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Cake & Arrow – Customer Experiences That Can Reinvent Your Business

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Cake & Arrow is an award-winning digital customer experience agency that designs and builds exceptional online experiences for innovative brands. Cake & Arrow, formerly Alexander Interactive (Ai), decided to rebrand to provide a platform for continued growth and to emphasize to their clients and potential clients what they’re capable of. Below is our interview with Alex Schmelkin from Cake & Arrow:


Q: How would you describe Cake & Arrow in your own words?

A: Cake & Arrow is the most fun you can have doing serious customer experience work. We build digital products and services. We focus on eCommerce, luxury retail, fashion, insurance, and a handful of other key industries, and really hone in on what motivates their customers in order to create transformational experiences. From the business standpoint, our main goal is to provide our clients, and their users, with a transparent end-to-end experience.

Internally, Cake & Arrow is incredibly committed to our people. Weekly happy hours, pets in the office, a week off over July 4th and Winter holidays — we do what it takes to create a fun and supportive environment that puts people first. It’s paid off so far: we’ve won numerous awards for our work, and are consistently named one of the Best Places to Work by both Crain’s New York Business and Advertising Age.

Q: About the rebrand itself; could you tell us something more?

A: It was time we had a name that reflected the full scope of our capabilities and the way we’ve grown as a company to combine human-focused insights with results-driven technology. We’re growing our digital services and skills, our expertise in the industry, and our client base. When we started 14 years ago, the technology was nowhere near where it is now. And I’m sure 14 years from now, I’ll be saying the same thing.

Cake & Arrow gets down to the core of who we are: a digital customer experience agency that delves into human behavior to find what moves people, and then uses those insights to design ways to make those experiences seamless and better.

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Q: What advantage does Cake & Arrow have over its competitors?

A: If you ask our clients, they would say that we’re efficient with our time, dedicated to our work, and always produce positive results. Our special sauce is based on human-centered design and research that, when combined, reveal unexpected insights. Our research-driven insights yield tangible business results including significant ROI for our clients. Lastly, we’re unique in how we define end users: everything we create is made to serve the needs of your customers and prospects, the commercial goals of your business, and the operational requirements of the team that runs it.

Q: Who is your ideal customer and why?

A: Our ideal client understands the potential of digital in their organization and invests in unlocking that value. They seek to aggressively grow and transform their business, based on the shift in consumers’ expectations of digital experiences. They’re invested in our partnership from start to finish and are willing to collaborate with our team on what works, and what doesn’t.

Q: How did the rebranding process start for your company?

A: We started by establishing a core team of people to focus on the positioning and initial rebranding. We spent a great deal of time on who we are and the value we bring to our clients and even ourselves. It can be extremely difficult to shed your original skin, especially when you’ve been in it for 14 years, so we wanted to make sure we nailed it before rolling it out publicly. When we finally did roll it out, instead of announcing the whole rebrand at once, we decided to unveil it in bits and pieces. It really was the best way to go because it allowed everyone to be a part of the process. From the initial research, to the final stages of our name, logo, website, and identity.

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Q: Looking back over the rebranding process, what are your top three takeaways?

A: 1. Start with positioning to clearly identify the value you provide to clients and how you differentiate from your competitors.

2. Involve all parties with a vested interest in the rebranding process; then validate it with employees, clients, prospects that didn’t become clients, competitors, and even our moms. You have to make sure the positioning doesn’t just sound good, but it actually resonates with your core market.

3. Trust the process and once you decide on the name, stick to it. Don’t share the chosen name before it’s announced – just don’t do it. Why? Some people will love it and some people will hate it, and you really don’t want all those opinions clouding your judgment.

Q: Why was the rebrand crucial to the agency’s continued growth and success?

A: Our expertise has grown along with our agency. We now compete for and deliver much more complex projects than ever before. This rebrand signals to our clients and potential clients what we’re capable of and provides a platform for continued growth.

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Q: What can we expect from C&A in the next 4 months?

A: Research is integral for client projects, but it’s also a huge part of our thought leadership content. We’ll be publishing the results that relate to our core industries. We’re also developing new technologies, specifically voice integration into eCommerce shopping experiences. It’s important to share our insights with others, so we’re planning to speak at more industry-specific conferences and events to highlight what we’ve learned and how we can help.

And definitely be on the lookout for what we do during this first holiday season as Cake & Arrow. Starting with Halloween. It’s a high holiday around here and we take it very, very seriously.

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