How Obvious Brand Partners empowers their clients and reduced turnaround time by 90%

About Obvious Brand Partners

Established in 2018, Obvious Brand Partners(opens in a new tab or window) is a versatile team of designers, strategists, campaign experts and managers based in Wellington, New Zealand. Collaborating with value-aligned creatives and clients from Queenstown to Auckland, this full-service agency emphasizes problem-solving, creating meaningful connections, and excels in offering visually striking and purpose-driven brand solutions that empower their clients.

Obvious help brands stand out for what they stand for, making them clear, apparent and easily understood by their audience.

The Challenge

With years of experience consulting for various media outlets, Ciaran Jack, the founder of Obvious Brand Partners, had a deep understanding of the creative landscape. When establishing Obvious in 2018, Ciaran was driven to address team collaboration challenges he had encountered in his previous roles. He was also keen to ensure Obvious could deliver exceptional value, whilst solving common challenges he heard from clients.

“The single most common challenge I wanted to resolve was when a client would come to us and ask for an editable artwork file, which they could update themselves without needing a return visit or recurring payments,” says Ciaran.

Canva has been an ideal visual communications platform for Obvious Brand Partners, especially with its ability to seamlessly collaborate in designs.

Previously, Ciaran dealt with remote teams that were spread across several disconnected platforms and softwares. This meant simple tasks took an unnecessarily long time as they waited for approvals and feedback, sometimes up to 24-36 hours. As a result, collaboration became challenging, leading to delays in creating cohesive content.

“We’re a hybrid team of creative minds who thrive on collaboration. We sometimes had multiple people from the team contributing to proposals and pitches. In the early days, we’d use a different software for ideas, then someone would still have to move it into a design and make it look nice,” says Ciaran.

On top of that, there wasn’t an effective brand management system in place. This made it difficult to maintain consistent visual brand identities for multiple clients and establish an efficient creative process. It was clear to Ciaran that a better solution was needed.

The Solution

From the very start, it was evident that Canva was the ‘Obvious’ choice. Ciaran quickly recognized its potential as a platform that could be utilized by their entire team. This included not only the designers responsible for creating brand assets for clients, but also those team members who didn’t have technical skills to navigate complex graphic design software.

“We can now do everything in Canva,” says General Manager Essi Airisniemi. “For a financial presentation, I can add animations and make it look approachable and engaging. This helps the team process information.”

Quotation mark
It used to take three to four platforms, but now I can throw materials into Canva and pump out a presentation in a couple hours.

Essi Airisniemi

General Manager, Obvious Brand Partners

Obvious Brand Partners reduced software use from three to four platforms to just one (Canva) when creating brand consistent presentations.

Furthermore, Ciaran champions Canva as a solution to empower their clients. By setting up their clients in Canva, with easy access to all brand materials and templates, clients were able to utilize content immediately and make quick, minor alterations independently.

This effectively resolved the frequent requests for "editable artwork" that clients could update themselves. Ciaran feels this enables Obvious to stay ahead of the competition and capitalize on cutting-edge solutions, ultimately providing maximum value to their team and clients alike.

This setup is advantageous for both Obvious and their partners.

Designers can concentrate on developing new concepts instead of tackling revisions, and clients can enjoy cost savings by avoiding the expenses associated with continuous design changes.

Ciaran views this as a key differentiator for the Obvious agency. By empowering clients to independently update their materials through Canva, it sets the agency apart from competitors and positions them as a trustworthy, forward-thinking and client-centric agency, delivering exceptional value to their clients.

“We always maintain that we want to have conversational relationships with our partners rather than transactional,” says Ciaran. “For us to be able to share designs and have partners get involved, add comments, and make changes themselves absolutely lives up to our values. That’s what we think design is all about.”

“We don’t want to charge clients for changes we feel they should be empowered to make themselves – this is where Canva excels,” Ciaran says. “Unlike more technical design software, clients can feel really comfortable making changes themselves. Clients are often familiar with Canva, so it’s not a difficult sell for us.

Our standard package for clients is essentially, ‘Let's nail the strategy, design an epic identity and set you up with a brand toolkit in Canva with assets, templates and resources, where you can make on-brand changes while knowing we’ve got your back.’ We believe in supporting our clients to communicate confidently, regardless of the size of their organization or budget.”

Clients have praised Obvious Brand Partners’ ability to integrate Canva seamlessly into their workflows.

Obvious Brand Partners empowers clients like Modal Architecture to use Canva regularly to shape their brand identity and marketing.

