Author Archives: Jacqueline Spicer

The True Value of Relationships

Young Women Travel Together Concept


My parents always taught me to value my relationships, to treat others as I would like to be treated, and to never burn my bridges – that great big world is actually pretty small when you get working in it for awhile.

I’ve been blessed by the results of that sound advice with close bonds with my kids and parents, incredible friendships and truly great clients – some of whom have remained with Ink Tank for more than 25 years – and many who, over a short or long time, have become friends as well. My parents’ advice is both a lesson for life and a lesson for business. It applies to both the clients and suppliers I choose to work with, and also to the advice I give my clients to help them think differently about their businesses and understand how to authentically present their brands.

In our approaches to our friends and family we are (hopefully) transparent, genuine and have their best interests at heart. Our good intentions and integrity are obvious, and they respond in kind. It seems to me to be simple logic that we treat our clients and staff in the same way to achieve similar outcomes.

Yet sadly it’s often not the case. We’re approached by clients because they’re feeling ‘stuck’. They may be losing market share, not growing as they think they should, or not getting the responses they expect. They blame it on the market, on the digital age, on rising competition, on fickle customers, on staff not doing their jobs, or on design that’s bad, ineffective or not ‘creative’ enough. As a result, they might wish to throw their entire ‘brand’ out the window and start over. Many designers, marketers and so-called branding experts will jump all over this as an opportunity for large billings and a chance to put their own stamp on the client. It’s usually a bad idea – more focused on the supplier’s than the client’s best interests.

All of this tells me that they don’t really understand what branding is to begin with. They don’t understand their own brand and certainly don’t understand the relationship their brand has with the marketplace. They’ve thrown the basic tenets of a good relationship out the window – not necessarily deliberately – but by trying to be someone they’re not, talking versus listening, and often in the wrong relationships to begin with.

Everyone wants to feel valued. They want to know that you care about what they care about, and care about them – genuinely. That communication is a two-way street. That you’re confident in who you are and don’t try to be something you’re not. That you listen as well as talk. No one wants to be around people (or businesses) that are all about themselves or that do things to appear caring, but in fact are not. They want the real deal.

While this seems simple, many companies are too close to what they do to see it and themselves clearly. For well-established firms, they’re often stuck in old ways of seeing themselves. In the case of start-ups, they may be carried away by their great idea, or be too money-conscious to get the proper help. In both cases they tend to completely misunderstand what branding is. They underestimate the need for, time involved and cost of researching, defining and positioning their company, product or service, building their brand and creating the right communications strategy. Same goes for developing the name and corporate identity that has available domains, avoids language faux pas and is unique enough to meet the requirements of a trademark. And finally, to effectively target their marketing so they can attract the right relationships in the first place, then sell them and maintain them in the second.

There’s an old adage that often comes up in some form or another: “If you build it, they will come.” The fact is, the notion is only true in this competitive, highly communicative economy if that truly applies to your relationships, not just to what you’re selling.

Ink Tank® is a full service boutique agency located in Toronto. We offer a wide range of business building communication services from strategy to concept to execution to production to evaluation, senior level only participation and highly competitive rates. We work in all on and off line media, and pride ourselves on being able to hit the ground running, and getting it right the first time.

Digital Marketers: Redefining Branding for Themselves

It seems that ever since digital marketing became a force in the universe, marketers who work in that realm have worked hard at redefining branding to suit their vested interests.

Many of these marketers have little experience in traditional branding and are reflective (in my opinion) of a pendulum swung disproportionately in one direction. A plethora of ‘online marketing experts’ are trying (and succeeding) in convincing businesses to invest significant time, money and intellectual capital in a broad capture that sweeps up just about anyone passing through, then justify the cost with their ‘engagement’ numbers.

The true meaning and power of branding has been lost in the chase. And, unless your content is developed by a someone who truly understands your brand, your brand and marketing strategies, and who can also write well, engage and resonate with your specific audiences (and know the differences), and understand which combination of communication tools are right for you business and how to effectively use them, you could very well waste your money, dilute your hard-earned efforts, and end up with a ‘hollow’ brand – one with little substance to support it – or a brand that does not reflect your business.

There’s obviously a place for engagement and content-based marketing – it’s a necessary part of the marketing mix. But it’s just that – a part – one of many tools in the communications toolbox, each with a specific job and a supporting role. (It goes along with the misguided thinking that a logo, a website and a brochure is branding versus an identity and communication tools – but that’s for another conversation). Placing the bulk of your marketing budget in a single ill-defined tool is not going to build and sustain your brand.

