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Colle + McVoy: the next 70 years.

by the Colle + McVoy Staff

Founded in 1935, Minneapolis-based Colle + McVoy is an agency with deep history in agribusiness.

The Colle + McVoy corporate motto is a bit irreverent, but based on sound business principles: "Fortune Follows the Brave." That's what founder Alfred Colle understood when he quit his steady job at the Bureau of Engraving more than 70 years ago--during the height of the Great Depression, no less--and opened what is now Colle + McVoy.

That type of intelligent risk-taking still runs through the agency. "We believe the only way to predict a successful future for our clients is to help them imagine, invent and shape it themselves," says Phil Johnson, COO, and NAMA's 2007 Marketer of the Year. "Along with our brave and insightful clients, we have proved time and again that courage, along with hard work, unconventional thinking and foresight, is what moves people, moves product and moves mountains."


Colle + McVoy has been an integrated shop since the day Al hung out his new shingle. While interest and integration has come and gone throughout the industry, the idea has endured over time at Colle + McVoy, allowing both client and employees to benefit from strategic thinking and specialized skills from all disciplines working together throughout the company.

"Colle + McVoy is an agency of individuals committed to ideas, across all disciplines," says Johnson. "When you address a problem from a discipline-neutral perspective, the opportunity for far-reaching, category-busting, big ideas increases exponentially.

The Colle + McVoy approach is based on collaboration. "We believe in connecting our clients with the extended Colle + McVoy team at the earliest stages," explains Phil Johnson. "Years of experience have taught us that when a client-agency relationship is a genuine partnership based on a common vision, trust and respect, together we can make a tremendous difference."

The list of Colle + McVoy disciplines has grown considerably over the years. As a full-service agency, clients have access to any or all of these capabilities, with the mix changing over time, based on immediate needs and long-term communications programs.


The agency's capabilities include: Strategic architecture and positioning--The Colle + McVoy strategic and creative process focuses on customer mindsets, tapping existing and secondary research sources, along with a quantitative insight discovery process called TensionQuest, which identifies the critical mindsets or tensions and the most powerful ways brands and services can resolve them. Once those tensions are identified, a brand hierarchy is developed to articulate differentiating rational and emotional benefits and form the basis for creative blueprints and message development.

Strategic and account planning--Colle + McVoy's account management and account planners teams collaborate with each client to define clear business and marketing goals. Using qualitative and quantitative research, they identify competitive opportunities and consumer insights, which drive sound brand strategy and creative execution relevant to target audiences. The account planning team also evaluates campaign effectiveness by tracking consumer perceptions before and after the campaign launch.

Advertising and creative services--An experienced and innovative group of talented advertising account services specialists, creative directors, copywriters and art directors tackles everything from 30-second television spots and print ads to content-rich Web sites and guerilla marketing. The creative team works to ensure that a big idea will stand apart and deliver a clear, motivating message in a compelling way.

Design--From corporate identity to packaging, from collateral to point-of-sale, Colle + McVoy design experts work with clients to create comprehensive design solutions for brands and products.

Direct (acquisition and relationship marketing)--A team is dedicated to evaluating and capitalizing on each stage of the customer purchase process to build and nurture enduring, profitable relationships with clients' customers. The group is adept at romancing individuals, motivating them to evolve from prospect to customer to loyal brand advocate. A fulfillment warehouse and team of fulfillment professionals manage small- to medium-sized direct projects and call center needs.

Contact (media) planning and buying--Contact (media) strategists and planners work closely with the agency core team to ensure flawless integration of a message in traditional and untraditional ways, enhancing a creative message that drives results. The contact planning team is also skilled at post-campaign analysis to ensure effective deliverables.

Interactive design and development--The Colle + McVoy interactive team is passionate about the power of interactive media to accelerate awareness, create deafening buzz and drive instant response. They are versed at taking insight into consumers' habits and understanding the latest technology trends to create successful interactive experiences and conversations that are brought to life via online, e-mail, search and custom co-op marketing tools.

Public relations/affairs--Colle + McVoy's public relations group, Exponent PR, use belief as the foundation and result of everything they do for clients. In a world overwhelmed with competitive messages, multiple media and clashing agendas attempting to curry public favor, Exponent maintains a singular focus: Create and sustain belief in clients' brands.


"And agency structure alone won't ensure the best ideas are generated," he adds. "Process and a collaborative environment are also critical." Putting that thought into action, last September Colle + McVoy and its 170 employees moved from suburban Bloomington, MN, to a just-renovated space in the historic warehouse district in Minneapolis.

"While effective collaboration has long been a central attribute for our agency, we had the rare opportunity to create a space that could elevate that strong suit even further," Johnson explains. "Offices with doors went away--with the exception of our human resources director--and all of us have modest work stations that are designed to get people out into our common areas and the many informal, comfortable collaborative work areas.

"After several months in our new space," Johnson reports, "it's clear we have created an environment where our teams can work together easily and creatively, and where we can all feel part of the great work happening in every corner of the agency. Our clients love to visit our new high-energy space and we're adding even more fun, interactive elements every day."
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Title Annotation:NAMA'S 2007 MARKETER OF THE YEAR
Publication:Agri Marketing
Article Type:Company overview
Date:May 1, 2007
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