Advertising

Anyone make the move from agency to brand strategy/design consultancy (Wolff Olins, Lippincott, Interbrand, etc.)? How do you like it on the other side?

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there’s a big difference between places that focus on brand strategy and design consultancy, which also means there’s a big difference in the skillsets required to thrive in either. i’ve been at one of the top design consultancies for 3 years now, having spent the first 12 years of my career in advertising. the work is highly complex and strategic, and far removed/upstream from marketing briefs. it was a culture shock at first, both in terms of the approach to solving business problems and the variety in the actual problems to solve, but much more in line with how my brain works. i’m much happier and feel like the work we do has more impact. really depends on what you’re looking for.

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yeah—the ones you’ve listed definitely fit within the brand strategy realm, although I know places like Wolff are branching into more consultancy-style models. On the design consultancy side, you’re looking at frog, ideo, fjord, method, etc. as the leaders. you’ll find a lot of bigger and more traditional consultancies like Accenture are trying to get into the game with acquisitions of studios (e.g. fjord is now a part of Accenture).

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I've seen creative people get a little bored/frustrated. Think it depends on what you want to focus on. I've heard from friends that Interbrand is going through some stuff.

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Super helpful, thanks AD1! What would you classify as a brand strategy shop vs design consultancy? Are the ones I listed more like the former and less like the latter?

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Gotcha, thanks for that AD1!

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