And it’s frequently not the most effective tool. Content writers are the puppy mills of the marketing world. They often know little about brand strategy, differentiation, or the competitive sphere of the client. In trying to maximize engagement with a broad reach, businesses are often not actually engaging in an authentic and sustainable way directly with either the audiences who purchase or influence the purchase of their products and services. The fact is, their results are not what they’re made out to be and the lead-time to achieve any ROI of value is long, arduous and hard to gain back.

Sales, marketing and branding are intrinsically entwined. Too often, however, businesses make the mistake of confusing the flow. Many companies, particularly B2B, get caught up in sales driving marketing, or confusing the two, and brand is misunderstood and thus overlooked. Many of them feel that sales got them where they are and so, “Why change?” Others, particularly start-ups and growing businesses opt to have marketing drive their brand. Such is the case with digital content. Brand needs to drive marketing, which in turn will drive sales. And ensuring that your brand isn’t lost in all of that requires ongoing central management. Without it, designers, content people, web developers, PR folks and everyone else – none of whom really understand brand – put their own stamp and spin on what they’re doing, or regurgitate the same information, and you’re left wondering how you could have invested so much for so little.

Branding is tricky business. It requires experience and expertise to define, build and manage. It needs substance and focus, and more than just a single communications tool. And the bottom line is that branding is all about your interests and those you care about. Redefining it to suit a business model only helps many digital marketers to help themselves.

Rebranding: You Need to Change Your Own Mindset First

It takes time to change an audience’s mindset about your brand. But the biggest hurdle is changing your own.

I’ve always had the greatest respect – and awe – for brands that can take an everyday product we all take for granted, and turn it on its ear.

Tesla is one of the first that comes to mind. And Dyson – they made vacuums and fans some of the sexiest products on the market and created a whole new category.

Sonnet has caught my attention of late as well. Their brand is completely fresh, innovative and completely unique in the tired insurance sector.

It’s every brander’s dream to get the opportunity to brand or rebrand a product we can flip 180 degrees to change people’s perceptions about a common item. And while we can’t lay claim to any of the aforementioned all-stars, we were given that opportunity recently.

Breaking Through the Commodity Barrier

Let’s face it. Commercial air filters are not something people are going to get too excited about. All buildings have them. They all need to change them regularly. And a filter is a filter, right?

Wrong. And therein lies a big part of the problem. When even the client is convinced their product is a commodity, or can only be viewed in a certain way, they end up stuck in a way of thinking that’s counterproductive to success.

And trying to compete in exactly the same way as everyone else with a product that’s seen as a commodity, and sold as a commodity, is not going to get you anywhere. You end up in a price war with no brand loyalty and a business model that can’t get to where it needs to go.

The 180 Degree View: People Care More About Health Than the Environment When It Comes to ROI.

It took some convincing, but we got our commercial air filter folks to finally realize that. While they’re the only 100% recyclable commercial air filter out there – a unique selling position – the sad news is that businesses and buildings pay lip service to the environment when it comes to their bottom line.

What they do take seriously though is the cost of employees’, tenants’ and users’ health. According to the World Green Council Report, 90% of the cost of any business is its people. And people spend 90% of their time in buildings. The EPA advised that the air quality (IAQ) in those buildings has often been measured to find even more pollutants than outside where soot, smog, dirt, gases, spores, mould and particulates – you name it – abound.

When you add that to a couple of other credible statistics: that 50% of all illnesses are caused or aggravated by poor indoor air quality (The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology) and that Gallup-Healthways, the Conference Board of Canada and others point to $Billions in absenteeism and lost productivity, the issue is worthy of some serious attention – and maybe some pressure brought to bear on property managers and building owners to stop nickel and diming on the air filters in their buildings.

So suddenly a $5 commercial air filter is no longer a commodity – or a dollar or so shouldn’t make it such. Human resource departments: take note!

For our client it was an ‘AHA’ moment – a new way to think. A new way to sell. A new value proposition that makes dollars and sense. And a model for growth.

Commodity-based items are not the only brands stuck in the ‘We’ve always done it this way and so has our industry’ mentality. Manufacturing and professional services share some of the biggest ‘why change?’ mindsets.

