On The Record Series | Rachel Larkin, Creative Director


Pictured (above): Rachel Larkin, Creative Director at W. BRADFORD


Tell us a little about yourself.

RL: I’m the Creative Director for W. BRADFORD, and I lead the creative process for brands and clientele who wish to challenge the standards of their industry through visual communication.

How did you get into design?

RL: Growing up I was drawing and painting all the time, and I had a teacher in high school who encouraged me to pursue an education in art. I was accepted into a fine art college in Portland, Maine, where I lived for a year with plans to become a goldsmith.  It became apparent to me that I didn’t want to be restricted to solely create beautiful objects, but rather I wanted to solve problems on a larger scale.

So I took a bold risk and moved to Los Angeles, where I pursued Product Design at Otis College of Art and Design with a scholarship and a suitcase at 19 years old. It wasn’t really a typical college experience.  I spent many late nights in the wood shop, early mornings welding furniture, 3D rendering electronics, or building models of packaging designs. 

I’m reminded each day of how grateful I am for having the opportunity to receive a quality education at a top design school. Furthermore, I couldn’t have done it without the countless sacrifices from my parents and family— I owe so much of my success to them.

Meeting those goals and others was not easy and required a focus on the broader requirements for achieving them, while also requiring me to train an awareness of which boxes need to be checked off on a daily basis to stay on track. Meeting such ambitious goals also took a relentless and almost always exhausting commitment that spanned a long period of time. Without the ability to muster the inner strength to rise to such commitments and not lose heart when others gave up, I would certainly not have many of the milestones I’ve enjoyed thus far in my life and career.

What were your first work experiences post graduating?

RL: Immediately graduating Otis, I was very fortunate to be accepted as an intern with Karim Rashid in his New York City studio. He’s globally known as one of the most prolific designers of our generation, and Time Magazine has named him “One of the most famous industrial designers of the Americas”. I worked on projects on a global scale at a very young age under the guidance of tremendously talented designers. I was on his branding and identity team and assisted the industrial design team as needed. It was a very serious, high pressure environment, with extreme attention to detail and originality expected at all times. It was a valuable moment for me as a young designer, and really shaped my expectation levels for my own work and any work that is tied to W. BRADFORD’s reputation.

How would you describe W. BRADFORD?

RL: W. BRADFORD is synonymous with luxury. Our number one priority is to offer our clients the most bespoke and premium services that cater to their needs. Our clientele is very diverse, and we strongly believe that each account is unique to their own identity and roots. The key differentiator between W. BRADFORD and other luxury marketing agencies is that we aren’t afraid to push the envelope with customers. We will present ideas that are outside of their comfort zones. We will offer wild cards and totally unexpected ideas. At that point, it’s really up to the client whether they are ready to transform their brand.

What is your design philosophy?

RL: My design philosophy is that every lesson is an opportunity to hone in on your technique, and consistently challenge to redefine yourself and your approach. That might include becoming more time/cost efficient, finding inspiration in different ways, or stepping into unknown territories to get a different perspective.

At the end of day, it’s important to understand that every campaign and design is asking for a unique solution to the problem at hand. I think it’s healthy to fail, then get up and try it again. If you’re still not getting it… then be confident enough to ask for help whether you’re entry level or at director level position. I firmly believe that the design community should help raise each other to improve not only the industry, but the world through design collectively.

What does a typical day look like for you?

RL: I try to begin working on the most challenging or time sensitive project as soon as I can. I’m consistently most creative, focused, and energized in the morning. I start the day with a healthy breakfast and a (few) strong espressos so I can maintain my creative flow as long as I can. Afternoons are a mix, sometimes it will be creative and other times it will be more strategy, administrative or scheduling. If I’m working from home I’ll listen to music, I’m currently loving Gioli and Assia (play below), and sometimes Bloomberg News to switch it up. 

I end my day with writing my most important tasks for the next morning in my calendar. If it is something creative or strategic, my brain begins thinking about it on a subconscious level or looking for inspiration on the commute home or maybe a spark comes to me in a random conversation that night. I’ll end my evenings with some type of workout, I need the physical outlet to unwind from the day. I usually cook a late dinner – around 10 or 11 p.m.

What piece of advice would you give to someone who dreams of working in the design industry?

RL: Work as hard as you can. Keep your head down and just keep grinding. Then keep going.

What is your philosophy to achieve success?

RL: Everyone’s definition of success is different. For me, success is defined as happiness.

How would you describe your personal style?

