Meet Duo: On-Demand Brand Services

After a few weeks in beta, today we’re excited to unveil a new vertical adventure in brand-building.

Meet Duo: on-demand brand services at a flat monthly rate.

From design and copywriting, to strategy and digital — Duo lets us easily team up to keep the great brand creative going.

The process is simple:

1. Submit a request. Social media posts, a flyer design, packaging, merch? Send in all the information we need for your design—and we'll dive in right away.

2. We do the work. We’ll work through one request at a time, and send new work and updates within 72 hours. We’ll keep revising to get everything just right.

3. Grow your brand. Each request is an opportunity to build on your brand system. We organize and house all your brand assets for you, updating everything as we go.

In a nutshell: consider Duo like Together’s little sib. Same brains and brawn, ready to whip up creative for brands that are post-launch and looking to activate hyperdrive.

We won’t bore you with regurgitating all the details about the service here. The best way to see Duo in action? Check out its dedicated home page »

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Here’s what I really want to share — Founder to Founder :)

The Backstory

Together has always been about teaming up to set strong brand foundations. Our typical projects focus on the big stuff: brand strategy, brand system design, website and launch materials. We set our clients up with everything they need for lift-off and they go merrily on their way. This is our bread and butter, so much so that we’ve spent the last few years focused on honing and productizing our creative processes for a streamlined engagement that brilliantly delivers every time.

But brand-building isn’t a one-and-done exercise. We know that. So beyond the initial brand launch, we’re often linking up with our clients on additional projects and brand extensions, like exploring new verticals in their service architecture, designing packaging for their latest product, and expanding on brand graphics and elements to keep design fresh and engaging.

As natural as it felt to work with our favorite people again and dive back into brands we knew by heart, we always encountered some friction in the upstart. Namely: how the f— do we price these engagements in a way that respects the integrity of our team’s expertise, while also giving value to our clients?

Every secondary project was so different across deliverables, goals, timelines, and level of creative needed. We tried productizing with an “a la carte” menu and pricing (but there were always outliers and exceptions), and we tried hourly billing (a drag on both ends, and we’ve never been a fan of trading time for money anyway).

So, we developed Duo: an on-demand service that lets brands tap into the full-service expertise of our agency without the headache of scopes of work, contracts, and bureaucratic back-and-forth. Duo let’s us work with our clients more naturally: they tell us what they need, we get right on it, and monthly costs are predictable. We can change gears if priorities shift or new needs arise. There’s unlimited requests and revisions each month — we just work through them one (or two) at a time (spoiler: this is our guardrail to make this model sustainable).

There’s a beautiful simplicity to it all that (I hope and anticipate) lets us spend more time on the work we love instead of the bureaucracy we don’t.

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And, you’re right. We’re not the first to launch a subscription design service.

It’s not about being first, but being different. Here’s how Together/Duo makes this model its own:

1. More than just design. We’re a strategy-led brand building team and believe brand is more than just smart and beautiful visuals. Beyond design deliverables, Duo can support on business strategy, market research, messaging, content development, and more.

2. A-players, always. Together is made up of a small, senior team. We’re allergic to agency bloat and farming out work just to win paychecks. Duo clients get access to the same brand-building expertise that they know and love from Together.

3. A dedicated brand guardian. Don’t expect us to churn through brand requests and leave you hanging :) My systems and organization-loving heart wants to make all our brand-building work smarter over time. With Duo, we’ll keep all your brand assets organized and accessible, and a dedicated project manager keeps your big picture and goals top of mind — we’re not afraid to speak up for your brand.

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Behind the Scenes: Launching Duo Leanly

It’s been a whirlwind. But we’re excited about this new addition to the Together family. While my brain is still a bit fried from all that’s left to do and build on — here are a few stand-out tips that helped us launch Duo within a few working days:

1. Opting to have Duo’s brand identity be an extension of Together’s. When you’re creating something new, it’s tempting to want it to have its own brand look and feel. Who doesn’t like trying on different color palettes? For Duo, we certainly could have spent the time to develop a unique identity system that stands separate from Together’s. Instead, we tapped into some of the Together brand’s less-used elements, like its custom hieroglyphic lettering, to derive the Duo logo and system. This saved time and resources, and we had fun reviving some oft-forgotten brand gems.

2. Letting our team members own their roles. From naming and overarching strategy, to webpage copywriting and digital design, one person owned each phase and we agreed not to treat everything too preciously. We kept edits and suggestions minimal, trusting that we’re all doing our best to make this great. Done is better than perfect.

3. Focusing on an MVP. There are a million bells and whistles we could have added on. And in our ideation we of course came across so many ways we can grow and market this thing. We were discerning when it came to designing “phase 1” of this vertical vs “phase 2 and beyond.” Those phase 2 ideas are all having a party in a Notion doc somewhere — we’ll revisit them all in good time.

In many ways, Duo is just one part of a bigger business evolution for Together as a whole. We can't wait to share more ✌🏻

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