Dare to differentiate I say. Go get ‘em Delta M. We’re delighted you trusted us to help you change the world.

BRAND AID: Bringing brand to the forefront for entrepreneurs at HumberLaunch

Despite two hours sleep last night, I was happy to greet a sold out crowd of entrepreneurs at HumberLaunch this morning who were hungry to learn more about branding their business. @humberlaunch
Attendees came from a cross section of businesses at various stages in their development. I spoke with an interior designer, a team builder (a shining symbol of one of the examples used in my presentation), a retailer, and a food manufacturer to name a few. Inspiration abounds! And so does the typical confusion about brand and its place in the business and marketing mix.
Everyone seemed engaged, and I hope they were. The comments thus far have been positive, although I was misquoted on a couple of very important points – easily corrected. Q&A lasted well beyond the allotted time. The line up afterward was lengthy and I ran out of cards, so it would seem to be a success.
And for me, it was. If I can bring brand to the forefront for these entrepreneurs, it will save them time, money, frustration and discouragement and help them to build an enduring brand that resonates with everyone.
brand aid

The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of Direct Mail

There are some conspiracy buffs who hypothesize that the new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) has an underlying purpose. Normally we would not give any credence to conspiracy theories, but in this instance it makes sense.

The theory is that while on the surface, CASL purports to be aimed at cleaning up mass emails that clutter up everyone’s inbox, it’s a subtle attempt to move business back into something we’ve always known as direct marketing.

In the days before emails and SPAM, direct marketing (as opposed to unaddressed direct mail) was considered to be one of the more effective means of both business to consumer and business to business communications. Imagine a package addressed to a real person being placed right on their desk or in their home mail box.

The creativity that powered these pieces was, in many cases, both innovative and alluring. The depth of sale that these pieces where capable of generating was prodigious to say the least. The recipient was told a whole story. Not just a tantalizing lead in with all the added effort of clicking a read more or clicking through to a landing page or download.

When well done, it was beautiful. It was elegant. And considering the response that could be generated from a well designed and well written direct mail piece, it was an excellent value from a cost perspective as well.

The SPAM Revolution

As email marketing took hold, and the SPAM revolution began, digital marketers did quite a job in convincing advertisers that this was the new way to go. While it saved clients a considerable amount of printing and postage, it permanently altered the advertising/marketing landscape, putting printers, list brokers and fulfillment houses, not to mention Canada Post in a great deal of financial pain.

The adverse effect this had on many sectors of Canadian Business, coupled with the incredible onslaught of unwanted emails from an email marketing industry that was still trying to develop into something measurable, were, as the conspiracy purports, the principle ingredients in the decision to launch an all encompassing anti-spam legislation.

Conspiracy theory or not, effective July 1, 2014 Canadian business has been propelled back in time to the ‘pre-email’ environment. If you think hard for a moment or two about the risks of being reported for non-compliant mass emailing – by a disenamoured client, disgruntled employee or disreputable competitor – all of a sudden, tools with measurable results quotients start to look very appealing.

This Is Where We Come In.

People who create digital communications, by and large, have little experience with, nor any in-depth knowledge of how to put a great direct mail program together.

At Ink Tank, our experience in the area of direct mail is both deep and broad. We are experienced strategists and award-winning creative thinkers and doers in all media, both on and off line. But our grounding and the media we have the most experience in is in direct marketing, advertising and corporate communications, of which direct mail has always played an important part.

Email databases in every sector of Canadian business have been decimated by CASL. They will be rebuilt again, but no one knows how long that will really take. In the interim, tools like direct mail and conventional media advertising are quickly taking on a renewed importance.

And companies like ours are suddenly finding that our depth of experience in offline media is experiencing a re-birth of interest. Our online experience is just icing on the cake.

If your company is currently grappling with the issues of marketing outside the mass email realm, we should talk. Our expertise in the direct marketing area will help you keep your business alive and kicking through this crisis and far beyond.

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

one new shoe and one worn out shoe

One day, not long ago, I was having coffee with a friend. He is an account manager of sorts and deals with a lot of larger companies, many of whom are serviced by big ad agencies, design and marketing firms. He had worked at pretty much every level of the marketing, advertising and production business and had accumulated a wide variety of skills and insight.