RL: My personal style has definitely transformed between living in New York City and now living Miami. In New York, I wore a ton of black and structured/tailored silhouettes. Between the obvious climate change, I’ve really loved how my closet has transformed into more white, creams, linens, golds and bronze colors. They look equally as sophisticated and feel refreshing for the warmer temperatures.

In terms of my home, I’ve been super inspired since traveling to Mallorca and Morocco (and preparing to move to a new spot within the next month), so it’s in the works to get some love, which I’m really excited about as a personal project. I’ve been ridiculously obsessed with Studio LIFE/STYLE’s work, along with getting ideas from Valldemossa fincas and Riad Azzouz in Marrakech. My apartments have always been very minimal and white, so it’s fun exploring into new territories as my personal style evolves. 

How do you find inspiration?

RL: Like many designers, it comes from a multitude of sources and one can find inspiration everywhere. When I am out in the world, particularly in a new place, my eyes are really wide open and I pay attention to architecture, color, and signage. Interesting forms and silhouettes will grab my eye. I’ve always been really interested in how “time” is defined and measured, so that occasionally comes into my work on a deeper level as well.

What is it like to work for W. BRADFORD?

RL: Where do I start? W. BRADFORD is amazing to work for. It’s a great feeling to wake up everyday and look forward to going into work, and creating things I genuinely care about. Design is highly valued at W. BRADFORD so I’m very fortunate for that as well.

Just as importantly, we have a team of such intelligent, creative and hard working people. We each bring something different to the table: skill sets, backgrounds and experiences – and collectively it all comes together to produce impressive work for our clients. The projects change everyday, so there’s endless variety on the type of things you’ll be working on. We’re always looking for new talent, so I’m looking forward to seeing new faces that will be attracted to our collective model. But most of all, I’m excited to see how the agency transforms within the next year – and many more years after that.


Discovering Creative Inspiration in Cincinnati

When we chose to relocate our central operations to Cincinnati, Ohio, we knew we would want to quickly find the most interesting, inspiring parts of the city to sustain our creativity and sense of wonder. Our favorite finds are below—some perhaps obvious, and others hidden gems.


1 | Eden Park

With a steady stream of concerts, films, and live theater, Eden Park is an obvious choice for engaging one’s creativity. For even further inspiration though, the park is a scene of natural beauty, a respite from the bustle of downtown. 

The lush botanical gardens at Krohn Conservatory are home to an incredible variety of over 3000 plant species, dappled with colorful flowers and unique leaf patterns. Nearby, the Spencer Overlook displays a grand view of the Ohio River and the hills of Kentucky beyond.

With many creatives working in front of a screen all day, spending time in nature can be a unique opportunity to slow down and find creative inspiration with an exploratory eye and a wandering mind.


2 | Cincinnati Art Museum

Nothing inspires artists like other artists. Located within Eden Park is the Cincinnati Art Museum, which displays an impressively diverse collection of work created by artists from around the world, representing thousands of years of art history. From paintings by European masters, like Van Gogh and Monet, to Jordanian sculptures from the 2nd century, there is endless fodder for a hungry creative mind.

Being exposed to a variety of artistic sources is so important, because it provides opportunities to learn new creative perspectives from styles and mediums that are seemingly disconnected. The stroke of Van Gogh’s brush might inspire the curves of typographer’s letterforms, or the shadows on an ancient sculpture might encourage a photographer to explore different methods of lighting in their studio.


3 | The Cinci Book Bus

For a face-to-face experience with a creative mind, visit retired school teacher Melanie Moore and her Book Bus, a 1962 VW Transporter she was inspired to turn into a mobile bookstore. Similarly to the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Book Bus offers an array of literature both new and old, another source of endless inspiration.

But Melanie herself is just as inspiring: she wanted a physical book store, but didn’t want to be tied down to a specific location; as a former teacher, she was also aware of the lack of classroom books in low income areas of Cincinnati. With both of these issues in mind, she created the Cinci Book Bus, which allows her to run a bookstore with freedom to move, and she takes the earned profits to buy books for kids who might not otherwise have access to them. She’s a brilliant example of someone who came up with a creative solution to multiple problems, drawing from her own experiences and looking outward to see how her creativity could positively affect other people.


4 | Cincinnati Music Hall

Built more than 140 years ago, the Cincinnati Music Hall is a piece of architectural heritage in the Victorian Gothic Revival style. As a venue, it hosts a range of artistic expressions, namely symphonic orchestras, choral performances, and ballet. Music is a frequently cited source of creative inspiration, but less obvious inspirations like the movement of ballet can help us consider alternative ways that creativity can manifest.

