Co-Presidents Share their Strategy on Leading a Business January 14, 2022

Headquartered out of Metro Detroit, Brand Labs specializes in custom web development, UX, UI design, SEO, and system architecture, through a fully remote staff made up of more than 25 amazing team members with senior-level or higher experience, and a twist on the typical singular figurehead overseeing a company’s operation – Co-presidents.

Capitalizing and deferring respective strengths to the other, Danielle Lewis and Michelle Pittell took a path less-traveled to unite and conquer.

For Danielle, who at the time was a new mother wanting to spend time with her son, the thought of a president role was seen as added stress, lots of time and sacrificed weekends, and not something that seemed to align with her then-daily life. Plus, she knew her strengths and passions for business strategy and marketing, so taking on a more “operational” role as a president would likely take her further away from what excited her in her current role.

For Michelle, it seemed to be the opposite. With a zeal for the operational and financial management-side of what Brand Labs does (but also the same desire to help businesses grow and succeed), Michelle had the same work ethic and passion for putting employees first while taking a more analytical approach to business strategy.

It was only logical (and natural) that the two together could successfully oversee the company and thus co-presidents were created.

Now, Danielle and Michelle are able to look at different scenarios and different points of views and come together to figure out the best solutions. They are also able to discuss and strategize with each other, knowing they are both aligned with the same vision – without those stresses and responsibilities falling solely on the shoulders of just one leader.

Another byproduct of the Co-presidency arrangement is the Brand Labs’ culture, which has only been reinforced due to a set of core values that are fostered through the partnership: collaboration, simplicity and mindfulness.

Through the company’s core values, the team at Brand Labs is able to connect with clients and partners in the same way they would wish to be treated. Taking this humanized approach creates trust through transparency that enhances project success.

And if this isn’t enough to ensure whole-project success, Brand Labs also utilizes another unique component to ensure it – discovery and a solution blueprint. Through it, Brand Labs sets out to remove obscure deliverables to allow all parties, at all times, a full view of expectations.

With this thinking, a three-phase approach was created for building online stores that begins with a discovery and solution blueprint before moving to design and development. Before each phase starts, a detailed and accurate proposal is provided to minimize those out-of-scope costs and ensure total alignment.

When the first phase is complete, a “Solution Blueprint” is created, along with an accurate quote for design, followed by development.
The reasoning behind this phased approach is, Danielle and Michelle have seen firsthand how designated scopes of work can easily start growing legs throughout a project.

Phase one, which is referred to as the “Discovery & Solution Blueprint” phase, is designed to foster collaboration between Brand Labs and their clients to clearly understand business goals and wants and needs for the project. At the end of this phase, clients are provided with their specific “Solution Blueprint,” which consists of detailed UX wireframes, technical requirements and a detailed design proposal that includes an estimate for the development phase. This allows clients to fully understand the scope of work, timeline and costs before diving into implementation (design and development phases).

Brand Labs may do things a little differently by staying far, far away from jumping straight into implementation (a lesson they learned years ago), but this innovative approach allows their clients to spend less time, resources and money in the long run, and it makes the design and development phases go so much smoother. But, most importantly, there is alignment on what the end deliverables will be.

If you’re looking to update your e-commerce store with custom development, new designs, a focus on the user journey, SEO, platform migration, or just have questions on how to improve your online store, feel free to send us a message,