bianco studio

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Start the conversation

Start the conversation

Start the conversation

Start the conversation

Start the conversation

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Frequently asked questions

You have a right to as much information as possible about how we think and work ahead of any decision you might make. If we both work hard at making sure it’s a great fit, we’ll both be happier:
What size are the firms you work with?
We have performed most paid services, for organizations with 1-120 people. Our firm is built on knowing the differences and unique challenges between firms of different sizes. A two person organization will have different recommendations than an organization with sixty.
Before engaging you, would it make sense to first fix some things that I know need to be done?
In some cases it would, particularly if there are no questions about what needs to be done. Where we'd strongly urge you to hire us first would be in areas like brand strategy, positioning and staffing, as decisions you make there are more difficult to reverse. From there you can decide how involved we are in the implementation. Our design team is at your disposal, or our strategy team is available to answer significant questions your internal team might have. We can even talk about augmenting our staff.

A lot of organizations' problems start when the principal makes short-term decisions thinking that there will not be unintended consequences. You've made all kinds of compromises not realizing that you're throwing away the long-term viability of the company. We will help correct this, but don't make the same mistake twice.
Do you have references we can contact?
No. Don't misunderstand us, for there are very good reasons for this.

  • Our clients have not signed up to give you advice, and that’s usually what happens. So they’ll be on the phone giving you an outline of the great solution that worked for them, in effect consulting you, and there’s no mechanism for payment. Or even any assurance that what worked for them is applicable to you.
  • There have been a few cases of abuse. Firstly, some prospects would send out the exact same email to all the references, asking them each more than a dozen questions. Why should a non-paid reference bother? Secondly, they’ve had an assistant do the calling. If you don’t have the time to check us out yourself, we won’t be a good fit.
  • In many cases the work we have done for a client is confidential, as our work with you will be. There are about a dozen testimonials scattered through the site, though, and you might be able to chase some of them down!
  • The M/A practice, in particular, is not only very proprietary, but connecting former clients would reveal some of our very best contacts within the buyer community, and that’s not something we can expose for competititve reasons.
Can we meet in person first? This is a big decision and I'd like to get a feel for how'd we work together.
We won’t work hard to make this happen because it requires time that we could’ve been spending in our work for clients (instead of prospecting). We will be glad to spend time answering questions by phone or email to give you a comfort level with how we'll approach working for you. This site also contains lots of valuable (and free) material that will provide insight into how we think.

It is also worth noting here that we do not do unpaid RFP's. Proposals exceeding one page require insight gathering, creative thinking and problem solving that is unique to your situation. This diagnostic process is time consuming and would be akin to you working with us and doing it for free devalues our thinking. If you need a proposal because your bylaws state you need multiple bids, then tell us up front that you know who you want to work with already and just need to fulfill the requirement. We will happily send a one-page proposal with a number on it. If something more is required, be aware that this comes with some level of engagement.
Can you further explain what the relationship would be like?
Our work is not a cure-all. What clients appreciate the most, though, is a outside perspective on how they are really doing, or how to accomplish something without reinventing the wheel. They realize that change is still dependent on them, but they want to be steered in the right direction based on what's successful for other clients. We will never know as much about the organization as you do, but we will likely know more about your firm and the gaming industry on the whole, better than any other design consultancy you've worked with.

The process is codified, but the solutions are not formulaic. On one hand, we are not very likely to see something new in each engagement, but we've seen hundreds of different elements. What’s unique is not the elements themselves, but how clients have combined them into their own unique form of dysfunction! So your situation will require a unique answer, which is sort of like pulling just a few—but the correct—tools from a very large toolkit.

what other important things should i know before i contact you?
We're in it for the long haul. We're a business partner, not a project shop. We work with your team at the highest levels to deliver strategic thinking, charming creative & extraordinary business value.

  • We engage with a limited number of clients due to the depth and commitment of our relationships. We only work with ten ongoing clients and one client per product/service category.
  • We look for an annual budget between $50,000-300,000 in agency fees, with most clients spending between $150,000 - $210,000.
  • Our minimum initial engagement is $10,000. We’re open to starting with a test project to judge chemistry and fit. If we’re successful, we’d expect to keep you on as a client at the previously stated annual budget range.
  • We do not charge by the hour, we charge a fee for our services that aligns with the value of the problem our thinking solves, and is agreed upon in advance.
  • We work with you if have a defined Mission and Vision or agree to work on one with us.
  • We always establish mutually defined key performance indicators (KPI’s).
I’m not ready to hire you yet. How can I stay in touch and keep up with what you are doing and offering?
The best way is to sign up for our free, regular, content-rich emails at one of the forms scattered all over the site.
Can you cross out any confidential portions and then show me sample recommendations/design solutions?
No.

It guts the essence of the of the recommendations. It's giving away our work.

And if this is important, you may be too skeptical to benefit from a client relationship. We'd recommend that you read everything that interests you here to get a feel for how we think and work with clients and then just go with your gut.

If you decide that we are not a fit, we're still glad for you to benefit as much as possible from the information here.