In addition to the creativity happening inside the building, the Cincinnati Music Hall uses its exterior as a brilliant piece of visual branding. The grand Rose Window serves as an icon for the venue, utilized as a representative symbol on everything from tumbler glasses to Christmas tree ornaments. A closer look at the exterior will reveal ornamental sculptures of various instruments, a subtle way of architecturally communicating on the outside what kind of artistic expression takes place on the inside. These flourishes are a testament to how the power of detailed symbolism can provide long lasting relevance, in this case, even a century and a half later.


5 | The Roebling Suspension Bridge

Another 19th century architectural wonder is the Roebling Suspension Bridge, a structure reaching over the Ohio River to connect the cities of Cincinnati and Covington. Similarly to the Cincinnati Music Hall, the bridge is an example of the timelessness of design, supported both visually and structurally by massive stone towers. In an era where changes in trend occur rapidly, seeing an evergreen design is a welcome reminder to create things with staying power.

Relaxation, exercise, and social interaction are just as important to a productive creative life as the day-to-day work. And while less marvelous than its architectural grandeur, the bridge facilitates pedestrian exploration as one can enjoy the shops, bars, and restaurants from both riverfronts.


6 | Mr. Redlegs Benches

More than just creative inspiration, a true lesson in audience engagement can be learned from the Cincinnati Reds brilliant us of public art: its 24 benches scattered across Cincinnati with a sculpture of mascot Mr. Redlegs inviting their target audience to take a seat. Big corporations often seem cold and distant, but the Reds took their commercial brand and made it personable and friendly. 

This integration of brand and audience doesn’t stop at this interaction. It’s a natural photo opportunity for visitors and residents, who will inevitably share the fun images with their family and friends on Instagram and Facebook. They’ve effectively turned the Cincinnati public into brand ambassadors. This integrates brand and audience; it’s no longer just a corporation communicating to an audience, it’s a an audience becoming a part of the corporation’s voice.


Conclusion

Whether you’re in Cincinnati or any other city in the world, finding local creative inspiration is essential for both creatives and companies. Artists and designers are constantly outputting their own creative vision, but no one creates in a vacuum, so it’s important to be intentional about the creativity being input. Anybody can benefit from an eye-opening artistic experience, but companies in particular benefit from understanding their audience’s surroundings: what kind of visual language they’re seeing, what grabs their attention, and what is meaningful to them.

These are our favorite finds in Cincinnati thus far, but let us know your favorite sources as we continue our exploration of the Queen City.


successful blogs cincinnati

W. BRADFORD Recognized as Top-Performing Agency in Florida

Clutch, a B2B reviews and ratings company in Washington, D.C., has released rankings for the top B2B companies for each of the 50 states. W. BRADFORD is honored to be included in Florida under the category of Advertising and Marketing, ranking in the top-three agencies in the state of Florida.


“We are honored to receive this award from Clutch, because our clients’ reviews of our agency ultimately yielded this recognition. With record results for our clients and growth of our capabilities over the last year, we are sincerely honored to earn a position as one of the top marketing agencies in Miami and Florida overall.”

– Will Sears, President & CEO


Clutch differentiates itself from its competitors by having an in-depth review process before they publish the rating on their website. Clutch analysts perform market research, industry analysis, and most importantly, perform interviews with clients from the company in order to craft an unbiased review of the company.

During the interviews with our clients, Clutch analysts talked with our clients to obtain comprehensive knowledge about our approach to providing solutions to their problems. These interviews are exactly what sets Clutch apart from their competitors and is a major reason that we are so ecstatic that Clutch has included us in this 2019 report. We are grateful to our clients who left glowing comments on our profile, which currently has 5.0 stars out of 5.0 possible stars.

The Manifest is Clutch’s newest sister site, and includes a streamlined view of a company’s information. The Manifest accomplishes this streamlined view of a company by having a company’s size, location, and services provided, all at a quick glance. The Manifest has ranked us in the top-ten best content marketing agencies!

W. BRADFORD is incredibly happy to have been reviewed so highly by Clutch. We appreciate our clients taking the time to be interviewed by Clutch and understand we wouldn’t have received this recognition without them.


About W. BRADFORD

W. BRADFORD is an award-winning digital marketing and branding agency based in Miami, Florida. Through provocative creative, strategic and interactive solutions, the agency serves an international roster of clients across diverse industries and at all stages of business growth — from startup to established enterprise.


On The Record Series | Will Sears, President & CEO

Pictured (above): Aerial view of Harlan, Kentucky, the small mountain town in Appalachia where Will Sears, President & CEO of W. BRADFORD, was born and raised. 

