Maybe this is what’s wrong with agencies today – they don’t see their own brands as brands. According to AdAge, Interpublic’s CEO said
"We are not a brand. We don’t pretend to be a brand, and frankly we shouldn’t be a brand" at the AAF conference yesterday.
What is a brand? A summary, tag, or shorthand for what a company IS – the products and services it delivers, the features and benefits communicated to buyers, and the personal experience of consumers pre-, during and post-purchase.
Another interesting quote: "Right now we are so focused on cost and where those costs are that we
are losing sight of the real value we are bringing to our clients." Brands allow companies to move beyond price competition – increasing margins and aligning to meet consumer needs of a higher order. The fashion industry is all about brands. Even the ball bearing industry has brands – e.g. Timken is a "premier manufacturer". Procter & Gamble is a brand, although none of its product lines bear the corporate name.
If the holding company truly isn’t a brand, then it should disband and act as an investor in the newly independent agencies. And not in a Soviet-style CIS way, either. Let the kids loose and show the world what they can do as nimble independent shops.