Connecticut Creatives | silver creative group
3048
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silver creative group

Location: South Norwalk
Staff: 9 
Duration:
 9 years
Key Players: Paul Zullo, Donna Bonato 
Key Clients:
 UCONN, Ajinomoto, TF Cornerstone, F.D. Rich, Torie & Howard, Inergetics

How was the agency born?
bonatodesign + Zullo Communications = silver creative group. After 3 years of hiring each other’s services, Donna and Paul decided to take a leap of faith and merge the two businesses. It worked so well that an engagement and a wedding soon followed. Together, they really embody silver creative’s tagline: where strategy meets design.

Why do clients hire you and not another agency?
Well, I suppose it’s all about the company we keep. Clients keep coming back—some for 10+ years—because they trust us to understand their business and appreciate our dedication to delivering results. We do our thing, and then they brag about the traffic to their sweet new website or the positive response to an innovative marketing campaign and tell their friends to call us. Then the whole process begins again.

What makes your process unique?
Results, results, results. We start designing with conversion rates in mind, while also portraying a unique brand image. This keeps ahead of the game every time.

Why Connecticut?
Two words: Lobster. Truck.

Connecticut gives us access to two markets for the price of one. Fairfield County offers us the proximity to New York City with the opportunity to tap into a whole other area: the Stamford/Norwalk region. We’re able to serve local, regional, national, and international clients all from one spot.

Ultimately, we want to have fun when we aren’t hard at work, and South Norwalk is a great community. It’s like a mini-Brooklyn, but with it’s own unique panache…and maybe fewer hipsters.

Describe your ideal client.
Our ideal client needs help selling something and has a brand that needs a little (or a lot) of attention. We also want to work with clients at multiple marketing touch points; they need a website and a packaging design, a product launch strategy and a trade show booth, or often a complete brand overhaul.

Describe your ideal employee/team member.
The creative process is all about proactively throwing out ideas. We want our employees to be comfortable with adding their input to brainstorming sessions, even if they’re wacky and outrageous. Anyone who shines in that type of environment is welcome at silver creative.

Also, major props if they are in a band, are dating someone in a band, or have some tangential connection to a band. Really, anything related to performing music will impress us.

How do you “give back”?
We enjoy donating our creativity and talents to a number of causes close to our hearts, including pro bono work for the Dravet Syndrome Foundation and Human Services Council of Fairfield County. It’s enriching and uplifting, plus brings smiles to many.

After 3 years of hiring each other’s services, Donna and Paul decided to take a leap of faith and merge the two businesses. It worked so well that an engagement and a wedding soon followed.

Who are your favorite partners/vendors?
Google Analytics has become an important tool for us, as has MailChimp, WordPress BigCommerce, and HootSuite. We’re using some combination of these on a daily basis.

We’ve also had the same printing vendor for 20 years, Louis Cocozza from Imperial Graphics. It’s top-notch printing, over-the-top customer service, and access to copious amounts of Bad Louie’s Fudge, which is reason enough to work with Louis.

Where would you like the agency to be in 5 years?
Planning the launch party for our brand new New York City office! We’d love to grow the company and have a presence in a number of amazing real estate markets like San Francisco, Miami, Toronto, maybe even Bologna.

But we’d also like to expand our in-house capabilities, too. Adding to our web design department and developing mobile apps for clients are top priorities for the near future.

What is unique about the “culture” of the agency? The physical space?
We’re defined by our creativity and openness. When we start working on a project, the entire team is immersed into the creative process and expected to participate. Every member adds something as we turn our ideas into a finished product. We can all celebrate in the successes because everyone has played a part in the creation.

Being in South Norwalk also adds what silver creative is all about. We can get out of the office if necessary (like when the A/C broke for an entire week this summer), walk around, and let the diverse, historic environment inspire us. Or we can just go to a bar and start drinking or sketch some ideas on napkins.