Tag Archives: Clients

Happy Holidays from the Horse & Cart family!

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We wish you a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year from the Horse & Cart family!

It’s been a fun and eventful year for us at Horse & Cart and we thought what better way to express it than that with a mash up of miscellany.

With no intention of dipping into that dangerous territory called “year in review”, we thought we’d highlight a few. It would be a big year for any company that started with one name, in one office, moved and rebranded. Fortunately, our infrastructure largely constitutes laptop-on-a-table-and-a-chair. We’re also a branding company, so reinventing ourselves as Horse & Cart was squarely in our wheel house. We love this client (Horse & Cart) btw, and they seem to have nothing but glowing things to say!

With the big stuff in play we also had a parade of challenges big, small and enormous including our very first US network TV ad. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, (and it’s the very soul and spirit of Horse & Cart), is that it’s our extended team of colleagues and clients that make the magic happen. None of it would be possible without you, and we tip our hats, hoist our glasses and raise a cheer to you for a fantastic year.

As we look forward to 2015, we hope you all enjoy a warm, wonderful and restful holiday with the people who matter most, and take some time to appreciate yourselves and all your hard work and success.

As a small token of our thanks to everyone in our growing network of clients and partners, we give you this bit of one page love and a little link to our light and lovely holiday card “mini year in review”. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

All the best in 2015!

– The Horse & Cart Family

This year, “say it with socks”

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William is not an Artist, nor a stylist but by watching him, he grabs your attention. Everyone is seduced by his charm. They are impressed by his confidence.

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 10.42.36 AMA few months ago Brendan and I attended UX Camp Ottawa. On the first day we met two incredible designers and entrepreneurs, Francois Boisvert and Sylvain St-Germain, founders of Socks by William. Organizers of the event had commissioned Socks by William to produce custom socks for the event to be gifted to each attendee. They had also set up a booth at the event where they were showcasing their collections.

As luck would have it, Brendan and I had the opportunity to share food and drink with the “men behind the socks” at a funky wood clad bistro-brasserie in Vieux Hull called Gainsbourg. After a few drinks and a few prefunctory “Sock, Sock jokes“,  Francois and Sylvain invited us to share our ideas on how we might help them take their business to the next level. The rest is, as they say…history in the making!

Objective:

Pop up shop December 11th at Java U on Rue McGill.

Pop up shop December 11th at Java U on Rue McGill.

Working in collaboration with our two “Socksperts” our initial mandate was a complete look and feel re-fresh of their Shopify site geared specifically to hit Black Friday and close our 2014 in style. Our Black Friday / Holiday campaign was all about increasing engagement online and off. While working in paraleel on physical and social channels we did deep POS market testing at a lovingly designed pop up shop in Old Montreal and invited the influencer, fashion bloggers and host of prominent sock fans.

 

Challenge:

The challenge for our creative team was to create a visual story different from other sock designers while still adhering to time-honoured industry standards. To start things off, we needed to take Francois’ and Sylvians’ initial inspirations for the ten designs and further develop them into concise but compelling stories. As you’ll see on the site, and beyond the sheer beauty of the designs are the prominent artists behind them and story they tell through their choices of patterns and colour.  The ever popular Tour de France is a great example:

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We designed a series of these graphics (In French and English) for Facebook and Instagram.

In order to accomplish this task we needed to get super creative and then a little bit more. All told, the H&C team spent triple digit hours in the boardroom cultivating and developing ideas.

The next big challenge came with the online shopping experience. We knew we wanted to do something different. We decided to create a continuously scrolling story that drew the user through the – pardon the pun – thread of the collection. With custom photography and a complete content re-fresh, we were able to successfully engage with the consumer through beautifully designed experience of beautifully designed products. And it seemed our work paid off. Within the first week of our launch of the campaign, three of the ten designs were sold out.

Moving into 2015, Socks by William has tasked us to expand their retail program, design new stories around each collection and continue to help grow their online community.

Technology:

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 9.29.39 AMWe custom designed and coded a responsive multilingual Shopify theme using original design concepts, photography, and content.

Check it out and tell us what you think.

