The new model Pearson refers to is an emphasis on finding the client’s story before doing any of the visual and design work. Said Neidlinger, “We put a lot more thought behind what we do to figure out what makes a company work; what drives them. We believe that to share a story, you have the find the story.”
Like other marketing and branding companies, Blue Blazes offers strategy consulting, copywriting, photography and video, and design. But, said Neidlinger, “Rather than trying to fit a client into a process, we approach every client uniquely. It’s harder work; it doesn’t fit into a spreadsheet.”
However, by drawing out a company’s core values before beginning the design process, the Blue Blazes team feels they’re making an investment in their client that will pay off with a product that is perfectly suited to that client’s needs.
“It helps us create a more thoughtful answer,” said Neidlinger. “And it rings true because it’s based on the foundation of the passion behind why people do what they do.”
“We’re not interested in projects,” said Pearson. “We’re interested in people.”
Since starting up last fall, Blue Blazes has seen “explosive growth,” said Pearson. “And it’s been so much fun.”
“We’re thinking differently about how we approach our work, how we approach our business,” said Neidlinger. “We started from almost nothing. And we don’t have it all figured out; we’re still learning. We challenge business as usual and ourselves.”
One of the differences in their business model, said Neidlinger, is that Blue Blazes uses different people for each project, but doesn’t follow a subcontractor model.
“We’re able,” he said, to bring a different group of people – the right people for the project – to every project. We have different people on our team, many of whom have worked together for years. But they are also people who participate in and take ownership of our brand.”
This ownership, he said, allows Blue Blazes to offer consistent work from a reliable team, while also having the flexibility to match the right people to each project depending on the client’s needs.
As they move into the company’s second year, Neidlinger said, they are preparing for more growth.
“The work we’ve done in year one,” he said, “is going to come to fruition and pave the way to new opportunities. It’s a little scary and a little exciting. I never dreamed we’d be as busy as we are now. We don’t necessarily expect explosive growth all the time, but we’re prepared to let the chips fall where they may.”