naam. name. tên. ime. nome.
We started Studio Naam about 5 years ago, first as a graphic design studio, we've now shifted our abilities mostly to the digital (dark) side of life. You know, branding, websites and other digital things. We love it and considering you’re reading this, you might too.
Our name is as basic as it gets, it’s Naam, which translates to ‘name’ in English. We chose it because it sounded memorable at first and kept it because it reminded us of the power of good branding. Something as simple as a recognizable combination of letters that has a completely new meaning with the right intent.
Over the course of the years we’ve been through a lot of changes and now we are on the verge of breaking out of all the comfort zones we know.
We’re hiring new people, investing in new equipment, knowledge and workflows, etc. We’re giving it our all to be able to create valuable digital products, and to subscribe to all those video streaming services without feeling guilty.
So, what am I talking about? Might be time to get to the point here. We thought it would be good to write about our workflow and the value we create for those who don’t know who we are and what we do, or those that just want to know more. It’s all good, everyone is welcome to read this. It all boils down to a ‘how and what do we do’.
Almost every client we work with is either a referral from a previous client (thank you, we will send you cake and alcohol if you make yourself known) or they’ve encountered our work or process via different channels (we love you too, don’t worry, cake and alcohol all round — limited supply only ? ). This is in essence where it starts. A potential client / new best friend reaches out to us and we answer the phone or mail in return. We are friendly, don’t worry.
Now, you might be thinking: “That’s pretty much the same everywhere, right?”. And that’s true. Nothing special so far. The good stuff is coming.
In the initial contact we’ll send you a list of questions that helps us find out where we can be of most value. Your answers will tell us where to start researching and help us prepare for the first meeting and proposal. It’s like a dating site profile. We both need to know if we’re up for kids later on, otherwise it might ‘put a spoke in the wheel’ as the Dutch would say.
These are the questions*:
Can you tell us about you and your project in a few sentences?
What’s the time-frame? Does a certain event influence the launch-date?
What are you looking for from us? Do you want us to design, build, and launch the whole product? Or do you have other partners lined up and only require our design skills?
Have you already started a part of the project? Is there any existing work or sketches to take into consideration?
Which one of our projects or other agency’s work do you particularly like?
How large is your team? What are the roles you envision on your end?
How much money have you set aside for this project?
Are you talking to others about this project? Might we ask how many?
Anything else that we should know about?
That’s basically it. It’s a great start to get to know each other and the project at hand. If you have any questions for us, please feel free to send ‘em our way. We’re more than happy to help!
We find ourselves a cozy place with good coffee (our office has both) and have at it. First we’ll talk about the usuals. What we do, what you do, etc. Then we’ll get to the real deal, the problem(s) or goals (there doesn’t always have to be a problem, sometimes it’s all about anticipating for the future).
We promise to listen carefully to get to the heart of it. Much like a doctor, we need to hear the symptoms, in order to start our research in the right direction. Then we will start asking a lot of questions about your company’s goals, reasons, etc. If you have analytics to back it up, great. If not, don’t worry.
During the meeting we will look into possible solutions. This may vary all the way from a website to a new campaign or content strategy. We provide full service, which means we do it all.
When the meeting is over — we try to keep ‘em short and to the point — we’ll shake hands and promise a detailed proposal.
Money is important. It makes the world turn, well, you know what I mean. It makes sure we can pay for our employees and they can in turn feed their families and pay for their homes. In return you get a product that has a lot of potential at bringing in more money than it will ever cost. This is the value we create for both of us, and that’s why we do what we do.
It’s great if you’re open to sharing the amount of money you want to invest. We will look at your problem and tell you if the investment is sufficient for the proposed solution. If not, we’ll look at other angles. If the amount is more than sufficient, we’ll also let you know. That’s nice of us, don’tcha think? It’s important to know that we don’t do half-assed work, we aim to deliver the best possible solution and that means we have to be honest at all times. Starting with the money talk.
In order to be as transparent as possible. We provide our clients with 3 different scenarios, based on different values. Remember the questions we did before? They help us find out what you value most. Maybe it’s reaching a new, younger audience through a smart responsive website, maybe it’s having us on call 24/7, maybe it’s implementing features that save you lots of time in the future. We aim to create value, not deliverables. Deliverables are tools, values are goals. Goals will grow your business.
I think I could write a book on this if you’d give me the chance. So for now I’ve written all of this down in a separate article. Specially for you, I’ve made a small summary:
Every project starts with a good talk, a value-based proposal and thorough research. From there on we start making and prototyping. We might also jump back to research and check if our makings are still on point. At all times we iterate and communicate with our clients. No big surprises and reveals, but a collaborative process with small teams and productive steps.
1- Let’s do some thinking
Together we’ll research your brand, its competitors and its consumers to identify key values. This is the foundation of the new product and how we define your brand’s goals.
2- Then we start making
We translate your key values into prototypes, wireframes and sketches to create brand communication with character, that’s funded by strategic choices and testable on the go.
3- Collaboration and iteration
Big reveals are soooo 2005. We work in constant communication with our clients in an agile workflow. Our small teams make for quick decisions, keeping the process iterative, fluid and effective.
The process described above is not linear. Stages and phases might vary in sequence. Sometimes we get a great new insight in the design phase that might require additional research. Sometimes we have to rethink a statement from the research phase, for example due to test-results of a prototype. This flexibility helps to create products that actually help you to achieve your goals.
Read full article here (coming soon)
We also like to call this ‘in the digital age you’re never really done’ part. And it’s true. Having a great digital product, is like having a really nice new car. It needs upkeep. It needs to be maintained to keep it working properly and safely. Every once in awhile it needs a textual update to keep Google interested, etc.
We provide two different kinds of aftercare services:
The first one is the service contract. Sounds very heavy. But it isn’t, I promise. It’s simply a piece of paper that says we will maintain your website and keep it safe, updated, solve any existing plug-in issues, or even host it for you.
The second one is a ticket-system. Great for small changes and extra features without going through the whole quotation process again. It’s flexible and transparent.
We are always looking for new projects, so feel free to holler at us. We will reply, quickly and swiftly. Our client manager (your new best friend) Bart will contact you as soon as possible. He will walk you through the process and address any questions regarding your potential project.
In the coming months I’ll be writing some more ‘workflow’ articles. Next one up I’ll chat about our services and how they are constantly changing.