While tracking the convergence of media technology, Empower MediaMarketing has noticed an influx of new business models, ideas and opportunities. This “new entrepreneurism” is something in which Empower is investing time and resources.

In addition to our work with classes and projects for several university programs, we’re proud to be a part of The Brandery.* The Brandery is a seed stage consumer marketing venture accelerator and ranked as one of the top 10 programs in the United States.

Agency/Start-Up Collaboration: A National Trend
In a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, The Brandery illustrates the trend of pairing agencies with start-ups for mutual benefit.

“Marketing advice for start-ups is now available through relatively new “incubator” programs, like the Brandery, a Cincinnati-based program that pairs tech start-up founders with mentors from big marketers like Procter & Gamble Co. as well as major branding agencies.

“Marketing guidance for start-ups is growing, with a range of new programs promising to provide start-ups with better access to traditional ad agencies and major marketers. This comes at a time when traditional advertising and marketing executives are under pressure to keep up with the changing media landscape.”

Independents Approach to New Ideas
As an independent media agency, Empower is a reminder that this trend is not limited to large, global communication firms. And we’re quick to point out that it doesn’t require a separate think tank or lab where it’s implied that creative thinking is somehow easier to achieve.

In fact, Empower feels innovation should be ingrained throughout an organization and The Brandery is one way we achieve this. The Brandery also helps us stay true to our entrepreneurial roots. And we know that the more we’re helping start-ups create their businesses, the more we can help our clients with their business challenges.

Collaborate or Compete?
Does this type of collaboration have to be limited to start-ups and agencies? What if agency partners focused on truly collaborating, instead of indirectly competing for client attention and revenue?

As the pace of change continues to increase, this is a new frontier of opportunity. It’s not instinctive to team up with the competition. But it’s a concept that’s gaining momentum. In fact, Collaboration over Competition” was a theme at SXSWi 2011.

If you can do well in business by doing good, clearly this is something agencies can figure out for everyone’s benefit.

Be a Part of the Brandery
If you have consumer- and brand-focused ideas of your own, The Brandery is accepting applications for its 2012 class through May 15, 2012. They’ll accept 10 start-ups into this class for a four-month program. And you might even get to work with Empower.


:: By Kevin Dugan, Director of Marketing
 *Jim Price and I are Brandery mentors and pull in others from the agency as warranted to help.

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