When asked to describe the bold and multifaceted personality of Will Sears, President & CEO of W. BRADFORD, a broad spectrum of words could apply with perfect precision—passionate, relentless, demanding, fiery, empathetic, tough or humorous would not be out of place. Those who have met and worked with Will have likely encountered these traits and many others, all of which Will says he has learned to channel to his benefit based on the scenario at hand.

The difference in how he channels his personality now, compared to his younger years, is greater intention to apply his traits with good intentions, rather than selfish motives—running a business has schooled him in the elusiveness of thinking a person can control what will happen on a given day, no matter how calculated or determined he or she may be.

Now, with his characteristic straightforwardness, Will shares his responses to questions in the agency’s new ‘On The Record’ interview series, covering a wide range of personal and professional topics. Join us in getting to know the young CEO driving the intense momentum behind our agency’s growth.


Pictured (above): Will Sears, President & CEO of W. BRADFORD


You walk into an elevator, and are asked what you do. How would you describe yourself?

WS:  My answer depends on a variety of factors. First, how much time do I have? Sometimes, simply saying “I work in marketing” gets me in and out of the situation if I’m exhausted in a hurry, both of which are usually the case. Other times I will say I own a marketing agency, which of course leads to more questions about what kind of marketing, do I have employees, how long have I had the business, etc. Over the past couple of years, I have found it increasingly difficult to separate Will from W. BRADFORD when answering the question, however, since so much time and energy goes into the business versus into my other interests and needs. It’s a dynamic I’m trying to work on as time and headspace allow.

What behavior or personality trait do you attribute your success to, and why?

WS:  As an overarching response, I must say I am only successful to the extent that I have had strong, smart people guiding and shaping me whether at home or in school, paired with the combination of strengths and weaknesses inherent to who I am as my own person. That said, there is a trait that has become my internal drumbeat as I’ve encountered the ups and downs of a pretty dynamic life for a 33-year-old guy, which is a trait of being willing to commit to do whatever it takes to achieve a goal. In the past I’ve set daunting goals such as becoming a valedictorian in high school, getting perfect grades in college, earning this or that promotion at places I’ve worked, or even losing 25 pounds.

Meeting those goals and others was not easy and required a focus on the broader requirements for achieving them, while also requiring me to train an awareness of which boxes need to be checked off on a daily basis to stay on track. Meeting such ambitious goals also took a relentless and almost always exhausting commitment that spanned a long period of time. Without the ability to muster the inner strength to rise to such commitments and not lose heart when others gave up, I would certainly not have many of the milestones I’ve enjoyed thus far in my life and career.

How would you describe W. BRADFORD? How has the agency matured since it first opened?

WS:  I always say privately owned businesses that were started from scratch embody the personality, strengths and weaknesses of the person who founded them. That is certainly true for us. We are a combination of classy and sassy on the personality side; you’ll see black and gold and rich colors on all of our branding, but quick-witted and edgy quips along the way. On the strengths side, we are tough and fight individually and as a team when times are tough, and we laugh and celebrate with gratitude when times are good. On the weaknesses side, we are always working to be more collaborative rather than thinking we have to take on the world individually, which is something I have always struggled with.

W. BRADFORD is like other new businesses in the usual ways, though, in that we know we are only as good as the work we do each day as we build our own reputation and record of success. That takes time and patience, and far more humility than I had before starting the business. Building a business and a reputation doesn’t require that you always succeed and do things perfectly on the first try, but that you remain committed to doing exceptional work and meeting client expectations at whatever cost.

What do you wish you knew before you started your first business?

WS:  What a loaded question! I actually agree with a response to a similar question I asked Rebecca Weir, a lighting designer, whom I interviewed during a video shoot in London last year. She said that a company is like a child, because with each stage of growth is a whole new labyrinth of new and unique challenges. That is a truth that cannot be overstated. I also agree with her additional wisdom, which I cannot articulate better myself: “I have learned to respect differences, to not trust everyone, that people are not necessarily kind or generous, respect must always be earned, and not to worry about what others think,” she said. “Create your own path, don’t look to follow or bother looking over your shoulder, and don’t worry if others copy you.”

Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful CEO?

WS:  The relationships I have formed and nurtured over the years are the reason I was able to start a business, and continue to be the driving force behind why we continue to grow as a business. Oprah once said in an interview that she knew she would always do well in her career, because she treated others well and treated herself well. I agree with that. It would be easy to be cutthroat and manipulative to get ahead in business in the short term, and I have taken that approach in past positions I’ve held when I was younger and more immature in my career. But running a business will shut that approach down quickly, because we really have succeeded or failed based on how well we manage and nurture relationships with clients. We do operate around a principle of good karma at W. BRADFORD, and we have seen many a challenge fall to the wayside when we’ve stuck to our guns and didn’t give up on doing the right thing.

