs and challenges. After the meeting, we’ll develop a custom proposal for you, outlining what we believe to be your greatest needs, opportunities and challenges.
This is all prior to you entering any sort of hiring agreement.
Do you handle creative initiatives such as website and brochure design?
While we’re strategists at heart and certainly not your typical “advertising or design” firm, we address our clients’ needs for high-quality creative. Unlike agencies with in-house creative, we’re not limited to whoever’s on staff. Brandscapes can source and manage the right talent for your project, no matter where that person happens to reside. Through our global network of top-level freelancers, Brandscapes has the benefit of access to exceptional talent with reasonable pricing. As a result, we provide you with superior creative which you may not have had access to or been able to afford.
How would you describe the Brandscapes culture?
If you love two-hour lunches at expensive restaurants and meetings on the golf course, you should google some larger marketing firms. Brandscapes would rather put together practical ways for you to market smarter in a more conservative setting.
We’re creative geeks on a mission. We’re thought leaders, not salesmen. Listeners, not talkers. Savers, not spenders. Focused, fun, approachable and passionate.
Sure, we love golf and long lunches — but not on your dime.
What if I don’t need you year round?
That’s fine. The beauty of our outsourcing model is flexibility.
Who are your partners?
The best and brightest pros in the business. Each small business or freelancer that we assemble for our team has been hand selected. In nearly all cases, they are themselves working lean, without the expenses and overhead large companies bear. You get a streamlined rate structure, talent, experience, and earnest commitment – with no Brandscapes markup for their expertise.
Why would I work with Brandscapes?
Working with Brandscapes could immediately impact your bottom line. If your business is hampered by stale creative or your marketing efforts conflict with your brand’s persona we can help.
Every day, companies operating without the guidance of an experienced marketing director lose out on opportunities to their competitors
Read our case studies, browse through our partial client list and review our creative portfolio. We get results.
Is it easy to work with Brandscapes?
We’re battle-tested branding professionals. We can work one-on-one with the owner(s) or top decision makers in your company to put together an airtight strategy. We can integrate easily with your business and even work in tandem with your advertising agency or creative team—if you already have one.
We can bring in a fresh set of eyes to pinpoint problem areas with your current branding strategy or audit your current materials and put a new strategy in place.
Sometimes a CEO or business owner has trouble visualizing how a timeshare, or work-for-hire, branding team can work with their organization. However, once we’re engaged and the ideas start to churn that feeling goes away.
Our initial, no cost, meeting will integrate with our Brand Snapshot.
What should I look for in my marketing team's leaders?
Look for people who thrive on response and take up your challenges. Look for people who are always looking forward. Look for people who recognize that their contribution is on the basis of what’s happening to your business and its market. Unfortunately, they don’t teach risk-taking in business school. They teach risk-aversion. A great creative marketing team who has your bottom line and reputation in mind will show you how to take an effective risk to make your brand achieve.
How do I refer a business partner or client to Brandscapes?
Many small businesses frequently recommend us to clients. Who wouldn’t? Brandscapes can easily come in and help streamline your branding efforts for a fraction of the cost it takes to hire full-time staff.
We’ll meet in-person with those interested in making a referral and we take the time to get to know each referral on an individual basis to determine if our services fit their needs. This process insures that any referral is the right fit and produces the most favorable results for everyone involved.
Why haven’t you answered all my questions?
If we haven't covered your question here send us a note and ask. We’ll contact you with an answer and add it to our FAQ database.