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Branding Experiences

Mitch Dowell
Designer Stats
Rank: #45
Points Earned: 671
Member Level: Silver
Contracts Won: 18
Member Since: 2010
Point Of Rocks, MD 21777 USA

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How long have you been with your company?

I founded Branding Experiences in late 2008 but didn't formally put it into swing full-time until mid-2010. It's been a great ride so far, and I've formed some very valuable client relationships here at DQ that I wouldn't have otherwise been exposed to.


What web browser do you use?

I use them all, because in this line of work, you have to. Currently, Google Chrome is getting a lot of mileage here, but I have to drift between 4 or 5 different browsers on a daily and weekly basis for design and testing purposes.


What social media do you use for work and play? Do you have a favorite?

Yes. Branding Experiences uses both Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/brandingexperiences) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/brandxp). At the moment, the Facebook page is more portfolio and testimonial-driven, whereas Twitter is more conversational. They both have different cultures and I enjoy connecting with new people in both environments.


What is your favorite thing about the type of work you do?

Perhaps the most favorite thing I find about what I do is seeing the emotional shift from clients, from the moment they first come to you with their marketing and design challenges, to the day of their project launch. There is an exciting emotional shift that takes place. When people and their brands LOOK good, they tend to FEEL good about themselves. And when they feel good, they tend to PERFORM BETTER. And from there, great things can happen in the world of business. Visual design and branding exist to strike an emotional response from an audience and move them to take a variety of actions - to buy a product, subscribe to a service, register for an event, donate funds, or to spread the word. And when a client displays a new found excitement about their brand, it really is exciting to see.


What advice would you give to someone looking to get into the web design field?

Design is a great career field for personalities who naturally like to question things, and who like to take risks and push the envelope. Great design knows how to emotionally connect with an audience and move them to take an action, while staying on message and on strategy. Design may look "easy" from the outside-looking-in, but it actually demands a lot of strategic thinking and problem-solving. Its hard work that will mentally and emotionally challenge you in ways you will not expect - and in ways that the client or their audience will never see. And that is the sacrifice that you will make for your clients each and every day. Be prepared to work long and hard at times and push yourself into the unknown at the project level. Its an incredibly rewarding profession, but its not a cakewalk. And if you're a passionate personality, you will not want it any other way!


What do you see as the most prominent emerging technology?

There are so many different browsers, devices and monitor resolutions in the web world, it really IS amazing what designers are able to pull off every day - all for the sake of creating and maintaining influential branding experiences. There are so many emerging technologies on the playing field today, it really is difficult to put the finger on just one. Obviously mobile design & development is the talk of today, but its only a matter of time before the winds shift again. These really are exciting times, even if in a head-spinning way.


What advice would you give a client in order to prepare for a new project?

Keep an open and humble mind. In a sense, you're paying a designer to do a lot of thinking for you - both strategically and creatively. Clients and designers can often feed off each other, and therefore designers can really be the Trump Card of all of your business relationships. After all, their work is the first thing a target audience sees, so its a relationship worth investing in. Bring them the problem, not the solution. They will work together with you to find and develop that perfect solution, and you can churn out some great work together!


Do you use a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) or any type of project management or proposal software?

Yes, we currently use a cloud-based CRM system which seamlessly integrates into our online invoicing system. Our clients love our online invoicing and payment system and we are grateful for every bit of it. From an technical/administrative point of view, it is the backbone of our client relationships.


Do you have a minimum budget for a new client?

Although we have standard pricing for many services that we offer, we do not have a "minimum budget" for a new client. Every new client comes with their own unique challenges and objectives and it is imperative that we hear those out before budget is even discussed - not the other way around.


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