#BostonSpotted: A Chat with Proverb

ProverbGet to know Proverb and how they contribute to the hustle of the Hub.

Agency Spotter is all about helping marketers and agencies get to know each other. Discover the talent that makes Boston’s Proverb an agency that makes brand truths simple.

Location: Boston’s South End
Core Service: Branding
Additional Services: Advertising, Design Strategy, Packaging, Marketing Strategy

How would you characterize Proverbʼs relationship with Boston?

When Radius [the restaurant] opened in 1998, and we developed its brand identity, Boston wasnʼt exactly a culinary destination. Itʼs “the home of the bean and the cod,” after all. And that was the challenge: how do we help our client—someone doing something new, something big—achieve brand strength? How do we help change the way people see Boston?

Over the past decade, our clients have changed, but the challenges havenʼt. Weʼve become a go-to source for visionary, innovative organizations as they negotiate change in our city and beyond. Between our work with real estate and hotel developers, consumer products, and non-profits, we are active partners in the creation of a new, more dynamic and international Boston.

If Proverb was an ice cream flavor, which one would it be and why?

Whatʼs the most versatile of all ice creams? Neapolitan, of course.

Weʼre often asked what “size” our agency is, and our answer remains the same: the perfect size. What that means is that we provide a variety of capabilities in a small package, just like those wonderful stripes of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.


What elements shape Proverbʼs methodology?

“The truth made simple”—thatʼs what a proverb is, and thatʼs what Proverb does. In everything we do, we strive for simplicity and authenticity. Itʼs such a big part of our identity that we made it into our URL.

Getting to that simple truth, however, is no easy task. With us, itʼs about process. We go to great lengths to understand our clientsʼ businesses and develop a true sense of empathy for their needs. We listen. We read. We let things percolate. Then we get down to strategizing, distilling, nurturing, creating, honing, and ultimately, doing great work.

Is brand loyalty overrated?

Well, no, but building brand loyalty is a lot more involved than it used to be. Todayʼs consumers are smarter and more empowered than ever. They arenʼt just processing information—theyʼre creating it. We help our clients to embrace that change through product and organizational development, which we see as integral parts of the brand experience. Itʼs one thing to sell something, but itʼs entirely another to make something that people actually want. Our holistic approach to branding produces much more than a new logo and tagline—it helps our clients do what they do better.

Tell us a success story.

The Hotel Veritas, an independent luxury hotel in Cambridge, called upon Proverb to ensure a successful debut into one of North Americaʼs most competitive hospitality markets. We created a brand identity and integrated campaign for the hotel, including a new website, traditional and digital advertising, collateral, apparel, and environmental design. The hotelʼs style, elegance, and customized consumer experience informed every step of our design process, from developing the website to designing neckties for the concierges. The resulting campaign and identity system did a lot more than look good—it became an integral part of The Hotel Veritas experience. And itʼs working: the hotel has an impressive occupancy rating thatʼs exceeding expectations, along with a #2 ranking 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor.

In Proverbʼs opinion, what is Bostonʼs most iconic brand?

We think Bostonʼs most iconic brand is its people—their intelligence, their talent, their hustle, the way they value education. Harvard is here. MIT is here. Berklee School of Music is here. Many of us spent a lot of time in our heads. I mean, no one moves to Boston because theyʼre good-looking, right?

Thanks for chatting with us, Proverb!

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Claire Wallace