We talked about a lot of things, as we usually do, and at a certain point the conversation got around to the differences between large agencies and small agencies in today’s business world. His observations had pretty much convinced him that the future of marketing, with the exception of companines in the top 10% in terms of size, reach and value as a client, was trending towards smaller ’boutique’ style firms.

Having all come from the big agency business ourselves once upon a time, I was really quite interested in what he had to say. And how, of course, that would affect things here at Ink Tank.

Life in the Twenty-First Century – Marketing Wise

His opinion is that large agencies and creative firms will continue to exist and the best ones will thrive, however with the global business landscape becoming increasingly more entrepreneurial, the prospects for those large agencies with hefty fees, heavy skews toward strategic development, slow turnaround times and large markups for outsourced services will, or in fact, have already narrowed considerably. Conversely, the opportunities for small, affordable, nimble and highly experienced smaller firms will broaden significantly.

The simple reason for this, according to my friend, is all about value. An entrepreneurial client values his or her relationships to a much greater extent than a big corporation does. They like the accountability and transparency that relationships with smaller firms engender. And they know that smaller firms, especially those who have been around for awhile, tend to be made up of individuals with a) much higher levels of experience, b) the ability to strategize, conceptualize and execute in a much more fluid fasion, c) a proven outsource supplier base with the same kind of DNA as they have, and d) the willingness to embrace client opinions much more openly, as opposed to the ‘us v. them’ mentality that still exists in many large creative and marketing firms.

The conversation with my friend resonated with what I’ve felt was true for quite some time. The world is a much different place than it was even a decade ago. The Internet has created a mixed bag of new media, some of which have yet to be fully proven and not all of which are right for all businesses. It has also created a number of new challenges for clients and business planners alike, all revolving around basic strategic and creative issues.

Many large agencies, studios and marketing firms today are filled to the brim with people who have grown up with a distinct bias towards digital media – a natural tendency as digital has been the bulk of their life and business experience. And like all biases, they tend to see only their own value and ignore or de-value other ways of doing things. Sadly, these big firm creative and marketing people are disadvantaged to a great extent because they have had very little in the way of mentoring: the people who could have mentored them, by and large, didn’t stay around to do that. They went off with their knowledge and experience and grew along with the digital age.

Old School and New School

This is pretty much our story here at Ink Tank. We all held senior positions in the advertising and design business. But instead of hanging around and passing ourselves off as gurus of one kind or another, we decided to keep working – our way – and adding new skills and experience. Because that was where the joy for us is derived.

Having worked in the communications business both pre and post-digital age has equipped us with a level of insight into both how these things have changed and how they’ve stayed the same. And at the end of the day, the strategic insight and experience, the creative development process and the need for high calibre execution remain constant.

What’s changed are really only the tools. And of course, our own levels of knowledge, experience and expertise, which are constantly deepening and expanding.

Small is the New Big

smallisgood
There was a time when giant advertising agencies, marketing and design firms roamed the earth consuming everything in their path. Pumping out campaign after campaign, turning unknown brands into household words, providing extra income to actors and athletes whom they chose as spokespersons, spending millions on commercials and ads and millions more on media to plaster their clients’ messages everywhere.

It was a time of plenty, with big budgets, consumers and clients who spent lavishly and agency personnel who were breaking new ground every day. Those were the days indeed, when a big part of a client’s status was measured by the size of firm they could afford to give their business to.

But alas, all good things must come to an end. And while a few big companies still feel the need of big agency status, and can actually pay enough to get senior talent on their accounts, those agencies are going out kicking and screaming–the age of the behemoth ad agency/studio/marketing firm is slowly showing signs of shrinkage.

Self-Inflicted Wounds

Back in the late 1980s and early 90s, big changes took place in the big agency world. Many people who had made these companies rich and famous were being jettisoned for younger, less costly staff. The jettisoned creative people didn’t really mind because their training didn’t just equip them for independence, it also gave them the confidence that they could pull it off.

But the one mistake that many of them vowed never to repeat was that of growing so large they lost the ability to be hands-on on their clients’ businesses. Or the ability to cut through the bureaucracy and really make a difference. Because the clients themselves were changing too–becoming more entrepreneurial and bottom line conscious and appreciative of the ability to get bigger results from a smaller firm for less money.

At our small firm, we all started in the independent sector on our own terms and this is very much the environment in which we were formed. I suppose you could call us a boutique strategic design and communications firm, but we are decidedly much more than that. The combination of strategic, creative and production skills that each of our principals possesses means that we can offer anything those big firms can–but in a smaller, more efficient, more experienced and most importantly, more value-added, results-oriented package.