What has been your most satisfying moment in your career?

WS:  Most people will think of the show-horse side of my personality in anticipation of how I would answer this question, but I have to say my proudest moments are when I am at my desk at 5 a.m. to complete something critically important for a client or the business. We as humans all fear we might fail, or maybe we will be the ones with the businesses that won’t make it another year, or that we won’t be smart or capable enough to figure out the daunting challenge of the moment—and the list goes on. So there’s something satisfying and invigorating about pausing during those times when you are in the trenches, many times standing alone, and thanking God and yourself that you still believe in what you’re doing enough to keep grinding forward.

Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach business?

WS:  My dad, who I am very much like inside and out, was a coal miner for over 30 years and continued in that industry for at least a decade more. To this day, he is the only person I know who can out-work me, and he always seems to find his way to smart, logical, efficient outcomes. So in business when I’m making important decisions, I often hear my dad’s voice. Some of his one-liners are on the tip of my tongue so often that employees have picked them up along the way, such as, “Don’t let people jerk you around,” and, “It doesn’t rain every day.” I can imagine my dad overseeing a large crew of coal miners, when he took on his biggest challenge in his career to mine a tunnel through the base of an entire mountain—miles long—and making sure he was on the clock when they broke through to the other side so he could see his goal become a reality. That goal took years of brutal physical labor, challenges with employees and equipment, unexpected setbacks, and calculated risks that could mean life or death. A man who can make something like that happen from beginning to end is someone whose wisdom and business acumen should not be ignored.

What’s the biggest misconception people have about being a CEO?

WS:  People think a CEO sets his or her own schedule and works for himself/herself. These are absolutely not true. The majority of working people are familiar with a 9 a.m.-5 p.m. workday and a bank of vacation days to take whenever they’d like. That sounds pretty nice, but is far from my current reality. My schedule, especially in the last couple of years, has skewed more closely to the opposite of normal—from 5 a.m.-9 p.m. I also believe clients and my employees are my bosses, because I answer to all of them. That is far different from having one supervisor in all of my other jobs. Perhaps one day I can kick up my feet on a yacht and get a fat check in the mail without having to lift a finger, but so far that hasn’t been how this whole “CEO” thing has worked [laughs].

As more and more brands are bringing aspects of their creative services in-house, how can brands continue to leverage agencies most effectively?

WS:  Over the past several years, the industry has seen a trend toward project-based client engagements and away from recurring retainers. I think that stems from more sophisticated clients, who are able to form their own team of agencies to execute their respective areas of expertise most effectively. This is smart, and is actually the way we are evolving as an agency in terms of how we staff projects. There is a more concerning trend, however, toward brands relying entirely upon customer data that can be crunched in-house by an accountant versus understanding the value of investment in thoughtful, inspiring creative work. I believe people know when companies are manipulating their data to shape their actions—take Facebook as a prime example—rather than inspiring them with stories, art or other creative outputs that can still achieve the desired outcome. Brands should use data to inform strategies and measure outcomes, not to force them.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?

WS:  I can’t pick one piece of advice or one person, but one piece of advice coming to mind worth sharing is from my grandfather, who would always tell us as we would leave his house after a visit, to “hold it in the middle of the road” on our way home. What a simple and funny thing to say, but I think the meaning is that we can always get to a desired end if we keep aiming at the right direction without veering off the path one way or another.

What was your first job? Has it influenced your work ethic today?

WS:  My first job after college was as a communications director for an environmental non-profit, where I was the only employee other than the owners and had a wide range of tasks—from pitching media about their latest books or speaking engagements, to booking their travel and stuffing envelopes. We all worked from home, which took some discipline for me as someone who had just graduated college, and the volume of work we all produced continues to baffle me. During that time, my bosses trusted me to find new ways to communicate their story, take risks to expand their audience, and challenge fundamental ways they approached advancing their business despite my age and lack of experience. In response to the opportunities and trust they extended to me, I worked my guts out for them. So perhaps more than shaping my work ethic which has always been part of who I am, they shaped how I would someday try to manage other people: Trust, empower, listen and risk giving people chances to exceed your expectations (and theirs).

If you were to tell one person “Thank You” for helping you become the person you are today, who would it be, and what did they do? 

