Collaborators, not competitors.
With each project, we ask: can we tackle this with the core team? If not, who are the best in the world that can? Because we want to do the best work possible, and the best work comes from the best people.
The Go Lab - One of the newest strategic leaders in the country, Megan Kent and Betsy Leigey are pioneers in “brain friendly branding” with experience in luxury and mainstream brands, including BMW, Coca Cola, Microsoft, Hilton, and more. When we decided to open our doors, they literally were the first people we called.
Eat Big Fish - Adam Morgan and his US colleague Marc Barden have impressed us for decades. They are the preeminent experts on challenger brands, and these days, honestly who doesn’t feel like a challenger brand?
Walk The Dog - We worked with Hugh Duthie in NYC and loved the way his mind worked. Actually, talking to him was one of the things that made us want to move to New York. Over a decade later, he is still bringing provocative qualitative and data driven thinking to the forefront.
Sparrow - Strategic thinking from incredible women who have worked on everything from Nike to Citi to the Marines, they cover the hispanic market too.
Insights and Trends
Cool Hunting - We met these folks on a plane to Havana and fell in love with the way they see the world. A publishing platform that embraces ideas, art, design, fashion, this company has built a community of people all over the world who are the leaders in their industry. A network unlike any other.
New Co - We have admired New Co’s founder John Battelle since back in the day when he was just another super-bright editor at Wired. But since then, he has continued to identify what makes brands and companies thrive in our ever-changing landscape.
Co:Collective - We worked with the founders Ty and Rose for years and kind of worshiped each of them in a slightly unhealthy way. Their work for Microsoft has been some of the smartest and most interesting brand storytelling out there.
Division of Labor - We recently had the benefit of watching this team pitch and it was eye-opening. Their blend of strategic boldness and creative finesse makes them a joy to see in action. We’ve been following them for years, collaborated with them on smart stuff, and look forward to Vulcan Mind Melding with them again in the near future.
The Work Department - Not to be confused with The Work (who are impressive in their own right) this is one of those companies that has been doing highly professional, top-drawer work in Detroit for years and not enough people know about them. They are designers and thinkers of the finest calibre.
Johnson + Wolverton - We still think the work we saw them do for Miller was the best work we ever saw for a beer and the work they did for Volvo and Cadillac and Lincoln was all pretty superlative too. Tough and imaginative with a cult following that covers the four corners of the globe, these guys are kind of amazing.
Former Co - Back when we were running things that were really too big, these guys were making things in the shadow of our organization that blew our minds. We would like to take credit for everything they did, but all we can say is that we didn’t get in their way. Now they’re out on their own and they are doing wonderful, wonderful stuff.
Solidarity of Unbridled Labour - We stumbled across this remarkable firm while we were wandering in the woods by the shores of Lake Champlain. Their work for Virgin, Microsoft, and Think MD are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to remarkably skilled design. We crush hard on this stuff.
Discommon - Okay, they’re working on a secret project with some secret friends of ours so we can’t really say much other than connecting everyone in this particular situation is everything we’re all about. And check out their work, because it’s great.
Thing Thing - We first met up with this crew when we collaborated on a project for Detroit’s Design Lab (an organization that is amazing, by the way) and we fell in love with their pillow light. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what they’re capable of.
Latcha - Who needs to build another studio in Detroit when Latcha, sitting out there in beautiful Farmington Hills, Michigan, has more capabilities than James Bond’s Aston Martin? By tapping into their strengths and know-how, we save ourselves (and our clients) the expense of building redundant systems when what’s lying around right now is perfectly excellent. And affordable.
Farm League - One of the most dynamic production groups coming out of Portland and California, we were fortunate enough to collaborate with this team before they had even coalesced into a company. Since then, their work has continued to bring a fresh, authentic energy to everything they’ve touched.
Radical Media - They were doing content before anyone was doing content, and they’re still pioneering. We worked on one of the original “brand journalism” projects with them over a decade ago. Their roster of directors remains one of the most enviable in the business, but what is great is the way these directors, minds like Chris Milk, think beyond the event horizon.
Cutters - Louis Lyne is one of the best editorial thinkers in the country. His team at Cutters are local resources who are world class talents. When we first met Louis we distrusted him because he dresses so nicely, but we like him a lot better now.
The Front - We’ve been a big fan of director Thalia Mavros for almost a decade. Her company empowers storytelling from a female perspective. Their films are stunning and powerful. We look forward to putting our heads together with her team’s to see what we can come up with.
Spotwelders - When we need amazing footage cut in amazing ways, we turn to this team, especially their editor Catherine Bull who is perhaps one of the greatest editors working today. A lot of agencies try to build in-house edit solutions, we prefer to go to the best editors. Because, in the end, you can tell.