We were approached by a photography studio that was interested in creating a digital post production house from the ground up.
We understood that in order for this retouching team to stand out in an inundated market of creative post producers and artists we needed to find a niche that would help Smooch attract and retain clients.
The execution was divided into two main categories: External and Internal.
External would be brand identity and development to help them understand who they are, their message and their targets and goals.
Internal would be production set-up, workflow and the creation and application of all in-house operations.
PHASE 1: EXTERNAL
In order to help launch Smooch into the very competitive creative advertising markets we initiated building blocks for communicating Smooch's brand identity. These blocks began with a series of questions:
WHO IS SMOOCH:
-WHAT IS THEIR FOCUS?
-WHAT DO THEY STAND FOR?
-WHAT ARE THEIR VALUES?
-HOW DO THEY STAND APART?
IDENTITY: We created a niche of brand values for Smooch that is easily defined by their story; it's about affection. We brought back the warmth and excitement of the creative process. Smooch defines itself through the curiosity and enthusiasm that comes with discovery. No drama, no stress. This leaves them more room to be open, kind and detail-oriented. Their brand stands for being in love with collaboration and the art that results from it.
We researched Smooch's target client,
based on Smooch's unique characteristics:
Prefers relationship quality to social status
Casual friendliness vs. formality
View photoraphy as a passionate way to express and view the world
Retouching Reputation is based on efficiency, organization and acumen
Associations are based on friendships and esteem, not aloofness.
We established that the ideal customers for Smooch were those involved in LIFESTYLE advertising:
The Fine Artists
PHASE 2: INTERNAL
We created the company's entire infrastructure with a focus on positive, encouraging growth and employee collaboration.
We stepped into various roles to help fully develop each area of the company:
Consultation and project managements of all photographic and digital workflow, including company vision, direction and strategy.
Creating and maintaining a positive work environmentto ensure maximum production, including job amalysys, recruiting, orientating, training, managing wages and providing incentives.
Oversaw and managed all aspects of production, including staffing, deadlines, worklfow, specs and asset management.
Point of contact for all advertising and editorial clients; vendors, freelancer and production staff.
Quoted and managed budgets, negotiated fees, created estimates and tracked job costs.
Specialized in all aspects of high end fashion/beauty and still life retouching with an emphasis on quality, consistency and creative problem solving.
Relayed instructions, schedules and client specs to staff for all deliverables.
Presented retouching rounds and delivered final artwork.
Produced multiple assignments simultaneously via a custom-made workflow focused on client satisfaction and empoloyee collaboration.
In order to help Smooch transition on it's own we also set up a training program for all staff.
We screened, trained and maintained a team of freelance retouchers into company workflow and standards....
We pitched new business to prospective clients by creating individually tailored portfolios/pdfs, email promos and personalized client gifts.
Every year we paid special attention to a Smooch holiday card that allowed us to show the client how grateful we were for our work relationship and, send a personal message that we appreciated them as a creative individual.
We initialized and implemented a calibrated and certified CMYK GMG proofing systems specializing in SWOP, GraCoL and fine art printing...
We built ongoing relationships through our specially tailored branding strategy and our infallible internal expansion. Smooch continues to successfully grow and evolve as a result of the strong foundation we provided them.
The proof is in the pudding...take a look!