Last fall, someone asked me, “What drives you crazy about your industry?”

I didn’t even have to think about my answer: quality and time to market.

Quality in the creative industry is subjective and it’s all over the place. And as much as quality refers to the final deliverable, it also refers to the skill of the agency (us) to listen to and hear the client (you), build a relationship based on mutual trust, and manage the project successfully over time.

And speaking of time… did you know fewer than a third of all projects are successfully completed on time and on budget?

This stat matters. A lot.

Any project that is over budget and past schedule presents an opportunity cost for the business, especially for the small business owner. Instead of spending time on other important matters, like getting the word out and closing a sale, a business owner finds herself caught up in a project that’s off track. The initial thrill of initiating a new project for both the client and the agency wanes from the minutiae of too many rounds of reviews, too many meetings, and too much time to get something out there that helps a business meet its goals. If you’ve experienced a brand or web project that’s gone awry, you know exactly what I’m talking about—it takes on a life of its own. And it becomes a drain on time, money and energy. Not fun.

On the HBR Ideacast, Michael Mankins of Bain & Company calls this drain organizational drag. Likening it to a tax, Bain says we can’t make people wealthier by lowering their tax. We can only help them keep more of what they have. Instead, we need to increase productive powers by managing talent (and energy) more effectively. Talent is critical as it allows us to get much more done in much less time. If you are trying to grow faster, you need to unleash the power of your talent.

I didn’t know it at the time, but these concepts of organizational drag and unleashing talent were the premise of Roger That’s solution to the issues of quality and time to market. What I did know though is we could do something about them both. So we did.

At the end of last year, we designed the Brand Sprint™and then beta tested it with Bridge Meadows. Despite holidays and Portland snow days, we successfully rebooted their brand and launched them a new website in six weeks.

While we love what Bridge Meadows has to say about their new site—“It’s Beautiful. Smart. Fast. Sticky. Easy to digest and to navigate. Represents us so very well.”—we are most excited about the traction they are already seeing.

A national news outlet (hint: one under fire from our current administration) contacted them about a feature article on intergenerational living. They said while researching the topic, Bridge Meadow’s website caught their attention. (We can't wait for this article to come out!)

The Portable COO blog featured Bridge Meadows on their blog and here's what they had to say:

“Your website is so impressive in how it conveys the mission, programs and meaning of Bridge Meadows that we decided to use it as an example of one way potential board members can learn about an organization and decide whether it’s a good fit for them to help.”

We've also sprinted with Hillsboro Downtown Partnership (1-week verbal brand sprint) the Center for Evidence-based Policy (3-week website sprint) and ParlorGig (6-week brand + job board). Guess what? It works! It's possible to work fast and deliver high-quality work.

So why do I think you should sprint your brand, whether with us or someone else? Because you can’t afford not to. With our 3-week Brand Sprint™ , which is perfect for most of our clients, you can expect to invest 10-15 hours of your time over the length of the project. That’s it. Spread out the same project over 3 to 6 months and you can expect to spend 50+ hours to get the same results. What else could you and should you be spending your time (and money) on?

More importantly, your customer is looking for you. Right now. Are you making the right impression? Or is your brand and website repelling the very client you want to serve?

Written by Jennifer Ruwart, Agency Director