Delivering the kind of giving experience that we as donors would like to see

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Giving is all about how you feel and the team at Horse & Cart truly encapsulated this and brought it to life. – Jason Dominique, Founder & CEO

At the beginning of this summer, founder and CEO Jason Dominique was ready to create a brand identity and website for his new charity and non-profit platform Ensemble. While Ensemble does not seek to change the way that people donate to charities, it does want to change the way we find causes to donate to.

Objective

To build a brand expression for the company that would breathe life into Ensemble’s marketing materials and website. Once that was completed, our mandate was to roll out the style guide online by building Ensemble a beautiful website that would enable visitors to donate easily to their favourite causes.

Challenge

The challenge for our strategists and designers was to develop a hyper streamlined new way to donate online without actually changing the donation process. This meant keeping it  easy to use for any type of user, while maintaining a high level of trust and security. Read more about this project with the Ensemble case study.

ensemble mobileTechnology

We developed the site using ThemeFortress’s WordPress Reverie theme built on ZURB’s lightweight Foundation framework. Thinking mobile first, we ensured that the site is fully responsive for the ultimate experience on any device or screen. Taking Reverie to the next level we integrated a ton of custom features for end-user management.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Personalized Treatment Options With Dr. Nikolis

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My philosophy revolves around providing my patients with the best possible result.  – Dr. Andreas Nikolis

facilities-bgA few months ago, Jeff Hart partner at Victoria Park, reached out to us to help him build an online brand for renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Andreas Nikolis who has a treatment centre at Victoria Park.

With this project we had the opportunity to build the good doctor’s brand from the ground up: identity, story, design, photography, etc., and put some of our new team member’s skills to the test. One of the best parts of this project for us was having almost total creative control over the design of the website that included an on-site shoot to creative direct the photography for the site – and the results speak for themselves! If you subscribe to our newsletter you’ll be familiar with this month’s issue where we discussed the importance of good photography. Images that are custom-tailored to a web experience will be worth a thousand more words than stock.

When we collaborate with our clients to produce custom stock for web, print, or any experience, the story is far more beautiful and intriguing. With Dr. Nikolis we were lucky to have this opportunity.

Objective:

Working in collaboration with Jeff Hart, Leisha MacDonald (Marketing Director at Victoria Park) and Dr. Andreas Nikolis, we were tasked with building Dr. Nikolis a modern and interactive Web site consistent with his  brand identity with strong SEO and client engagement. In the words of Dr. Nikolis “Make it modern and reflective of the caring and high quality of services we offer”.

Challenge:

The challenge for our creative team was to create a visual story from the ground up that was different from every other treatment center or medispa. We needed to ensure that it was clear that they deliver highly personalized treatments. We also had to ensure there was a level education on the topic(s) to build trust with potential clients. We knew we wanted to incorporate big, bold imagery, custom photography, and modern typography to help tell this story.

Technology:

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 12.11.13 PMWe developed the site using ThemeFortress’s WordPress Reverie theme built on ZURB’s lightweight Foundation framework. Thinking mobile first, we ensured that the site is fully responsive for the ultimate experience on any device or screen. Taking Reverie to the next level we integrated a ton of custom features for end-user management.

Check it out and tell us what you think.

Find Your Fit with U.N.I. Training Montreal

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No matter your fitness level, whatever your goal, let your fitness needs become your fitness advantage.

facility_1_fullA few months ago Chris Ince, president and owner, of U.N.I. Training Montreal contacted us about helping him re-fresh his current (at the time) website to better tell his “gym”s unique story. U.N.I. is not your run of the mill gym, their unique philosophy and beautiful facilities demanded something better. We didn’t want to just build another “gym” website, we wanted to create something for Chris that truly illustrated the expertise of his staff, their fitness philosophy, and showcased their inspiring facilities.

Objective:

Working in collaboration with president and owner Chris Ince we were tasked with designing, developing, and copywriting a new web portal for U.N.I. Training Montreal. The goal was to build something as unique as their story and help them find new members.

Challenge:

The challenge for our creative team was to create a visual story different from other fitness centers online, but still adhere to industry standards without confusing potential clients. We needed to ensure that their message of fitness was clear. We knew we wanted big, bold imagery of their facilities to help tell this story accompanied by a brand story that still resonates with fitness goers.

Technology:

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 9.11.10 PMWe developed the site using ThemeFortress’s WordPress Reverie theme built on ZURB’s lightweight Foundation framework. Thinking mobile first, we ensured that the site is fully responsive for the ultimate experience on any device or screen. Taking Reverie to the next level we integrated a ton of custom features for end-user management.

