Trevor & Tyler Roberts are brothers who operate Cross & Crown, a branding agency located in Chambersburg, Penn. that also offers web design and development, digital marketing and video production. Connect with them on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Given a business name is so central to a brand, we tend to put a lot of importance on it. How did you arrive at a name, and how do you feel about it now that you’ve been in business a while?
My brother and I have been partners in the business right from the start. While we were in college, we worked on a class project together that had us create a business plan and that plan became what is now Cross & Crown. We actually started out as Cross & Crown Productions, Inc. but with use over time we realized adjusting to simply Cross & Crown made the most sense long term.
What’s your physical location?
We are located in south-central Pennsylvania in a beautiful town called Chambersburg. We recently moved into a new space downtown that allowed us to custom design our office layout and flow. The new layout allows us to all be on the same floor (as opposed to two floors which was the case for many years) and does an excellent job of promoting collaboration and creativity among our team members.
With some brands, location is a key component. Is there anything about the place you live and work that’s shaped your own brand?
We are located in a rural part of Pennsylvania but positioned strategically near large hubs such as Philadelphia and D.C. which allows us to be accessible to the small businesses in our area while still marketing ourselves to the businesses found within the larger cities and surrounding suburbs.
How would you describe your professional experience and background?
I attended Shippensburg University and graduated with my Bachelor of Arts degree in Art in 2008. My deep appreciation for design started when I was quite young and carried through my degree and into my career. Starting a business at such an early age gave me a priceless (albeit difficult) learning experience.
Could you describe the scope of your operation?
Cross & Crown is a full-service branding agency that offers not only branding but also web design and development, digital marketing and video production. Our team is unique in that we are positioned to scale up or down based on the type of client we’re serving. As mentioned before, being positioned in the middle of two major metropolitan areas, we have the opportunity to serve larger national clients while also serving the local artisans and small businesses in our community. Having touch points in both arenas equips us with a perspective that I believe gives us a competitive advantage as we approach each individual project, large or small.
What kind of projects do you prefer to work on?
Our team thrives on projects that have a clear purpose and ongoing impact. We love to engage with clients who are in the practice of educating, advocating and seeking to thrive. It is thoroughly satisfying for everyone involved to see our work make a tangible and meaning full impact on the world. Those are the kinds of jobs that keep the creative fires burning!
Could you describe your typical client (if you have a typical client)?
We work with such a wide variety of clients I wouldn’t say any of them are ”typical” but I do see some consistent themes in the kinds of clients we serve. We work very well with clients who place a high value on the visual representation of their brand. How things look matter to them and they appreciate the details and distinguishing factors produced by quality design. The best client relationships are defined by a collaborative process built on the firm foundation of quality communication and trust.
Sometimes we’re in a position where it’s necessary to turn down projects. What do those situations look like for you, and how do you manage them?
Our team seeks to consider projects through the filters of, “Does this client match the type of work that we’re passionate about?” and, “Do we feel like we can add value to their brand?” The truth of the matter is that there are a lot of creative firms out there and it is important to find the right fit. One way creative work is unique is in that you have to mesh well with the client and really understand their brand personality. We’ve been doing this long enough to recognize potential disconnects and when it may not be the best fit. When this happens, we are always happy to suggest alternatives and help prospects make connections to other companies that may be better suited to serve their needs.
How do you position GoDaddy products and services for your clients?
GoDaddy is a known name in the marketplace with a high value of trust for domain registration. We greatly appreciate having an established name that we can confidently recommend to our clients.
Could you describe a project that you feel exemplifies you at your best?
We had the privilege of working with Hope Inspire Love on both their website and video. We find that we work best when we are able to integrate all the members of our team in the creative process!
An obvious metric for measuring our own success is how much you got paid versus how much time it took. In your experience, what are the advantages and drawbacks here?
We seek to value experience over cost, so while we try to price ourselves fairly, we also seek to make our talent accessible to everyone ranging from small businesses to large corporations.
How does GoDaddy Pro fit into what you do? Could you recommend any ways to get the most value out of it — especially to someone just starting out?
GoDaddy Pro is becoming a resource for so many individuals and small companies to organize their agencies and the suite of tools GoDaddy makes available to their customers makes this easy to do while minimizing confusion.
Imagine you could travel back in a time machine to a point where you were like, Forget this. I’m done! What advice would you give yourself?
There are going to be many days that make you want to crawl in a hole and give up, but you need to remind yourself in those moments to focus on the bigger picture. Even the smallest, daily habits and disciplines add up over the course of time. The days and even weeks can be trying but when you look back, you’ll see the mountain of progress that was made in the midst of the difficulty.
What’s your parting shot for people who want to be like you when they grow up?
Pay attention to what you are passionate about and then build your idea/business around that. It is that passion that will pull you through the hard and trying days.