Why we’re here
You can probably trace the expression “they don’t make things like they used to” to around the time when people stopped making things. For themselves, neighbours, friends and families. Somehow, the further away the end-user got, the more craft, reputation and loyalty were swapped out in favour of short term returns, often created by externalizing costs and with no consideration for their impact.
Our mission is about visualizing, igniting and promoting a generative economy.
It sounds like a big concept, but it’s really about focussing on people, projects and processes that spark good things. It means fostering an inclusive system whose ultimate metric is wellbeing. Put simply, we choose to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
In service to this agenda, we do things like:
- Meaningful Marketing Strategy and Design for values-driven brands
- Promote important certifications (like BCorp)
- Help connect students with non-profit internships for their mutual benefit
- Donate personal and business time to projects that address community, economy and ecology challenges
- Help make the web a better place by sharing User Experience Design Practices and hosting events
Marketing has changed a lot in the last few years. Most significantly in the way people are influenced by media. There’s simply too much noise to expect prospects and proponents to hear carefully crafted brand ‘messaging’ anymore. No one’s listening. And if they are, they’re not acting.
Today, we notice, interact with, trust and recommend brands doing things that matter to us. ‘Relevance’ and ‘usefulness’ are marketing’s new key performance indicators. It’s a great playground for Designers. Our real clients have always been our clients clients (get that?).
What needle are you moving?
Cutting through today’s hyper-saturated media noise and getting past people’s filters is a 5-step process:
- We start by defining a needle that what you do and the way you do it could credibly be perceived to be moving. More than just positioning, the agendas we help define offer benefits that cut across organizations and draw the attention of more qualified leads. Our approach shifts the focus from ‘what you do’ to ‘why it matters’.
- We identify the audiences who could care about this needle as “communities of interest”. In a message-saturated, search-driven media-scape, targeting-tools like demographics are less useful than luring peers, prospects and partners who conspire to change the world with you.
- We set you up to listen to your a dashboard or listening post to stay on top of their conversations. The best relationships are founded on the timely insight that comes from careful, consistent and strategic listening.
- We teach you to participate in the conversations by being good citizens in your communities of interest–sharing, informing, connecting, encouraging, etc. online and off. The power of giving first, often and effectively is rewarding.
- And we help you lead by creating ways for those interested in the needle you’re moving to take part in moving it. Your marketing will produce returns when it helps people do things they want to do.
Connecting with like-minded peers and converting vocal detractors is a measurably more rewarding practice than broadcasting and hoping something happens.
Who we work for
Over the last 13 years, through concerted effort to work on projects we think are important for people who inspire us, we’ve netted out at an interesting place.
Every one of our clients is either a visionary entrepreneur, an innovative non-profit or an intrepid ‘intrapreneur’ with the wherewithal to navigate to a small but dedicated team of design thinkers and doers. No one we work with is benchmarking against their ‘competition’, they’re all re-writing the rules. As you can imagine, the people and endeavours make our projects things we look forward to. And this matters to us.
Hypenotic is a crack team of experienced communicators. We’re all here because we like developing cutting edge strategy, tactics and tools for cool people doing great things.
Barry A. Martin, Principal, Creative, Strategy (@hypenoticbam)
Barry’s put more than 50,000 hours of time into helping people solve communications problems. Even if he were a slow learner, he’d have to be an expert at it a couple of times over by now. He’s got a fancy degree in Advertising Design from Syracuse, but getting at the nugget of a problem and turning it into a useful communications strategy is a skill honed over 100′s of clients and thousands of projects. On the side he squeezes in time to work on important projects like The Toronto Food Policy Council and an International chapter of the Awesome Foundation: Awesome Food.
Jodi Lastman, GM, Accounts (@jodilastman, @ontariosown)
After 5 years at Social Marketing firm Manifest Communications, Jodi ended up at Hypenotic where she wears three hats: Research, Strategy and General Manager. She’s been a large factor in helping us stick to our interests and focus on values-driven clients. She’s an index of strategies for non-profits, has a nose for uncovering truffles in mounds of data, and no stomach for poor communications. She’s a good fit.
Lionel Mann, Digital Strategy, Senior Creative Dev (@lionelmann)
Lionel is a modern day hire. We found him on twitter, followed his profile and ended up with a design-thinker who spent seven years on the values-side at the Canadian Cancer Society, followed by a stint on the business side of digital marketing. Let’s just say he was eager to work with a brand trying to earn people’s attention instead of simply playing the numbers. Nevertheless, it’s his insight into the world of metrics that separates him from other designer/developers. And it’s his balance of multidisciplinary skills and focused interest that makes him a good cultural fit.
Rick Stender, Digital Strategy, Accounts (@getstender)
Rick walks the line. Between extrovert and introvert; creative and pragmatic; easy-going and earnest. Which is why he loves serving clients and coming up with big ideas one minute and getting lost in the details the next. He has led project teams on big web initiatives for the fortune 500 and carefully hand-crafted websites and blogs for solopreneurs. The common thread is Rick’s boundless curiosity and his love of helping organizations share their vision through the strategic use of technology.
Amanda Cohen, Design, Strategy (@AmandaLeeCohen)
Amanda is a Designer.
And a Musician.
And a Painter. And a Gamer.
And a Baker.
She’s got print-chops, web-savvy and user-centric sensibilities and she’s not stopping there. Amanda uses her nerd power for good, and in her first year at Hypenotic has brought dimension, character, style and usability to every project she’s worked on.
Some things we do
- Collaborative brainstorm sessions
- SM reviews
- Comparative analysis
- User Research
- Strategic Planning and Requirements Definition
- Organizational Research
- Persona and Scenario Development
- Competitive Assessment
- Usability Testing
Strategy & Tactics
- Marketing Strategy (Meaningful marketing (Needle, etc)
- Communications Strategy
- Content Strategy
- Design Strategy
- Digital Strategy
- Technology Strategy
- Digital (web, application)
Education, training & speaking
New Media literacy