WS:  I would thank my mother—and I can’t say I can thank her for who I am today, because she is a far better person than I am, but I do thank her for who I hope I can someday become. For as long as I can remember and photos can prove, my mom has demonstrated a commitment to her taking care of her family. When I was a really young child, my sister and I watched her go back to college to become a teacher. At that age, we saw what it was like to commit to something, as I can remember her sometimes taking the two of us to her classes when no one was around to keep us during the day. As we grew up, she was always the one coming through for my sister and me, whether we needed encouragement when we were having trouble making friends or struggling through a difficult class, and even when I signed her up to cook a whole turkey for my first-grade Thanksgiving feast. Then I saw her travel hundreds if not thousands of miles with my grandmother to help her battle lung cancer, effectively adding years to her life that would otherwise not have transpired. And now I watch my mom’s passion for her grandchildren (my niece and nephew), and her desire for me to do well and be happy, and I realize that her heart and mind will never rest as long as there is one more thing she can do for her family. What a noble and worthwhile way to process and approach life; I have a lot of work to do!

Who are five people you would you most like to have dinner with, living or dead?

WS:  We’ve all answered this question over the years, but at this stage in my life I find I don’t need any famous or powerful people at my table, but the people who allow me to be myself—or who challenge me to be a better version of myself. That would include my mom and dad, my sister Jennifer, my “Mamaw and Papaw” on my dad’s side, my grandmother “Mama Rose” on my mom’s side whom I idolized (and still do), my sister, my niece and nephew, and of course my two extraordinary dogs Dora and Cooper who are the ying and yang embodiments of the person I am proud to be today.

And I know I named more than five people but, hey, I own the place…


W. BRADFORD Scores Second Win for Soraa 'Color & White' Campaign

Miami-Based Agency’s Global Marketing Campaign Secures Second Major Award Win

Today W. BRADFORD earned its second award through the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP) by receiving a platinum 2018 AVA Digital Award. The Miami-based full-service branding and digital marketing agency earned the prize for excellence in its “Color & White” integrated marketing campaign for Soraa, a manufacturer of premium LED lighting based in Silicon Valley.

According to the awards website, this year there were 2,500 entries from throughout the United States, Canada, and 23 other countries. Sixteen percent of the entries won platinum, the top award, and around 21 percent the gold award. Approximately eight percent were honorable mention winners.

“Winning the AVA Digital Platinum Award for a campaign that already has won another top industry award proves our philosophy that effective marketing should yield strong results more than once,” said Will Sears, President & CEO of W. BRADFORD. “For Soraa, this particular project cleverly expresses the many superior differentiators of their technology and products in ways that continue to position their brand as a leading industry innovator.”

W. BRADFORD developed interactive resources to teach Soraa’s audience how to make complex technical and scientific color rendering technology tangible, beautiful and interesting. Elements of the campaign included video, web, social, influencer relations, sales collateral and promotional item development.

“Our focus was to inspire and equip Soraa’s core audience to experience new and creative pathways in developing their lighting designs,” said Dawn Anderson, Director of Corporate Marketing for Soraa. “W. BRADFORD’s work captured how we push the boundaries and imagination of what a light source can be.”

AVA Digital Awards is an international competition that recognizes outstanding work by creative professionals involved in the concept, direction, design and production of media that is part of the evolution of digital communication.

To view the winning campaign case study, click here.


About W. BRADFORD

W. BRADFORD is an award-winning digital marketing and branding agency based in Miami, Florida. Through provocative creative, strategic and interactive solutions, the agency serves an international roster of clients across diverse industries and at all stages of business growth — from startup to established enterprise.


6 Reasons Why Startups Should Hire an Agency

One of the most important decisions a start up makes is what tasks to keep in-house and what to outsource. When it comes to the broad scope of branding and marketing, do you know when it’s time to outsource some of the work? Consider these scenarios.

Your skill set has reached its limit.

If you’re involved in a start up, you obviously have a multifaceted range of talents. But let’s face it: you can’t be great at everything. W. BRADFORD can supplement your expertise, manage the ever-growing list of marketing tasks, and allow you and your team to focus on what you do best.

You could benefit from a team approach (since you don’t have one yet).

W. BRADFORD works alongside your marketing department. While you remain in control of the overall strategy and prioritize projects, the day-to-day management is handled outside your office. We review your product or service, company history and goals and then compile a plan for campaigns, including content and timelines. We pay close attention to product releases, updates, events and news, evaluate analytics reports, and then customize recommendations to ensure your goals are met.

If you want to maximize your marketing efforts but keep your calendar free and your payroll lean, let’s talk about how we can work to make that happen.

You want to utilize cutting-edge best practices.

Core marketing principles are timeless, but execution strategies are constantly changing. Our team has over 75 years of experience testing strategies and tactics. The result? A scope of best practices for content development and placement. We use this depth of internal knowledge to help our clients figure out how to best spend their marketing dollars.

