BS LLC—a Cincinnati Branding Agency
BS LLC is a nimble team of research-focused creatives driven to build more effective brands with strategy and intention. We specialize in working with brands experiencing transition or evolution—adept at helping brands rediscover their essence and build corresponding systems to stimulate growth, attract talent, and improve culture. BS LLC possesses the energy, intelligence, and determination to run with our clients towards an unstoppable future. Founded in Cincinnati, OH in 2014 by partners, Ben Greenberg and Sebastien Hue, BS has grown into a full-service agency, with competencies across market research and brand strategy, visual design, communications, and production management.
Our approach to client work is hands-on and organizationally focused. We have seen firsthand the damage that disorganized projects, lagging timelines, and unfocused strategy can have on businesses and institutions. As such, we set out to create systems, processes, and tools to ensure creative projects are as effective as possible, leaving little to chance. The clients with whom we’ve worked continue to do business with us again and again because of our diligent adherence to timelines and budgets as well as our constant pursuit of strategic excellence and creativity.
As co-founder, strategist, and lead copywriter at BS LLC, Ben helps turn insights into deliverables. Ben is both a student and practitioner of human-centered design. For close to a decade, he has helped nonprofits, businesses, and institutions create strategies for growth based on internal reflection, external research, and creative problem-solving. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ben holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Northern Kentucky University’s Salmon P. Chase College of Law. He is a member of the board of directors at the Mercantile Library, Breakthrough Cincinnati, and MORTAR.
The Grateful Dead
Gravity, Clouds, and the way people drive in the state of Massachusetts
The Comments Section
The paintings of David Hockney and Arshile Gorky
As lead strategist & creative director of BS LLC, Sebastien Hue translates client goals into achievements. Born in Kentucky, he went on to study Linguistics & International Relations before earning an MBA from ESCP Business School. He is certified in Disruptive Theory by Harvard Business School. During his studies, he spent nights and weekends working in some of the world’s best kitchens in Chicago & Paris, including Taillevant, Lasserre, Charlie Trotters, Blackbird Restaurant, Le Francais, and L’Escargot Montorgueil.
With international experience in technology & business consulting, he went on to serve as the creative director at Boca Restaurant Group advancing them from 50 to 650 employees and a multi-city footprint before joining paths with Ben and opening BS LLC where he oversees creative direction and strategy. He is a board member at the Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Memorial Hall Society.
After the Fall, Keith Jarrett • Sugaregg, Bully • Kiwi Jr., Football Money • Soundway Presents Columbia! • Donna Summers, Bad Girls
Cedric Grolet's Wild & Beautiful Pastry
Swann's Way, Marcel Prout • Why Facts Don't Change Our Mind, Elizabeth Kolbert (New Yorker) • Time of Magicians, the Invention of Modern Thought, Wolfram Eilenburger • How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer
Research and Strategy Analyst
Research and Strategy Analyst
Graphic designer, copywriter, adjunct professor, photographer, executive creative director, adult continuing education instructor, strategist — Sam has contributed to numerous agencies serving a diverse range of roles for at least two lifetimes worth of national and global B2B and consumer clients. Simplifying complex, multi-stakeholder environments are his specialty, providing clarity and human behavioral insight to creative and business-building endeavors.
Maria McKee, Gustav Mahler, Talk Talk, Siouxsie and the Banshees, anything by Chopin
The meditations of Rupert Spira
The fluid yet functional design lines of Pinarello and Ducati
Liam is a Designer with BS LLC. Liam graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a BFA in Visual Communication Design. He has spent the last 8 years as a visual creative with competencies in photography, communication design, typographic design, and user interface/experience design. Born and raised in Louisville, KY, Liam now lives in Covington with his wife, Chelsey. Liam enjoys traveling, visiting art museums, and live music.
Gary Clark Jr, LCD Soundsystem, Zhu, My Morning Jacket, Gramatik, The Black Keys, Thievery Corporation, Outkast, Tribe Called Quest, Daft Punk, NPR, Podcasts.
Cotton Candy Sunsets.
Technology & Design Blogs
Photography, Artworks, Architecture.
Design and Development
Design and Development
Hannah is a designer/developer at BS LLC focusing on website development. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor’s in Interior Design and a minor in Fashion Design Studies. During her studies, she lived in Seattle, New York, and Detroit working on branded experiences and events.
She currently lives in Cincinnati with her boyfriend and their dog, Pancake. She loves gardening, reading, and visiting local coffee shops.
