May 15, 2018 04:17PM
By Kara Schweiss
Greg Daake launched a successful career as a graphic designer and an art director right out of college, but he was disappointed with the disconnect he found between creative teams and clients.
“I call it ‘mushroom management’; [the creative team is] kept in the dark and fed fertilizer,” he says. “I needed to get close to the problem…I want to be with the people—it’s not about computers and fonts and colors, it’s about human beings—and if there’s any distance between [you and] that, your work suffers.”
In 2001, he founded his namesake company out of a spare bedroom. Seventeen years later, DAAKE the company has grown to a team of 10, providing branding and creative services to clients that include Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, First National Bank, Iowa Western, OrthoNebraska, Kidwell, Lincoln Financial Group, DMSI and Timpte.
“We like that diversity. It’s not about industry for us, it’s about human beings,” says Daake, who serves as creative director and principal. “It’s still problem-solving, it’s still creating compelling thoughts, images, and expressions. And that translates across virtually any industry.”
The company’s niche is branding, which Daake likens to metamorphosis.
“It’s really the full spectrum of brand design and brand thinking but the common element is that there’s some sort of pivotal moment, complex challenge, some sort of transformation,” he explains. “We’re on a mission here to help brands transform themselves.”
Director of Project Management Susan Linde says the team at DAAKE genuinely cares about not just the success of the clients, but about the people within those organizations.
“We will ask them tough questions to get to the root of their problem, and then we will take it a step further to ask ‘What if?’ to develop new solutions that bring results,” she says. “Throughout the relationship, we will take chances and handle each and every detail, so they don’t have to.”
Senior Design Director Steven Valish agrees that what distinguishes DAAKE is deep connections to clients.
“There are a lot of great agencies in Omaha and throughout the Midwest that execute great creative. I feel strongly that DAAKE is part of that class, but creative aside, we care,” he says. “We care about our clients as best friends—think of the degree of effort and devotion you dedicate to your closest relationships.”
DAAKE’s team must be able to integrate a variety of channels, from print to broadcast social media, to meet the needs of clients around the country. But it all goes back to helping brands transition to the “what could be.”
“In 17 years of this, branding is just our sweet spot, it’s our value intersection. We get to do what’s very meaningful and fulfilling to us, and when the client goes, ‘We couldn’t have done it without you’…After months of listening and talking and focus groups, it’s great to bring back this distillation of who they already are,” Daake says. “It’s around those rebranding moments: guiding them to the right idea, clarifying what they’re really saying and creating these powerful, exciting moments for their brand.”
17002 Marcy St., Suite No. 10 Omaha, NE 68118 402.933.2959 daake.com