Often, we start with a digital strategy, incorporating short- and long-term ideas for network recommendations as well as online campaigns for blog content, social media and unconventional channels to surprise your audience. An initial investment in strategy can ensure you have a long-term plan in place. Even if you are able to execute the initial steps in the early days, once business grows, we can step in and take over without skipping a beat.

You need a network.

Every business has a list of preferred vendors. W. BRADFORD has established relationships with journalists, social media influencers, industry associations, and other key people — as well as a top-notch freelancers. If you want to get access to a network quickly, working with our agency can save you a lot of evenings shaking hands at networking events and scrolling through LinkedIn.

You need help with a big project but not a full-time hire.

Every business has a list of preferred vendors. W. BRADFORD has established relationships with journalists, social media influencers, industry associations, and other key people — as well as a top-notch freelancers. If you want to get access to a network quickly, working with our agency can save you a lot of evenings shaking hands at networking events and scrolling through LinkedIn.

You want to ramp up your marketing efforts quickly.

The startup world is very fluid. Maybe you received some new funding or you had a better-than-expected finish to your year — or you just know that a small push in a key area will put your company in the black. Hiring an agency is a great way to amp up marketing efforts without having to find, hire, and train a marketing department.


Let us lend a helping hand

We know all too well the challenges of starting a business. The good news for you? Help is on the way. Contact us today, and let’s stabilize, scale and grow your business.

What are you waiting for?

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W. BRADFORD recognized among leading U.S. branding agencies

Clutch, a B2B research, ratings and reviews firm recently identified its 2018 list of leading U.S. branding agencies

W. BRADFORD, a full-service digital and content marketing agency in Miami, Florida, today announced its recognition as a leading U.S. branding agency from Clutch, a widely trusted B2B research, ratings and reviews firm.

Clutch selects honorees based on quality of their client feedback, service offerings, portfolio of past and current clientele and market presence.

“As a relatively new agency in Miami, we have been fortunate to work with some of the most interesting brands across a vast array of industries,” said Will Sears, CEO of W. BRADFORD. “Our team members’ commitment to excellence, their unconventional skill sets and their creative instincts never cease to impress and challenge our clients.”

W. BRADFORD, founded in early 2017, has amassed an impressive roster of clients from local startups to international corporations – representing industries ranging from Shark Tank-winning fashion startups and international audio leaders, to local healthcare practices and even fellow marketing agencies in need of outside expertise.

“A company’s brand is essential to their identity, their reputation, and their ability to target their desired clients,” Clutch Business Analyst Sara Philibotte said. “These leading branding agencies help companies from a variety of industries represent themselves in a way that is professional and memorable by working closely with them to gain a thorough understanding of their unique goals.”

Since its founding in February 2017, W. BRADFORD has seen an 800% increase in revenue, with its headquarters in Miami and team members based both locally and around the world. The privately held agency has plans to continue the growth of its team, capabilities and client roster in 2019, which will mark the start of the company’s third year in business.


About W. BRADFORD

W. BRADFORD is an award-winning digital marketing and branding agency based in Miami, Florida. Through provocative creative, strategic and interactive solutions, the agency serves an international roster of clients across diverse industries and at all stages of business growth — from startup to established enterprise.

About Clutch

A B2B research, ratings and reviews firm in the heart of Washington, D.C., Clutch connects small and medium businesses with the best-fit agencies, software or consultants they need to tackle business challenges with confidence. Clutch’s methodology compares business service providers and software in a specific market based on verified client reviews, services offered, work quality and market presence.


W. BRADFORD Wins 2018 Platinum MarCom Award

Miami-Based Agency’s Global Marketing Campaign Earns Top Industry Award

Today W. BRADFORD earned recognition through the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP) by receiving a platinum 2018 MarCom Award. The Miami-based full-service branding and digital marketing agency earned the prize for excellence in its “Color & White” integrated marketing campaign for Soraa, a manufacturer of premium LED lighting based in Silicon Valley.

With more than 6,000 print and digital entries submitted annually, the MarCom Awards are the world’s largest, most-respected creative competition. Only 15 percent of entries win Platinum recognition.

“Our team is dangerously smart, creative, fun and genuine,” said Will Sears, CEO of W. BRADFORD. “It is from these core traits that our signature standard of work and quality of partnerships have emerged. After we understand a topic such as Soraa’s color story intellectually, the optimistic spirit and vibrant personalities of each of our team members organically bring complex subjects to life.”

The agency developed interactive resources to teach Soraa’s audience how to make complex technical and scientific subject matter tangible, beautiful and interesting. Elements of the campaign included video, web, social, influencer relations, sales collateral and promotional item development.

