Brand Storytelling Firm based in Los Angeles

WE HELP ORGANIZATIONS WIN WITH MESSAGES THAT MATTER

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OneNineNinety is a brand design and message strategy firm


PROBLEM

Not winning.

Organizations can have a lot of excuses for weak marketing and outdated strategies.

But unlike their messaging, the symptoms are clear.

  • Industry jargon is everywhere

  • Tactics started without strategy or plan

  • Off-message and stale content

Not winning feels like competitors capturing the market with inferior products and services, but ‘flashier’ marketing.

The good news? We are experts at winning.


Solution

Win with messages that matter

Winning feels like:

  • High-fives within the entire organization when they experience the new website

  • Measurable and data-driven growth

  • A brand and messaging roadmap

  • Resources, tools and training for the team

  • Awards, Board acknowledgment, etc.

With 20 years of experience that started on Capitol Hill in the political arena, we know how to win.

It starts with a message that matters.

Read our philosophy, The Audience is the Message, to understand what messages matter.

Let’s win win win.

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 CASE STUDY

BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU

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Case Study

Better Business Bureau is a network of 105 independently incorporated non-profits in North America.

The BBB Spark Award is their recognition program to reach new entrepreneurs and those under 35 years old.

Better Business Bureau

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Challenge

To roll out an award program to BBBs ASAP to build a meaningful relationship with BBBs and young entrepreneurs and new business owners.

Solution

OneNineNinety developed a comprehensive Brand + Marketing Toolkit for BBBs to come to the table with the right voice from the get go.

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BBB is winning!

David and the OneNineNinety team helped our organization win by delivering exactly what we needed to roll this program out internationally. His strong character, transparent culture of working with partners, and demonstrated practice of giving back to our community make him a great fit to continue working with the BBB and any organization looking to win.
— Kip Morse, BBB of Central Ohio & Founder, BBB Spark Award
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More winning case studies available


Meet David All

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  • 20-year classically-trained communications professional

  • underdog champion

  • amateur chef

As the CEO and founder of OneNineNinety, a brand design and message strategy firm, David believes his clients win with messages that matter.

His diverse background started first in politics and advocacy, then moved to large B2B marketing strategy and B2C campaigns, went deep into the heart of the heartland, and shaped it together on the west coast with clients around North America.


BEGINNING

In Washington, DC he was a speechwriter for a US Senator and then pioneered how to use social media in politics for his side of the aisle. He sparked and led a Revolution with words.

He started the first social media agency in politics and advocacy which he grew to 20 teammates and $5m annual revenue. The work captured more than a dozen awards and he was named one of the Top 10 Changing the Internet and Politics alongside Barack Obama.


THEN

In San Francisco, his agency moved out of politics by creating winning marketing campaigns for Intel, Google, Lenovo and Burning Man.

 After the agency, David returned to his hometown of Columbus to bring innovation to civic challenges through his startup, CivicHacks. As an accelerator for social enterprises (‘B-celerator’), David and his partner took on the task of creating an opioid recovery clinic in an area of desperate need and poverty. ‘Recovery Deserts,’ areas of high need but low supply of access to treatment was a theory David discovered and pitched to The Ohio State University geography department. In a public-private partnership, the Recovery Deserts Project became a scientific paper.


NOW

In Los Angeles, David is merging his passions with his career and finding his calling in life. He has deep empathy for underdogs and has co-organized a candle vigil in Beverly Hills to demonstrate support for victims of anti-semitic violence, and volunteers regularly with Peace4Kids, a program for youth in foster care.

He is in a 20-week cooking course and is whipping up recipes consistent with the Keto Diet. Follow him on Instagram for a taste. His pups, Jackson and Stella, certainly don’t mind the scraps.

 OUR EXPERIENCE

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 SERVICES

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Methods-based, not medium biases

We are a brand design and message strategy firm

Our expertise is in the methods we deploy to understand the communication challenge, ecosystem, and stakeholder needs we are solving. A typical firm might have a bias toward television or online advertising — we don’t.

Our clients hire us for various reasons: to bring a new brand to life, backfill the purpose of an existing brand, develop message campaigns, create entire brand and message toolkits, audit, design and develop websites, train their team, write go-to-market plans and more.

 
 
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STRATEGIC BLUEPRINT

With clients ranging from the #1 PC manufacturer in the world to global non-profits and startups, we have developed a process to deliver the strategy to solve the challenge.

The Strategic Blueprint uses design thinking methods to include all stakeholders to design the solution by meeting their needs.

 
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WEBSITE & APP DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT

We design websites and social/mobile apps based on the insights found in the Strategic Blueprint. Talk about winning, we have won nearly a dozen awards for our digital work.

 
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BRAND & MESSAGE TOOLKIT

Everything — everything — your organization will need to rollout a brand to a new market or to grow to multiple locations. Check out our BBB Spark Award case study for an example.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

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Media theorist Marshall McLuhan coined the famous dictum, “The medium is the message,” meaning the characteristics of the communication medium shape the message transmitted over it.

Though McLuhan’s insight is still relevant today, we believe that the most important factor that determines the success of your connection--with consumers, with investors, with employees--is not how content is transmitted, but who receives it, why it matters to them, and what they do with it.

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we believe

The Audience is the Message

"The audience is the message," our philosophy, is not entirely a new way of thinking about communication. Rather, it's a mashup of classic communication theory and current practical communication methods.

It is classical in the sense that it dates back thousands of years to Greek philosopher Aristotle who wrote 'Rhetoric,' still today the most important treatise regarding the art of influence and persuasion.

…Means of persuasion are either (1) in the character of the speaker (ethos), or (2) in the emotional state of the hearer (pathos), or (3) in the argument (logos) itself.
— Aristotle's Rhetoric

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And modern, embracing popular mediums to move, collect and share messages like never before. Indeed only today, with tools like the internet and mobile devices that help us identify and reach audiences with near universal connectivity and efficiency are we able to graduate our thinking as communicators beyond just message delivery. 

We believe it is time to think first about who is on the other end of the line, why a brand matters to them, and what will stimulate them to take action and share their story with their network. The messenger becomes the message.


 

Three guiding principles


 
 

AUDIENCE FIRST

An audience is a partner, not a target 

A growing trend is to treat an audience as a set of data points to be dissected. Any message built on this method loses a crucial ingredient: trust. Treat your audience as an ally from step one. Using research tools drawn from both the social sciences and humanities, listen first, secure allies, and collect the stories that already matter.


TRUE STORIES MATTER

Myths entertain but true stories persuade

Artfully crafted, fake stories are used to advertise sensationalized brand value propositions to audiences in the form of talking animals, superheroes, fictional characters, and more. But as Aristotle recognized long ago in Rhetoric, fake stories fail to persuade because they lack ethos or credibility.


CREATE FOR INFLUENCE

Audiences have influencers that matter

The 1-9-90 Rule (our namesake) applies to influence in communities; 1% creators, 9% engagers, and 90% consumers. Just 10% reach the community organically and are the so-called influencers. A message strategy must be built for the 10%, not the entire audience.


 
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OneNineNinety
named for
1-9-90 Rule

  • 1% create content

  • 9% engage with content, and

  • 90% consume content

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 News & Ideas

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Profiles


Columns & Opinion Pieces

 
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Get in Touch


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