Lorde – Solar Power, Goth Babe – Car Camping, Van Morrison – Into the Mystic, too many true crime podcasts
Unintentional art – light refractions, color, and shadows in space
Miami Rising – Taylor Jenkins Reid, Humans of New York Stories
Iris van Herpen – Earthrise
Cecily is a Project Manager for BS LLC, where she oversees internal communications, timelines and future projections. Before joining BS LLC, Cecily worked in customer service at the venture-backed startup, Everything But the House, where she served as the Customer Service Manager. Cecily lives in Cincinnati with her husband, Aron, her son, Jack, and her cat, Arya. Cecily loves to read, paint, embroider, play video & board games, and kill plants.
Passion, Pain, and Demon Slayin' by Kid Cudi | Cuttin' Grass by Sturgill Simpson | Fetch the Boltcutters by Fiona Apple | How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful by Florence + The Machine
The power of a new generation of people becoming involved with leadership!
Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson | Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy | Axiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis
Evolving my own point of view by letting other perspectives in, without influence.
Brooke is the Director of Client Experience for BS LLC where she oversees all client communications and client-facing project management. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor’s in Philosophy. Prior to working with BS, Brooke worked as a registered yoga instructor for 8 years before joining the venture-backed startup, Everything But the House, where she served as a customer success agent. Brooke serves on the board of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati and the Jewish Federation’s National Young Leadership Cabinet. She lives in Cincinnati with her husband and two sons, and loves to travel, fish, ski, and refurbish antiques.
“Doubt can exist only where a question exists, a question only where an answer exists, and an answer only where something can be said. ”
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
Brand Identity Design
Strong corporate identity design—the process of creating a visual identity for a product, service, or institution through graphic design—combines purposeful and research-driven brand positioning strategy with timeless aesthetic vision. The most iconic and long-lasting brands exist because a group of people dedicated themselves to the practice of discovering a product, service, or institution’s fundamental purpose and representing that purpose through shapes, colors, and words.
Brand names and product names must serve many masters—the URL, the SEO, the feelings and associations, the sound, the shape of the letters, and the list goes on. The process of developing and selecting brand names and product names can be draining and demoralizing—you think you’ve landed on something perfect, something that captures exactly what you want people to think and feel, plus it looks beautiful in chunky sans-serif text. But then you turn to Google and find out someone has beat you to the punch.
Our brand-building process begins with positioning. Brand positioning is the process of understanding how your brand fits into the ecosystem of competitors, stakeholders, and customers. It is the act of creating a brand that occupies a unique and different space in the market, while still communicating the inherent benefits of the product or service. Positioning is essential to the process of creating a brand imbued with purpose and built to last and grow.
A great brand strategy is the process of understanding where a brand has been, its current market position and its long-term goals. From it, we can plot a course to achieve future goals based on a deep understanding of how its products or services solve problems for customers and what moves those customers to make decisions.
Branding is the act of defining and refining the essence or identity of a business, product, service, or institution—it is creating that which comes to represent the totality of experiences and associations with a product or service. Some believe that branding is a promise you make to your customer. We believe this to be a shallow interpretation, as branding encompasses the promise as well as how, when, and why you make the promise. More broadly, a brand is the voice, heart, mind, and style of a business.
From a top-level, our approach to business strategy begins with research. We define how you currently generate revenue, what problems you solve for your customers, and why they choose you over your competitors (competitive advantage). These fundamental components of business help us align strategic endeavors with branding, marketing, sales, and HR. Together, they produce quantifiable results, including differentiation and growth.
The problem with copy is that almost everyone in the business world can write, and so they think copy is easy, intern-work, get someone to do it, and don’t fret about it. We wish you the best of luck.
Graphic Design Services
Graphic design has never been more accessible than at the present moment. Our culture has become increasingly visual. More and more, we communicate with and through images. For BS, graphic design is more than a tool for communicating ideas, it is the visual representation of brand identity. To us, designing an identity for a brand is a human process.
BS LLC has over 30 years of collective hospitality experience, including opening 12 restaurants and helping to garner prized industry awards from Mobil 4 Star to James Beard, from Best Restaurant in Ohio to Best New Restaurant, and more. Learn more about our work.
