You’ve no doubt seen websites for run-of-the-mill recruiting agencies, with their boring and impersonal stock photos of office workers and skyscrapers. Lucas Group deserved better — much better. They’re the premier executive search firm in the country, and it was time for their website to look the part.
First step: Win their heart
Lucas Group’s business is matching the right talent to the right job, so you can bet they knew exactly what they wanted in an agency — creativity, experience, passion. They accepted proposals from some of the biggest firms in the country, but they indicated that one thing stood out about ours: We took the time to understand them and their needs.
In fact, we customized our entire proposal, including creating an original design that reflected the unique needs of the recruiting industry. Lucas Group figured — rightly — that our detailed proposal was a signal of the care we’d take with them every step of the way.
Next: Work with, not against
A lot of agencies get bogged down in the creative process, and a battle of wills, and egos, develops between the agencies and their customers. Frankly, it gives us chills just thinking about it, which is why we take a different approach: We open our creative process for iterative reviews, and we listen — really listen — to what our clients say.
After looking at initial comps from the three designers we had working on the project, Lucas Group said they wanted their website design and logo to feel a little more personal. No problem. But not too johnny-come-lately either. Got it. It needed to be traditional but not stuffy. Uh-huh. Sophisticated, approachable, reflective of the three industries they focus on. Check, check and check.
It took a few rounds — or, OK, more than a few. But that’s how we like it. We thrive on the back and forth, the conversations and revisions that enable us to build lasting relationships and ensure we’re giving our clients exactly what they want.
End with: The handoff
On the one hand you have production agencies that build websites but don’t design them, and on the other you have massive agencies that do the designing but outsource the building. We fall somewhere in the middle — the scrappy firm with the experience and skills to do both.
In this case, Lucas Group only needed us for web design, but our technical expertise still came in handy because it enabled us to design a site that would then be easy for them to build. In fact, Lucas Group was able to flow our website design into one content management service initially, and then into a more robust CMS a few months later — all without a hitch.
In a funny twist to the story, we actually helped Lucas Group hire the developer who later built their site. Again, it helped that we have deep technical as well as creative know-how.
The bottom line
Lucas Group now has a website and logo that are as impressive as they are. After years of focusing on running their business (not branding it), they were able to catch up with the competition and leapfrog them, all in one fell swoop.
As for us, we like to think this project shows off three of our best traits — we go the extra mile (the custom-made proposal), we listen (open, iterative creative process), and we have that rare right-brain-left-brain combination that means we can handle front-end and back-end branding and design efforts with equal aplomb.
Come to think of it, working hard, listening and knowing your stuff sound like pretty basic qualities. But as this project shows, those simple traits often make the difference between routine results and a project you can show off with real pride.