Check it out and tell us what you think.

The “Grumpy” Poet – Should Your Clients be Happy 100% of the Time?

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Nobody likes shitty service, but if the meal is incredible, that’s what really matters!

-Chef Ramsay

Love him or hate him, he’s got a point! Just so we’re clear, Ramsay isn’t excusing shitty service. Nobody (intentionally) wants to provide slow or unfriendly service in a restaurant but sometimes it happens. As long as you strive to meet the end goal – a quality meal – the customer will be happy. Think about it for a second. We’ve all been to restaurants where the service may have been slow, the waiter/waitress wasn’t that friendly, but we had a great meal.

“How was the new Italian place on the corner”

“The service was slow, but the food is great”

So what does this have to do with clients in our industry? 

We have a motto, maybe you’ve seen it, KEEP MARKETING FUN. What does that mean? Simple, we believe marketing is most successful when the experience (collaboratively) is fun for you (client) and us. As a service provider we are responsible for more than just a quality deliverable, we’re also responsible for providing a quality experience – customer service should always be priority number 1!

Easier said than done! Every service provider (I hope) wants to keep their clients happy by providing both a quality deliverable and experience. But it’s a two way street. We have a system in place and we (believe) manage our clients well, considering we’ve not lost a client or project in over 2 years for bad service. But, that doesn’t mean our clients are happy 100% of the time. It’s just not possible. Egos, emotions, and irrelevant preferences will always exist in every project. It’s our job as service providers to find a diplomatic way to handle each situation.

It’s all about trust!

Most agencies gauge customer satisfaction based on happiness. That’s wrong. It’s easy to do what you’re told: make a logo bigger, change the button colour, re-write a press release, etc. This does not lead to happiness. In fact, clients are not after happiness. It’s a quality deliverable they want. If you make verbatim changes you’re only band-aiding the situation with temporary happiness and not long term success.

A good team (agency) provides feedback. Makes recommendations. Provides alternative solutions. Proves a case with data and long term outcomes. A client isn’t paying for a yes man/woman – they want a team they can trust – after all we’re the experts… right?

Listen to your clients and let them know that you will think through each suggestion and come up with a solution that makes sense. Never promise 100%. Promise you will provide what is best for the product and deliver a quality that will meet your clients customers expectations.

Not every client trusts blindly. It’s ok if they get upset once a and while, after all clients are still human 🙂 But, if you deliver a product of quality that benefits their business – they will be satisfied. You will need to earn their trust one task at at time. Be patient. Always remind the client and yourself why you are doing this.

By constantly bringing things back to the quality of the product, most clients will prefer to see things your way. They will see that you are on their side. They will see a great product in the works.

Big Story Little Heroes – The Worlds Largest Live Team Adventure on Facebook!

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Bring your inner hero to life and battle it out with your friends on Facebook.

A hero is born! Warriors, wizards, priests, archers – your epic adventure begins as you build your hero. What powers, special skills and style will you bring to your character and brigade? From fireballs and freezing spells to a rain of poisoned arrows, the little heroes in this big story can do it all. Here’s your chance to get your hero on.

What more could you want? We were pretty excited when the founders of Vandal Games, Thanh, Vince and Van, walked into our offices seeking marketing help with their super popular Facebook game Big Story Little Heroes.

The gamer in me couldn’t resist, I had to, no wait, I needed to be a part of this project at some capacity and luckily for me they were equally excited to have Brendan & Brendan aid in their marketing efforts.

The objective:

We had many objectives with this project. Initially we were contracted to help them build their marketing strategy which included advertising, social, pr, etc. Very quickly the project morphed into something greater. Not only were we tasked with the above we also did their web copy and designed and developed their new website for the game.

The challenge:

Other than timing, the only real challenge was being able to ensure that our web copy and design lived up to the awesomeness of Big Story Little Heroes!

Technology:

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 3.32.42 PMWe developed the site using ZURB’s lightweight Foundation framework. Thinking mobile first, we ensured that the site is fully responsive for the ultimate experience on any device or screen. Taking Foundation to the next level we built the site in Saas and added a layer of animation to add to the user experience – after all it is a gaming site!

Check it out and tell us what you think?