Market research is the process of analyzing the viability of a product or service through quantitative and qualitative analysis. The goal of this research is to determine or discover a target market, brand position, and marketing niche position. The positioning informs brand strategy & business strategy and lays the foundation to build a marketing strategy. At large, conducting market research increases your chances of success. It outlines opportunities allowing leaders to make better use of resources & processes while mitigating risks. Market research operates on two primary modes of analysis—quantitative and qualitative. These distinct disciplines are deeper and richer when studied together, however, they can operate in silos. In a way, quantitative and qualitative offer a philosophical dialectic: together they pursue the truth about opportunities. Quantitative research is analytical, correlative, and focused on data. Qualitative is human and causal.
BS LLC is a Cincinnati marketing firm with expertise in strategic marketing and digital marketing. We work on campaigns but specialize as an outsourced marketing department for small to mid-sized companies. Our growth mindset helps turn insights into action and action into data-driven performance.
Outsourced marketing departments offer a strong value proposition. Internal teams with senior talent, content developers, engineers, analysts are expensive and complex to manage. We’re here to help reduce marketing department costs by 70+%
With 20+ years of experience in marketing strategy and strategic planning, we are able to support your company’s growth and campaign objectives. Our work is defined by transparent planning, objective alignment, metric measurement, and unique flexibility to focus on both short and long-term strategies. Our team’s capacity also reaches beyond traditional marketing to business strategy, brand strategy, branding, design, public relations, and more.
BS LLC helps firms develop marketing strategies to build brand equity and to promote the sales of your products or services.
How do you build a marketing strategy? You begin with the research product /service, the customer, and the marketplace. These research processes are essential to the development of brand strategy & business strategy, the tools that help define your position and identity.
SEO: Search Engine Optimization
How do people find what they need to find online? Well, it begins with a search index such as Google, Bing, and others. Users input questions, keywords, or they talk to their phones and the index scurries off to find information that is highly relevant to their request. SEO is the practice of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic through organic search. SEO is essential to a website’s success as a marketing tool. The most successful SEO-attuned websites require a thoughtful taxonomy that allows its content to be highly digestible by search indices.
Website Design Service
Simple, elegant, unique. Our goal is to create business and institutional websites that provide potential customers the emotional satisfaction and functional understanding necessary to convert leads into customers.
The BS LLC team has opened 15 restaurants. With deep expertise in restaurant operations and design, we are an ideal fit to help bring culinary dreams to life.
Our solutions-based development process has helped build award-winning restaurants from concept to completion, including advising on technical culinary and operational development.
"When our team was ready to update our website, BS stepped up. BS worked closely with our whole team to make sure that the update met our needs and effectively communicated our services to existing and potential customers. Their team was patient, responsive, and creative. The site's navigation, SEO, and overall appeal has greatly improved. We also chose to switch our website hosting to BS and had a flawless transition with faster speed. Our team highly recommends BS, LLC."Ali Trianfo, Director of Operations and Community Affairs - Government Strategies Group
“A reliable partner, BS LLC Branding Agency designed and developed a functional website within a weekend to support pitches the following week. The team quickly understood the client’s aesthetic vision, which supports seamless collaboration. Their creativity and efficiency are notable qualities.”BLDG 20
“The final brand earned universal praise from internal and external stakeholders. BS LLC brought an undeniable creative touch to the project, leveraging their past experience to suggest best branding practices. To align with the bank’s communication style, they adopted a project management tool.”KAYLEIGH NAURACY, ANALYST - ARKMALIBU
“The BS LLC team are smart, curious, and humble. I have worked with them as a client (our website) and collaborated with clients we share. They know their stuff, communicate every step of the way, and create results.”BENNO DUENKELSBUEHLER - OWNER, (RE)ALIGN
“Thanks to the efforts of the BS LLC Branding Agency the project was completed successfully. The company has received positive feedback from guests. The workflow between the two companies was good, the communication kept everyone up to date and on the same page.”ANN SALAZAR, OWNER - SALAZAR RESTAURANT
“Working with BS LLC over the past year, during the launch of my business, has been a very rewarding experience. Both Ben & Sebastien exhibited exceptional leadership and creativity which enabled 1628 Ltd. to move from concept to launch in 12 months. Personally, I have enjoyed working with them as they continue to look for ways to stay current on research in their field. I find the passion and energy they bring on a daily basis to be refreshing."TAMARA SCHWARTING, CEO - 1628 LTD.
