Rabbit Collective | Brooke Blodgett
BROOKE BLODGETT | RABBIT COLLECTIVE
Brooke is the Chief Brand Officer of Rabbit Collective.
*edited for length
So Sarah Colette and I came together to form Rabbit Collective last March and we were both freelance. So I've been doing freelance/brand strategy/brand consulting for a couple of years now. She's from up north. And she's a young bird. She's 25. I'm 29 so there's a little age difference there. She did a google search of millennials in tech moving trends or something like that.
And Austin popped up as the number one female entrepreneur…She wanted to meet a lot of people in terms of females and things like that and build a community. So she did a quick search. Austin popped up and randomly she joined this group of creative ladies that we'd started here on Instagram. It was when the pods were all the rage and so it was a freelance group that I was already a part of. And she joined in. And we sorta just clicked. And all of us were friends but her and I just really hit it off.
And so she moved down here and we hung out and got to know each other. She was doing her freelance thing more on the social media side. And I was doing brand strategy. And so our services didn't really conflict. They complimented each other and so we got together and though of this crazy idea to start an agency. And she was 21 at the time. She was so young and she has this really goal oriented like this is what I'm going to do. And I'm that way too but I'm more like the squiggly line. And that's okay. So we came together to form it last year and we each had our own clients from being freelance and we kinda just let them now we are coming together to form this. Nothing is changing as far as what we're providing you. It's just going to be that much better. So we now are full service digital marketing agency so we do everything from web to social advertising campaign specific everything from newsletters, anything digital. I could go through the whole list but it's boring.
So we have tried to position ourselves as females in the space that don't want to really compete with other females. I mean there are a lot of other agencies in town this is an agency filled hub and the more that we started going to networking events and stuff, I found that here they are very male heavy and we didn't really feel equal. We definitely felt as if we weren't taken seriously. And so we decided to kind of build our own community of creatives that are very female focused…We definitely want to provide a safe space for female creatives, especially in marketing because that was not necessarily our experience when we first started…You have to experience something yourself to try to bring change so other people don't experience the same thing.
We say we are a collective of creatives and that's kind of one side that a lot of people don't really know about…And so this is what I want people to really learn more about. Yeah we can be the best agency around but if we're not taking care of our people then it doesn't really matter.
SO TELL ME HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME ‘RABBIT COLLECTIVE’?
So I wish there was a really great story but there's not. And literally Sarah has a friend that's a linguist/psychologist person and she asked them "I want our agency associated with growth, we want to help grow businesses" and she was like whats a word that we can...everyone's going to know that we're about growth and he's like "rabbit". Psychologically when you think of rabbit you think of growth. And we laughed for the longest time. Because it's so random, but he showed us there's this whole study about how they show people rabbit pictures...anyways that's where rabbit came from. And 'collective' is just like collective of creatives, you know businesses and things like that. We didn't want to be 'rabbit creative' or 'rabbit agency' or whatever. So 'rabbit collective' there we go.
I don't know if you've seen our logo but its this big rabbit with sunglasses. So I wanted to put a peace sign on him so bad. I tried so hard for them to let me do it and they were like it's too millennial. He's a pretty cool rabbit. I love our rabbit. It's kind of like Alice in Wonderland-ish.
It is what it is. We get asked that all the time because it's so random. We should really just make up a story that's really creative and super cool. We saw a rabbit and I don't know. We need to come up with a better story. But that's the true story. People psychologically associate rabbits with growth apparently.
Another part of agency life is that you're very cornered into...you can't do a whole lot of your own work on the side and we do not encourage that type of environment. Everyone is very free to take on other projects as long as it doesn't conflict with your work at Rabbit. I have a ton of other things I do besides just Rabbit even though Rabbit is my main focus. I have the Creative Admirer, I have Vibe Vessel, I have all of these other things going on. But at the end of the day, Rabbit is what drives a lot of that. And in my opinion it's all connected. I wasn't born here but I was raised here my entire life. I graduated from Dripping Springs, native Austinite. I've been here and it's just interesting to see how I've been doing this for a long time. Almost 10 years. And the shift in everyone now is like 'personal brand, personal expert', all these things and that's cool. But I think people have forgotten that there's strategy behind all of that. And you can be so much more efficient if you can actually take the time to build a strategy. So that's what I'm also trying to do. There's so many beautiful companies and businesses out there that are suffering. They're not being successful and yet they have this incredible product or their service is stellar and their branding is just like not working because there is no strategy. They're just randomly sharing content or oh we'll partner with this influencer and we'll get all these sales. And it's like do you have any control over what that influencer…it's just a hot mess of a situation. So I'm trying to encourage people to actually put some more strategy into their branding and marketing. And not just kinda fly by the seat of their pants. It's kind of part of my personal initiative that I'm trying to do. So I have some creative consulting that I've just launched through Creative Admirer. And it's separate from Rabbit. The way that I'm kind of marketing it is it's for people who haven't launched their business yet and aren't quite ready for an agency but they need a strategy to get to an agency. So that's kind of my preliminary...I'm testing it out. I just started it the past month and so we'll see what happens. But that's kind of another side of Creative Admirer that I'm trying to get out there a little bit too.
