Ogilvy executives Joanna Seddon and Nik Gharekhan said Monday they have teamed up to launch a brand strategy consultancy called Presciant.
The firm helps clients build and measure the success of their brands in driving business results by using financial and customer data — a strategy that varies from other brand consultancies that rely on intuition to guide their strategies.
Presciant backs the emotional component of brand building and storytelling with facts and figures to show how marketing drives revenue profit and shareholder value, which is critical as marketers continue to make the case for being viewed as a growth driver versus a cost center by the c-suite.
The agency’s services include brand portfolio architecture and innovation, M&A branding, brand valuation, brand budgets and ROI and brand creation.
Formerly Ogilvy’s president of global brand consulting and senior consulting partner, respectively, Seddon and Gharekhan decided to launch their own consultancy after the tumultuous events of 2020 showed that brands now have an appetite for change.
“There is the pandemic, but there's also the movement for social justice and climate change which put new pressures on companies,” Seddon told Campaign US. “Brands have never been more important as companies pivot their strategies for the new world. We thought it was time to create something which represents the future of marketing.”
Brands are also looking for more flexible, agile solutions, rather than the “bureaucratic” and “expensive” ways of working typical of a large agency, Seddon said. In addition to nine international teams of senior executives, Presciant pulls in a network of branding and comms experts from firms including The Sway Effect, TM20, basc partners, Seven brands and others, on an as-needed basis.
A wave of mergers and acquisitions brought brands to the top of the corporate agenda this year, creating an opportunity for new firms to present brands with different solutions.
“It's really been an age of shifting loyalties and consumers switching to new brands,” Gharekhan said. “We believe that will translate to clients willing to work with new consulting partners.”
Seddon and Gharekhan, who are both managing partners at Presciant, are longtime brand consultants. Prior to building a brand strategy division for Ogilvy, the duo co-founded Kantar’s brand strategy consultancy. The pair also worked together at FutureBrand, where Seddon served as founding partner and EVP.
Seddon and Gharekhan hope to work with some of the top brands in the world, but they also want to change the way clients, especially CEOs, view marketing.
“They don't trust marketing. They don't respect it,” Seddon said. “Our approach links brand and marketing to money and facts, and talks about it in language they can understand. ”