“Ben and Sebastien treated my project as their own. Their ability to pull from my thoughts an expressive interpretation of my intent was crucial to the development of my business’ identity. I cannot say enough about their professionalism, follow up and creative guidance. As someone who is more of a utilitarian and less of an abstract thinker, their thoughtfulness, creativity, and organization helped me achieve my goals.”CHASE BLOWERS, CHEF/OWNER - 8th & ENGLISH
“By securing notable press coverage and delivering a representative name, BS LLC | Branding, Strategy, & Design remains a valuable partner that provides ongoing services. A flexible team, they easily adapt to changes in requirements. Their flexibility and reliability ensure a lasting partnership.”ASHLEY HEIDT, DIRECTOR OF PRIVATE EVENTS - DEAR RESTAURANT & BUTCHERY
“BS LLC delivered a product that was met with a positive response. Overall, they are a quick-thinking partner.”DANIEL GUIGUI, CEO - DOWN DECOR
“BS LLC met expectations and was prompt in their delivery. Their contributions helped the client increase their direct labor team by approximately 50%. Customers can expect a creative and flexible team with good project management skills.“ELI LIECHTY, CEO - EMPOWER MANUFACTURING
“Thanks to the efforts of the BS LLC Branding Agency the project was completed successfully. The company has received positive feedback from guests. The workflow between the two companies was good, the communication kept everyone up to date and on the same page."ANN SALAZAR, OWNER - GOOSE + ELDER
"They understand how to be creative, fresh, and high-end without feeling cliched."LOUISA GEHRING, OWNER - GEHRING TRAVEL
“The website is already generating new commercial leads that stakeholders feel they wouldn’t have reached previously, and the branding results continue to drive key marketing and positioning decisions. Creativity and strategic thinking were hallmarks of BS LLC’s work. They were timely and responsive.”KW FLOORING
“BS LLC | Branding, Strategy, & Design provided valuable knowledge and guidance that enabled the efficient production of satisfying deliverables. The team supports transparent collaboration by establishing expectations early. A dedicated partner, they actively listen to the client’s goals.”ALLEN WOODS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - MORTAR
"Ben and Sebastien are incredibly talented and professional. They were genuinely interested in understanding our work and vision for the future. They connected with our clients through one-on-one interviews and expertly translated the insights they gathered into well-crafted messaging and design recommendations. We will definitely work with them again!"NICOLE ARMSTRONG, FOUNDER - QUEEN CITY CERTIFIED
“Working with BS feels like an extension of our team. They listen and probe deeply into the crux of what we would like to express and achieve and then deliver the copy and execution of vision with excellence. The partnership we’ve developed with BS is powerful and natural and only just beginning.”BRYANT GOULDING, CO-FOUNDER - RHINEGEIST
“Thanks to the efforts of the BS LLC Branding Agency the project was completed successfully. The company has received positive feedback from guests. The workflow between the two companies was good, the communication kept everyone up to date and on the same page.”ANN SALAZAR - OWNER, MITA'S
“BS does their homework and gets it done. They got inside my head, they know where we came from and where we’re going. The brand they created speaks to who we are as a team, what we create together, and the people who choose to buy our bread. The new brand has helped us push into the national market and set ourselves apart from the competition. That was the goal from the beginning, and they killed it.”RYAN MORGAN, CEO - SIXTEEN BRICKS BAKERY
“Thanks to BS LLC Branding Agency, the client was able to secure the funding for their storefront. The team's workflow is excellent. They are professional, creative, and their work is unique.”JORDAN HAMONS - OWNER, TABLESPOON COOKING CO.
“The client has achieved a 95% tenancy rate for their 17 properties, and the neighborhood received $17 million in additional investment. BS LLC integrated themselves into the project’s stakes. Their weekly reports and meetings demonstrated their professional management skills.”ANDREW NAAB, DIRECTOR OF COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT - LORING GROUP
“BS LLC worked with United Way of Greater Cincinnati to create marquee content and collateral for our annual fundraising campaign. In 2017, we shifted our priorities toward strategies that will bring about an end to poverty. A bold and focused new direction coupled with the national organization’s updated brand rollout called for revamping and improving creative execution. BS LLC took on the challenge of convening local stakeholders to develop new messaging targeting executives and high net-worth donors. The project combined strategic messaging with photography, design, and layout. The powerful new copy and design received internal and external praise, and The United Way of Greater Cincinnati raised more than $60 Million in 2017."TERESA HOELLE, CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER - THE UNITED WAY OF GREATER CINCINNATI
“The BS LLC Branding Agency team was able to provide all of their deliverables on time with high-quality work. The company's internal team was quite impressed by the level of detail that the project had in all of its aspects. The team's passion and creativity were on full display for this project."JIM BEITING, CEO - TRANSITIONS