Agency prices are a real thing. I do truly believe that with the quality people receive from Rabbit Collective at the price point its very competitive. We've done a lot of research of other people in town of rates and their content is literally robotic and its stock images. It's inauthentic. And all of our content is original. We create it ourselves. We have a full time photographer/videographer on staff. It's those things. And so its just kind of part of the education process…I feel like when you think of agency its going to be $10,000/month and its like no. Start with $500 or something like that, and see the return and work your way up. But they don't know. They assume because of major agencies in town that that's their starting rate is a $10K retainer, sometimes more than that. I'm just like who can afford this? So that's just sad because people deserve to get...I truly believe that people deserve to get what they paid for and a lot of those agencies, still even at that rate, do not provide original authentic content.
WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU KNEW BEFORE STARTING RABBIT COLLECTIVE?
I love that question. Not to be a typical answer but pricing honestly. And at the beginning we really did just try to get our foot in the door with these local companies and our budget was super small. We loved their brand. We loved their business. And the issue with that is that even though we were helping their businesses grow, we didn't necessarily increase our contracts right they stayed the same. And so that was something that we learned is to price it right from the beginning because they're going to always expect that level of cost. And so just changing that perception of "hey your business is growing then we should receive some sort of return." Something needs to change. Let's increase our ad budget. Let's you know make really kick-ass video campaigns or lets do something with this return. That's something we learned from the beginning.
Now a lot of times we propose 6-month strategy or 12-month strategy or this is what the budget needs to be for 3 months or this is what the budget needs to be for the next 3 months and giving the business owner a birds-eye view of "if we accomplish this goal, then the next goal is this and that's how we're going to get there." And everyone's on the same page. There's no assumptions. That could be a big one. Not assuming everything and over-communicating. Like I can't tell you how many times I've had to send the same email like 4 times. It sounds ridiculous but if you suck it up and do it, like everyone's on the same page and sure the person who saw it the first time's a little annoyed. But you get everyone to where they expect to just have awesome communication. And if you set the bar, then everyone else will follow. And even though our clients aren't the best at communicating, if we over communicate, then it kinda forces them do this. So as long as you aren't annoying about it. Language is key for sure.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO FOR INSPIRATION?
So okay this might be one where Sarah and I differ. But I have to be out in the community. I go to lots of events. I follow lots of local brands and other agencies even where I'm like wow this is really beautiful content. Like Dos Mundos Creative is one of my favorite accounts to follow because they're so women empowered and their content is tailored for that. And I feel very encouraged with a lot of the content they share. And Cara Caulkins. I love everything that she does.
Just people that I'm not necessarily involved with, but we share the same space in a way. And what they're doing is just so great and so helpful for the community. I want to keep my mind on those things. They're raising the bar so we need to raise the bar. I don't really see them as competitors. I see them as colleagues in a way. I try to get inspired by people who are putting out content that is inspiring others.
WHERE DO YOU SEE RABBIT COLLECTIVE IN 10 YEARS?
I hope we are involved in the community more. I definitely want us putting on more educational events. I hope our clients are super creative oriented. We love our clients…So I'd love to have clients that are craving that next creative spark we're going to ignite in people. So I'd love to have more people that that's what kind of drives them like what can I give back to people, what can I provide to people that are of value but is out of the box and is going to get them thinking or get them to fall in love with our product or service in a new way. I think that's what should always be our goal but its not all business owners care about that to be honest. You would think they would be but they really don't. And so having a client list that is really not just focused on data but also how are you really connecting to your customer. What are you doing each day to meet them where they are and provide value?