The most popular questions we get asked


Why are you different from other branding agencies?

The measure of a studio and creative partner is a blend of many facets. Rival is a small creative that has always focused on business-to-consumer relationships—never business-to-business. So we have decades of experience in understanding how to "talk" consumer branding on behalf of our clients. We think that's important. We also have a lot of experience working with clients in the food and outdoor industries. This kind of specialization can be critical for clients in those spaces. We have a tremendous amount of experience with developing brands so they are stronger and in a newer place than they were when they came to us. While we're good at keeping a brand on its current course, we’re especially good at changing its course for the better. Deciding if those differences are meaningful is really up to you. We know that for most of our clients, our particular skill set is what they were exactly looking for. So that's why they chose us. What's important to you?

Can a small studio be as effective as large studio?

If you think you need a big agency because big makes you feel more secure, or because you associate huge budgets with great work, then there's not much we can say to persuade you otherwise. We've worked with a lot of large companies that feel differently and choose us based on that. We believe the quality of our work can match that of larger agencies. You'll have to make that judgement for yourself. We know that we hit the sweet-spot for many businesses.  

Is the branding process hard?

The short answer is yes. But “hard” may not be the best word to describe the branding process. It can be long, thought provoking, detailed, cathartic, confusing, bewildering, astounding, refreshing…are you getting the idea? It's not the same process for any two businesses. If you come to the table with all the answers for our questions, it might be relatively easy. But even then, we won't necessarily take your answers at face value. We’ll still investigate what you’re telling us. Conversely, if the work to be done on your brand is along the lines of a 180˚, then yes, it may be a lot of important work that you should be ready for.

What are your typical timelines?

We are generally pretty quick from an efficiency standpoint—especially if a client is ready to hunker down and get things done. But we never cut corners just to speed a project along. Amazingly, many prospective clients come to us loving our work but then want us to take half the time we propose we need to get it done. Our timelines account for working at a "best practices" pace, but can fall on the leaner side. A brand identity project can take 3-4 months. If that brand is preparing for a launch at a tradeshow and needs the full gamut of support assets, expect a timeline of 9-12 months. The more information we have about your needs the more accurate we can be with a timeline. So, contact us, give us the scoop, and we'll do our best to put together a timeline that works for you.

Do you offer startup packages?

We don't have any packages that bundle up a set amount of designed assets for a set price. New businesses come in all shapes and sizes, and needs can be equally as wide-ranging. We understand the business side of starting a new venture, and we consider the value a client requires from us in order develop a "value price structure" if the fit is right. Some clients will need the full breadth and depth of our skill set, some will not. Some clients will require that their brand succeed in national or international markets, while some will exist only locally. We aren't the cheapest studio nor the most expensive. But we believe we are a very good value.

Can I hire you for on-going work?

Absolutely. We’ve had many relationships that are simply project-by-project, but with an emphasis on maintaining or strengthening the brand as we go. We call that brand stewardship. In cases like this, we generally want to know how the brand is doing so we can understand how to strengthen it in little leaps and bounds, or how to keep it steady and true. We view the work done in this type of relationship as being just as important as if we had created the brand ourselves.  

Do you ever work ProBono?

We do for a very select few, and with very well managed expectations regarding the nature of the relationship and the involvement we can support. We have worked ProBono for Girls on the Run Vermont, Habitat for Humanity, and Common Roots Farm-to-School program to name a few.