ABOUT US

WELCOME TO THE HIVE

Our Willo-bees are a curious, hard-working creative team with hives in Kansas City and San Francisco. Comprised of talented and tenured brand strategists, designers, writers and programmers – we’re Millennials, GenXers and Boomers all coming from very different experiences and viewpoints that influence our work. Our firm is led by a new generation of homegrown owner/principals who have been working together for 15+ years at Willoughby. Founded by Ann Willoughby, we are the longest, continuously running, woman-owned (WBE) brand design firm in the US.

WHY WILLOUGHBY?


DESIGN WITH INTENT

Strategy and design happen together. You won’t get a 165-page single-spaced paperweight from us. You will get a strategic brand visualization that will help you gain consensus, build excitement and, ultimately, grow your business.


KIND & CANDID

Constructive discourse pushes creative from ho-hum to ah-ha. We will ask questions, push boundaries and encourage candid debate in a collaborative, respectful and kind manner.


YOUR OTHER IN-HOUSE TEAM

We don’t work for you. We work with you as an extension of in-house teams because inside knowledge paired with outside perspective leads to great work. And since day-to-day business doesn’t stop while invention is happening, we’re there to help with the new ideation and overflow.


WE WILL GROW WITH YOU

We work on big projects and small, always with the goal to get to know each other and develop a working relationship that grows over time. There’s a beautiful kind of trust and productivity that comes with familiarity.


FEMALE PERSPECTIVE

Studies show that products, services and brands that are created with women on the team do a better job of appealing to both women and men.  We bring a female perspective to the design process.


SMALL & MIGHTY

We have under 20 people between our two offices. Clients like working with us because we offer smaller dedicated teams without bothersome layers. You work directly with the creative team. You’d be surprised by what we’re able to pull off.


OUR CAPABILITIES

WE DON’T MAKE HONEY

Brand Vision Workshops

Get away from the office, get to know your team, uncover the potential of your brand, dream big, put it all out there. Come with questions, leave with a plan.

Research

Design that is not grounded in research is like a house without a foundation. That’s why our trained strategists interview and study stakeholders and users to reveal insights that lead to informed strategic counsel.

Brand Strategy

We create a strategic platform for your brand that is the anchor for everything you do. When you are guided by your values, vision and a distinct positioning, your audience will believe in your passion, respect your commitment and will want to associate themselves with you. Call it Brand Charisma. 

Naming

The obvious, the obscure, the goofy or the silly, the wondrous or the wonky – we create names that resonate, engage and stick in the minds of your audience. And since we are designers, our names translate into visually impactful  identity systems. They have legs and can run.

Brand Identity

A brand is more than an apple with a bite out of it. We pour everything about your vision into an identity that no one else can own. Out of that, we create a living, breathing brand experience – logo, colors, patterns, imagery, voice – that captures attention and doesn’t let go.

Campaigns

Campaigns may be temporary but they must ring true in the mind of the consumer, fill a space in their lives they didn’t know was there, make their lives better and represent the values of your brand that go beyond just your product. We can do that.

Packaging

We create packaging that stands out on shelf or online. From frozen peas to Twinkies, dog toys to sheep cheese, there’s not much we haven’t done.

Digital Experiences

We live in a digital world and your brand does too. An engaging website and creative social assets are the price of entry. We’ve even got a WordPress wizard in the house for on-the-spot responsiveness.

Branded Environments

People buy experiences. How you feel when you enter your space? How is that space uniquely yours? From graphics and installations to way-finding, we make brands experiential in collaboration with architects and interior designers.

OUR PROCESS

EVERY FLOWER MUST GO THROUGH THE DIRT

1/ FORAGE & POLLINATE

Far and wide to understand your industry and brandscape. We research, interview and trend. We rub elbows with stakeholders and collect ideas to fertilize our creative minds.


2/ PROCESS & COLLABORATE

Back at the Hive we digest, develop and test ideas to share. Together as a team and with our clients we delineate and define.


3/CREATE & REFINE

Then we make – we iterate in different directions.We test. The ideas take time to emerge and improve. And just like cream, the good ones rise to the top. 


4/HARVEST

When the winning concept is fine-tuned and ready, we bottle it up and launch it for the world to enjoy.


5/REPEAT

We don’t stop. We’re always foraging, making, harvesting and growing. Always exploring what’s next. 

OUR TEAM

MEET THE BEES