Our other advantages are that we’ve been around for 29 years and we’re all under one roof. That’s a plus because in this economy, many firms are justifiably skeptical of individuals or loose groups–a direction many of those jettisoned creative and marketing types have taken. Clients never know if the team players will be around for the whole campaign, or the next one. These days, stability and continuity are as important as talent and experience.

Small Can Be a Big Advantage

Regardless of what service industry you’re in, big firms will always have their place. However most businesses today, particularly SMEs, are better served by an agile firm who can and do:
a) Develop smart strategies and put their plans into action;
b) Provide sound, senior-only advice and real conversations without being constantly on the clock;
c) Deliver powerful ideas and world class execution;
d) Recognize that relationships matter.

Ink Tank clients tend to think a lot like us. The could be small startup businesses, or bigger businesses wishing to rebrand themselves or get a new initiative off the ground without mortgaging their future to do so. Or they could be big companies who need well thought out strategies and outstanding execution of their initiatives and communication tools at greater speeds and more cost effectively than bigger firms can deliver. And maybe with just a little more creativity.

Our client base includes many start up, big and really big firms like these, as well as business and management consultants who trust us to build on and faithfully execute the plans they have devised for their clients.

Regardless of how big your firm is, getting to know a small firm like ours could end up being the key to people getting to know you and your clients.

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Ink Tank® is a ‘boutique’ design and communications firm without extravagance, politics or ego, but there is nothing ‘small’ about our talent levels, discipline and experience. We offer senior- level only participation, deep experience and proven successes across an extremely wide range of b2b, b2c, government and not-for-profit categories. Ink Tank is the ideal partner to launch a new product or service, brand or re-focus an existing brand, or get communications tools, advertising, packaging, promotions, displays and other marketing efforts working the way they should.

Protecting Your Brand: The Uphill Battle Of Keeping Your Eyes On Your Fries

There are all kinds of ways to tread on someone else’s brand–knowingly or not. From ‘borrowing’ to parody to outright trademark infringement, between tight budgets and new media, it’s becoming an increasingly big problem.

One of the things that one learns very quickly in the creative and communications business is that there is relatively little in the way of innovative thinking. You hear the expression ‘that’s been done to death’ a lot, usually in the same speech as you hear the words, “Make it feel like Apple,” or Telus, or Nike or Pepsi–or that other law firm. “We want to look like (read ‘be’) them.”

When branding and communications experts hear this, we cringe. Because everybody knows that the easiest way to work your way out of a problem (as an employee with a boss or two to deal with, or a consultant with too many people making decisions) is to do exactly what you are told.

So what happens is that a lot of advertisers, designers, web people, “branders” and small business start-ups invariably end up ‘borrowing’ a look, style, idea or an approach from something famous (or competitive), twisting it around a bit and making it their own. The really desperate and unscrupulous types (and we have all known a few) will actually just lift the idea and put their client’s logo on it.

They call it homage or free commerce. But basically it’s just taking a great idea that someone else carefully thought through, invested in and sweated over–and repurposing it, because they don’t have one of their own. Or because it’s faster, easier, or cheaper to produce. But it’s also a form of stealing, albeit one that has historically been difficult to enforce, mainly because of the ‘grey area” in which transgressions like this reside. And, in point of fact, people with similar strategies to deal with will sometimes use a similar process to come up with ideas that are very much alike.

Good Parody v. Bad v. Questionable

Parody–borrowing inspiration from an existing brand or idea to make a point–is a whole other ballgame. True parody (authentically spoofing a brand, film, person or campaign) is a good thing and is often used to great effect to get into the heads of consumers. Great brands are iconic. Equally great parodies of them can help them gain customer-driven insight, awareness and market share and bring otherwise overlooked societal and cultural issues important positive attention.

Unfortunately, a lot of great and funny ideas for parodies are not so great. There are a lot of important things to take into account before posting or printing or broadcasting something based on someone else’s brand. What is a great idea is to make sure that you and the people you hire have a handle on them.