“Our focus was to inspire and equip Soraa’s core audience to experience new and creative pathways in developing their lighting designs,” said Dawn Anderson, Director of Corporate Marketing for Soraa. “W. BRADFORD’s work captured how we push the boundaries and imagination of what a light source can be.”

To view the winning campaign case study, click here.


About W. BRADFORD

W. BRADFORD is an award-winning digital marketing and branding agency based in Miami, Florida. Through provocative creative, strategic and interactive solutions, the agency serves an international roster of clients across diverse industries and at all stages of business growth — from startup to established enterprise.


3 Questions: Make Sure Your Brand Doesn't Suck

In today’s marketing landscape, branding is absolutely crucial if you want a firmly established business for years to come. Whether a brand is being established for the first time or being revamped with more clarity, these questions serve to set you on the right path.

1. Who Do We Serve?

It’s always the bottom line – Who will benefit from this? Knowing your target audience inside and out will make many decisions easier. Your content strategy will be more focused and effective, your sales will increase, and your brand loyalty will skyrocket. As many experts say, try to serve everyone and you’ll ultimately serve no one. Brands need to go further than simply knowing their target audience. Once you know your demographic, you need to dig deeper to understand their pain, their motivations, and their aspirations. These three insights will reveal what your brands needs to focus on to gain their attention and trust. In other words, your brand isn’t really about you – It’s about the customers.

2. What Are Our Values?

Most business owners know that their values are a big part of branding – The vision and mission guide the direction of the business and prevent you from steering out into no man’s land. Much like knowing your audience, knowing your values makes many decisions easier. You can quickly know who would and wouldn’t make a good partner for your brand. In addition, articulating your values and weaving them throughout your content in subtle ways creates a solid brand. Through this process, you attract the right audience naturally and streamline the process of acquiring the right customers.

3. What’s Makes Us Special?

At first glance, most competing businesses in any industry look the same. But there is always some underlying factor that makes a brand unique and specific. It could start with the “why” or purpose behind the founder’s vision, or it may just be a certain style of service. Maybe your product offers one simple but unique feature that no one else does. Regardless of what it is, marketers must know what that factor is for their brand. Much like your brand values, your unique factor should be weaved through any marketing content you publish. This creates salience, or memorability in the minds of your audience. If you can’t communicate this to your audience, they will have a much more difficult time remembering you.

Whether your brand is in its infancy or its veteran years, consistency is at the core of everything. Without it, your brand has no identity and no solid footing among competitors. By answering these three foundational questions, you can create a firm base from which to grow.

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Top 5 Distractions for Small Business Owners & How to Deal with Them

As a small business owner you wear many hats. Along with all those responsibilities come a slew of distractions. Unearth what’s digging a hole in your time, and learn how to deal with distractions like the boss you are!

Never-ending Questions from Team Members

The Problem: Your team members interrupt your workflow with their questions. You have to stop what you’re doing, solve the problem and then get back to your previous train of thought.

The Solution: Encourage your team to think through the problem and solve things on their own for issues that don’t require your immediate attention or approval. If they have a matter that just needs your guidance or is an FYI, ask them to message you or send it in an email.

Overflowing Email Inboxes

The Problem: You’re spending the majority of your time reading and replying to email and have precious little time for anything else. Wading through your inbox may deplete hours from your day.

The Solution: Email is a great form of communication, but only when it doesn’t become a distraction. Organize your inbox with folders ranging from your most important correspondence (team members, vendors, clients) to your least important (newsletters, offers). Limit email time to 10-minute intervals and only check the non-urgent folders a few times a week.

Overwhelming Operational Concerns

The Problem: You try to take it all on yourself: solving IT problems, maintaining accounting records, ordering office supplies, etc.

The Solution: Time equals money, especially for small business owners. Save this most valuable of resources by investing in outsourced help. Let experts in areas that you’re less familiar with free up your time for handling what you do best.

Scheduling, Scheduling and More Scheduling

The Problem: Trying to coordinate calls and meetings with team members, clients and vendors drains a lot of your time.

The Solution: You may not have the budget for a full-time office manager yet, but consider a virtual assistant. Not only can it save you money, but you’ll gain focus, time and efficiency.

Exhausting Yourself with Fatigue

The Problem: You do too much, which results in you being tired all the time.

The Solution: You are passionate about the success of your business, but you have to make time for yourself. Schedule enough time every day to rest. It will clear your mind and help you recharge so you can make the most out of the time you spend working toward your goals.

What are you waiting for?

Hi, My name is , and I work for . I am interested in discussing more about . You can reach me at or by phone at .