When to go Off-Menu
How we're positioning the studio to serve three narrow use cases.
At Off-Menu, we’re trying to build a different kind of agency.
Something that’s incredibly niche, and certainly not for everyone.
Instead of positioning ourselves as a traditional design studio, we want to be known for story & differentiation.
There are very specific types of companies who need help with story & differentiation.
So in our storytelling we want to make sure to appeal directly to them.
Looking back at the 15 projects we’ve done so far, one thing stood out loud & clear: We offer the most value to companies working on weird, hard-to-explain ideas.
The kinds of projects where beautiful design alone isn’t enough to help them break out.
Because they’re working on something that’s hard to grasp, they need storytelling to help translate what they’re doing (not just good UI).
This just so happens to be where we shine.
Which is why every client we take on has to fall into one of the following three categories.
01. Technical breakthroughs
We partner with highly technical teams who struggle communicating their value.
They need help explaining how & where their innovation fits into someone’s life.
Often by leveraging an emotional insight that meets people where they are.
These types of clients tend to be working on things like crypto, web3, AI, etc.
Most recently, in collaboration with VectorDAO, we helped Eclipse tell a story designed to inspire developers to build the use cases of their dreams, powered by their breakthrough technology (rather than focusing on the tech itself).
02. Category creation
We also love working with ambitious founders who are building entirely new categories.
We specialize in helping them frame their vision into a movement…an important first step in driving behavior change.
These types of clients tend to be building products that are unfamiliar at first glance and take a lot of education. Like the time we helped HVMN bring exogenous ketones to the mainstream.
03. Standing out in a crowded market
Then there are the companies who desperately need to differentiate. Getting people’s attention has never been harder—especially when trying to stand out in a competitive market.
We help companies figure out what makes them uniquely memorable, and bake it into everything they do. Equal parts story & design so they can change the conversation and carve out a spot in people’s minds.
No better example of a crowded market than the world of venture capital. Beautiful design on its own isn’t enough to win—it takes a uniquely memorable story to break through the noise with founders.
And we’re proud to partner with folks like Jetstream to help them tell a story that meaningfully stands out.
One of the things I’m thinking about as we activate this positioning: How do we consistently surface these occasions so that we’re a founder’s first call when they’re working on a hard-to-explain idea?
In the agency world, it’s easy to be pegged as a category specialist (i.e. b2b, b2c, healthcare, etc).
But our goal is to flip the script.
Instead we want to remembered for specific occasions…moments in time when it makes sense to go Off-Menu.
Special thanks to Tom who helped me think through this.
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