One of the most ‘ripped off’ advertising campaigns recently is the famous Dos Equis “The Most Interesting Man In The World” campaign. The style has been parodied and mimicked in dozens of different ways and for several completely different products or services. Intellectual property infringement, or homage? Tough call. https://www.youtube.com/user/dosequisbeer

To compound the problem, parody is no longer just the realm of professionals. Anyone with a (subjective) sense of humour can jump on the parody bandwagon and play it forward. Let’s face it: if we think something’s funny, we pass it on–and the Internet does what it does well. But the concept of going ‘viral’ is a double-edged sword. Bad parody, laziness, ill-intent or do companies just not care or not notice? A lot comes down to intent. When parody starts to have a negative impact on a brand, it ceases to be funny and starts to become bad for business.

Plain old infringement

There was a time when once a brand or organization name was trademarked, the owners of the trademark could feel relatively secure that their intellectual property was not going to be hijacked or otherwise used, or misused, without their permission.

But times have changed. And the very equity that these brands have worked so hard to build over the years can easily be diluted by companies and individuals who take the easy way out, and/or who (knowingly or unknowingly) abuse the brand using what’s often the anonymous veil of the Internet.

This hits close to home. We have encountered companies stomping all over our own registered trademarks, with Ink Tank® trademark challenges from businesses ranging from a local design firm (who pride themselves on their due diligence), to a worldwide manufacturer, an American cartoonist and now a new cloud-computing firm in the U.S.  They all thought Ink Tank was a great name. So it is–it’s why we’ve used it for 29 years.

This brings us to a whole other issue of due diligence when creating a name, corporate identity or concept for a product, process or organization. It also says a great deal about the sad state of affairs out in the business world where respect for brands as intellectual property seems to be eroding at an alarming pace.

Keeping the Wolves at Bay

There will always be issues with the ‘borrowers’, the lazy, the unscrupulous and the unprofessional creating challenges for your brand. And with new media they are more prevalent today than ever before. Staying on top of them is, in a lot of cases, the real uphill work. But it’s work that needs to be done if you are to maintain the integrity of your brand and not have it eroded by people would use your equity for their own gain.

So how do you protect yourself? Start early and start right. Early consultation with a great IP lawyer is a smart step. And a smart IP lawyer will advise you to hire

a firm that actually understands branding and corporate identity and the differences is a good start; one that really knows the meaning of due diligence and cares about it. One that gets that humour has boundaries. One that understands that there are distinct differences between patents, trademarks, registered trademarks and corporate registrations and the boundaries they work in. And one that can ensure your communications tools are not only building your brand, but protecting its integrity and trademark too.

Finding Good Value: Invest In People Not Processes

Like any investment in services, when you hire a strategic communications firm, the intrinsic value that will be realized has more to do with the relationship between the company you choose and your company. And this is really all about people, experience and chemistry. Certainly costs play a role here, because there are as many companies that charge very high rates as those who charge unbelievably low rates. And then, of course, there are those in between. We fall into this category – believing in value for service and measurable value for the client.

Clients who have the attitude that creative development and execution are nothing more than commodities, fall into the category of ‘price shoppers’. And while some are more enlightened in their approach than others, at the end of the day for them, it will always come down to price. And they will invariably, as was stated previously, get what they pay for.

But the clients who treat their communications services as investments in people and experience will do so on the basis of chemistry first. That’s because these clients understand that to get the very best out of their chosen suppliers, it’s important to establish a true working partnership based on mutual respect and trust, like any partnership in life.

Clients who work this way generally have a solid intuitive understanding of the creative process and why things cost what they do. They will understand:

A) That good creative people are thinking all the time and that  they are, more often than not, getting the benefit of many more  hours than those which are actually being billed.

B)  That good creative people always do their best work for clients they feel are appreciative of their efforts – regardless of  budget.

C) That like all professionals they like to see their skills and expertise achieve the best possible results. This can only happen  when there is mutual respect, teaming with the client and when everyone is able to do what they do best.

D)  That good strategic creative people are fanatical about making sure their clients’ businesses are healthy and growing .

Chemistry Vs Cost

The most important part of ‘getting what you pay for’ has to do with what your perception of what good value represents.

It also has to do with the understanding that, while technology has improved the way in which creative is developed, it has not really affected the processes of developing a good strategy and creating ideas that solidly support that strategy. These are people processes and they tend to form the basis of how we estimate costs for our work.

At The Ink Tank we pride ourselves on a number of things but highest among them is our ability to partner effectively and beneficially with our clients. Because nothing we know of has more of a positive impact on the cost issue than the success factor that great work and great relationships can generate.