Create Brand NV is a full-service integrated marketing communications firm with bilingual capabilities (En/Sp) founded in November 2010. We specialize in Annual Marketing Plan Development, Media Planning and Buying (traditional and digital media), Graphic Design, Copy Writing, Social Media Services, Press Release writing and distribution, Full-Service Direct Mail services, providing guaranteed targeted mailing lists and acting as a printer broker to offer high quality, deeply discounted, printing services exclusively to our design/copy clients as added value.
But there’s more to us.
Years ago, we lost an account. In explaining how we botched the pitch, I’ll tell you what makes Create Brand NV a different kind of agency. This happened several years ago. To set the scene, imagine my team members meeting in Sarasota. We’re unloading our laptop and projector from the trunk of our cars, psyched to pitch the great campaign we created. We’d heard that our Request for Proposal (RFP) submission earned perfect scores, so our blood was flowing and our senses were sharp. We felt very confident about the second round of the proposal process, an in-person presentation. We had a lot of reasons to feel emboldened. As we were greeted by the front door, the main decision-maker told us our spec creative absolutely blew her team out of the water.
After a successful presentation, during Q&A’s, a member of the committee casually asked about our office set-up. Being the transparent person that I am, I explained how we abandoned the traditional brick and mortar agency model years ago. I outlined the benefits of our work-from-home structure with confidence. Half of the panel “totally got it” and the other half frowned and shook their heads. We lost the account as a result of that single detail.
After hearing the news, one of my team members called me and gave me an earful. “You didn’t have to tell them how we worked behind the scenes!”
“I did,” I insisted. “I am very proud of what we are doing. This is better than the old way.”
Over the last decade, Create Brand NV (formerly known as NV Advertising) has created amazing campaigns for our clients and generated results that make me flush with pride. It’s the talent—not the office—that makes our work top-notch. After coming to that realization, I sent everyone to work from home and reallocated the overhead dollars to what matters most: our team members – the talent that comes up with all the great ideas!
Without question, our team members are our most valuable resource. When I’m looking to hire, I search the entire United States for the right creative person to join our team. I’m not limited to my own backyard. In this way, I ensure that the agency has no gaps and that we’re able to handle anything a client throws at us with the BEST talent leading the way in solving our client’s biggest problems in a collaborative, teamwork-driven environment.
With a focus on our team members being our most valuable asset, we’re able to attract better talent. And to combat the loneliness that often accompanies work-from-home setups and because of my years of experience working for large corporations, I set out to reboot traditional company culture and create something better.
This is how we deliver a sustainable “dream opportunity” to our team members (our most valuable resource):
Remote collaboration tools allow us to record our internal conversations and most of our meetings. We’re able to review what our clients said and what we said to one another, something that rarely happens in face-to-face settings. These resources improve our accuracy (and efficiency) in everything we do and virtually eliminate office drama, allowing us to take responsibility and keep moving forward for our clients.
We work with lots of stay-at-home parents. Not only do we do great work for our clients as a team, but we also help support families. We enable moms and dads to be present and nurturing to their kids, while they continue to work and maintain a high quality of life. I’m proud that Create Brand NV offers a work-from-home solution so that parents with the right skills and experience can truly can “have it all.” The clients that support us are also helping to make this happen.
I explained the Create Brand NV business model to a CEO Mastermind group a few years ago and the moderator said, “Wow, that sounds incredible. I just don’t feel comfortable trusting people to do their jobs unless they’re in my office. I admire that you can manage all those people remotely.” The thing is, I don’t manage them. I hire the right person, then I empower them with guidelines, team members to collaborate with, and deadlines and then I let them govern themselves. It’s taken us years to refine the “tells” of a good hire and we still make mistakes; but, overall, we now get it right 95% of the time.
A CULTURE OF TEAMWORK
We operate as equals working towards a common goal. Our culture is palpable. It’s in the respectful way we address each other, the kind words we use to give each other feedback, and how we respond when things don’t go our way. We don’t criticize each other’s work, we “elevate” each other’s work. We celebrate the approval of a media plan and wish each other well before heading off on holiday break. Even though we live across the country from one another, our team members build such rich relationships from working together on multiple Create Brand NV client accounts that I’ve seen them make plans to meet in-person. It’s collaboration at its finest and, ultimately, it benefits the client. We’ll move mountains to deliver high-quality work for our clients, together. I look at what we’ve delivered for our clients and I know we’ve created a better model.
As a Create Brand NV client, you can count on:
Because of our set up, we’re not a good option for interns or entry-level talent. That means that clients that hire us know they’re getting top-level pros. Few things trump years of real-world experience and the maturity that only comes with time. This allows us to deliver higher performing work for our clients and mature client/agency interactions. I’ve seen way too many other agencies charge top dollar for work that is later performed by an immature intern who later has trouble handling client feedback. With us, you get the seasoned professionals you need to forge ahead at the pace you need to win.
NO NICKLE AND DIMING
While we factor in the time it takes to perform certain tasks when creating estimates for clients, that’s not our only consideration. After gaining a thorough understanding of the task at hand, we develop fixed project quotes and we stick to our commitment unless the scope of work truly changes dramatically. You will never be told that an important project wasn’t completed because there weren’t enough hours in your contract and you won’t be billed extra because a meeting went long. It’s nice to ditch the hourly rate burden and stick to budgets, isn’t it?!
I’ve seen our people working at 11 p.m., after putting their kids to bed, or at 5 a.m. because that’s when they feel the most productive. Our folks work from home offices, airports, cafes, the beach, and lake houses. I’ve seen military wives travel the world and continue to meet their responsibilities with perfection, despite conflicting time zones, waking up before sunrise to take an important client meeting. We pretty much work 24/7 to meet our client’s needs and deadlines.
By embracing innovation, we always aim to deliver the best results for our clients. We’re not stuck in old ways or invested in old technology. We’re nimble, responsive and very modern. For that reason, and so many more, clients have trusted us with their projects, media plans, creative needs, marketing automation and marketing strategies for over ten years.
I can’t predict the future, but I can tell you what I envision: We’ll continue to attract top talent to our vertical teams of marketing specialists to delivery mastery-level work for our client’s needs. We’ll continue to innovate and improve with new knowledge and tools that make us better partners for our clients. We’ll continue advocating for our client’s best interests and finding the best value for their needs. We’ll continue to take pride in our work. We’ll continue to generate massive wins for ourselves and for our clients’ businesses.
Our mission is to become our client’s most trusted partner for all branding, marketing, and advertising related needs.
We may have lost a client or two in the past because we were way ahead of our time, but 2020 is almost here and – hey, we’ve already been doing this for ten years! It feels great to be well-positioned for the future.
Nicole Valentin Alicea, Founder // Together, let’s Create Brand NV