There are a handful of milestones in life that are especially memorable, and an 18th birthday is surely one of those occasions. After all, it’s not every day one reaches an age worthy of official independence.
This month marks Porchlight’s 18th year in business, and we’ve come a long way since founder and Principal Greg Corey set up shop in his dining room in 2003. Ironically, Greg’s dining room hasn’t moved. Meanwhile, Porchlight is in its fourth location. That’s growth for you.
When we sat down to think about what the past 18 years means for Porchlight, one thing was clear: The “why” behind Porchlight is the same as it’s ever been. For almost two decades, Porchlight has remained committed to providing quality work and helping home improvement brands communicate in the best way possible.
What has changed, however, is the “how.” Back in 2003, when Greg was listening to Coldplay on his iPod and designing hang tags and POP from the dining room table, there was a lot more printer correspondence, press checks, print proofs and mockups. These days, so much of Porchlight’s work is digital.
Just like that iPod has evolved, so too have the ways brands and consumers interact. Back in the day, Greg’s pop music faves rode around in his back pocket. Today, the world rides around on his wrist. He still listens to Coldplay, and consumers still buy from brands they trust. But the boundaries of branding have all but dissolved. The ways we discover, engage and relate to brands have exploded. Branding is everywhere.
Today’s brands have it better and harder than ever before. There’s so much potential, but it takes more manpower than ever to grab and maintain a competitive edge. We get it, and we’re with you. We’ve evolved our methods, grown our team and expanded our expertise, all because our “why” is constant. We’re committed to helping home improvement brands succeed.
We’re in this business together with our clients. They’re part of our team, and we are part of theirs. So, it’s only fitting that we asked a few of our clients – those that were there in the beginning and are still here today – for their impressions of the last 18 years and their advice for the future.
We spoke with Ron Jarvis, Chief Sustainability Officer for The Home Depot; Hugh Miskel, CEO of Mountain View Promotions; and Mitch Reiner, Managing Partner and Senior Investment Advisor for Capital Investment Advisors.
When and why do you call on Porchlight for help?
Ron: I have been a client of Porchlight for over 12 years. My confidence in their ability to perform started many years before when Greg led the marketing department for Home Depot’s Tampa division. What I admire about the Porchlight team is the degree of ownership they attach to each project. They take it personal, and they have tremendous pride in the final results.
Hugh: Porchlight understands retail, specifically, Home Depot and Lowe’s, which are the two I deal with the most. The other reason is consistency. I know what type of work they provide, and they never disappoint. I never have to worry about the end product because they understand my business and expectations.
Mitch: We call on Porchlight when we need to tell our brand story in the most authentic way. Porchlight knows us. They know our mission, vision, and values and display these identifying aspects of our culture and business in all the work they put in the world.
What do you notice, if anything, that has changed about Porchlight over the years?
Ron: The attention to detail and the sense of urgency has been maintained as Greg has expanded the talent and elevated his role. I have been pleasantly surprised by the level of talent that Greg has attracted and maintained. I have complete confidence in whomever leads our projects. As they grow in size, they grow in capabilities. Greg still pushes back when one of my ideas are myopic.
Hugh: Overall capabilities have definitely increased. It feels like they started as a branding and packaging agency and have really grown into a full-service agency, but they also don’t lose sight of what got them there…strong branding.
Mitch: Their ability to flex with us. Greg has built a business that can support us in our most demanding and least needy moments. It has been fun to be along for the ride with Greg, Natalie, Penny, and the whole Porchlight team as they have navigated the ebbs and flows of building a great business.
What advice would you give Porchlight as we go forward into the next 18 years?
Ron: Continue to hold each other accountable for producing the best every day. Keep your small company feel and by that, I mean keep it fun, lighthearted and personal. Your clients today “know” you, always “know” them.
Hugh: It has become difficult to remain relevant with all the online freelancers available these days so what I would say is just keep delivering quality work and look to remain competitive on pricing where you can. Look to provide the peace of mind that freelancers can’t offer. No one wants to micromanage projects, and Porchlight offers a hands-off solution, so you need to market that and continue to spread the word-of-mouth recommendations. In addition, I’d recommend getting deeper into e-commerce marketing and social media marketing, specifically, sales funnels.
Mitch: Continue taking pride in being highly intentional. You have never done a project quickly for us. You have only done thoughtful and careful work. Don’t waver in this commitment to delivering intentional and impactful work every time despite the lack of emphasis that a rushed client may put on a project.
Thanks to Ron, Hugh and Mitch for being great clients and for doing their own great work. And, thanks to all of our clients. We wouldn’t be here without you. We’re in this business together.
P.S. Want to hear what else the Porchlight team was tuned into in 2003? Check Out Porchlight’s 2003 Spotify Playlist.