Sam Hodgson, founder and director of Modal Architecture(opens in a new tab or window) (one of Obvious’ clients) says, "I've undertaken a brand journey with Obvious Brand Partners, and this turned into an overhaul of our visual identity, language, audience profiling, systems, processes and client delivery. Obvious showed us not only how to use Canva to amplify our brand, but empowered us to replace multiple subscriptions with a single ultra-powerful subscription.

We’ve changed the way we write proposals, contracts, present client deliveries and more with Canva. Not only that, we’ve started using our amazing Brand Kit to create awesome social media and advertising. I cannot recommend Obvious and the way they empower people with Canva enough. They've unlocked new potential for my business.”

Following the integration of Canva, the Obvious team has significantly shortened standard turnaround times. As a result, their clients have reaped the rewards of improved efficiency.

Tasks that previously took three to four days to complete now only take three to four hours – an impressive 90% decrease.

Obvious Brand Partners reduced total turnaround time of proposals by 90% using Canva Teams.

Quotation mark
Regardless of whether you’re in marketing and coordination, or a strategy and conceptual design space, all of us use Canva. At the end of the day, what Canva really allows us to do is work with everyone in the team, and our clients, collaboratively. And that’s super powerful.

Ciaran Jack

Founder, Obvious Brand Partners

Josh Hopton-Stewart, Obvious' Campaign Manager, mentions that Canva reduced their design turnaround from one week to five minutes. "I can whip a design out in five minutes rather than wait a week for a gap in a designer’s pipeline,” he says.

Using Canva, Obvious Brand Partners significantly reduced turnaround time of proposals from 3-4 days to 3-4 hours.

Canva also played a crucial role in Obvious Brand Partners’ planning and executing both the TEDxWellington(opens in a new tab or window) and TEDxPipitea(opens in a new tab or window) initiatives.

TEDxPipitea faced persistent COVID-19 uncertainties and transformed into a hybrid event with a focus on virtual engagement. This required significant logistical and organizational adaptability. Obvious handled all communications with stakeholders and promoters through TEDxPipitea's Canva for Nonprofits account, including revisions on their Media and Speaker Kits.

Obvious Brand Partners used Canva to successfully plan and execute the TEDxWellington and TEDxPipitea conferences in New Zealand.

How effective time management leads to financial growth

Essi found that Canva's Background Remover feature has rendered previous design software obsolete.

Ciaran is particularly enthusiastic about the Video Background Remover, animations and Beat Sync features, which have made video production more accessible, budget-friendly, and engaging.

With Canva implemented across their teams, these creative and collaborative projects can be managed in-house, leading to considerable savings and more creative outputs. Tasks that once took longer and cost clients double or triple the amount can now be completed in a fraction of the time at a reduced cost.

The team at Obvious Brand Partners uses a variety of Canva’s features to help streamline workflows and drive cost savings.

Creating a high-performance content management ecosystem

The Obvious team appreciates Canva's Brand feature and its advanced Brand Kit. This enables the team to manage their portfolio of clients and create content at scale by customizing designer-made templates to align with brand-specific typefaces and pantone colors.

Obvious Brand Partners keeps their Brand Kit organized with appropriate logos, colors and fonts that ensure brand consistency.

Canva's Magic features, like Text to Image, Magic Write and Magic Design, are helpful for Ciaran and the team, who are excited to embrace emergent technologies. They use these features to expedite the process, adding a human touch and guiding clients through making informed decisions.

Whiteboards has become a go-to tool to Obvious, enabling the team to brainstorm together, and with clients, from anywhere.

The infinite canvas of Whiteboards facilitates idea expansion and integrates all Canva features, including video. The platform's functionality enables easy project management and workshopping like website development and audience persona profiling by keeping all assets in one place. Within Whiteboards, they assign tasks by adding comments and tagging team members. With the ability to save, repurpose, share and store content within Whiteboards, the Obvious team doesn't even need to leave the platform.

The team is also reassured by the ability to protect document and folder permissions within Canva, which accommodates various project phases and serves the needs of both internal team members and clients.

Quotation mark
We live and breathe Canva. It’s the single most regular app open on anyone’s computer.

Ciaran Jack

Founder, Obvious Brand Partners

Harnessing purposeful tools for sustained growth

Obvious Brand Partners is on a mission to empower their clients to communicate confidently, clearly and creatively. By embracing Canva, they've accelerated their processes, unleashed their team's potential and forged stronger connections with clients and partners.

Canva has become the catalyst for living out their values and bringing their creative visions to life. The agency takes immense pride in recommending Canva to clients, as they genuinely trust its capabilities.

Using Canva distinguishes us from other agencies. We’ve built it into our processes and won and retained clients, because of our commitment to empower them with brands and tools they can actually use to grow their businesses.
Ciaran Jack
Founder, Obvious Brand Partners

Turnaround time of proposals reduced