Demand for Branded Experiences Opens New Era for SF Agency

"Conversation is the new brand currency," asserts Kenwood Experiences president Daniel Pinkham. "Brands can't afford to just talk at consumers. They need to engage them in a personal, ongoing conversation, which means changing the rules of engagement."

In a nod to this shifting reality, The Kenwood Group in San Francisco has reorganized, adding new people and capabilities, and rebranded to become Kenwood Experiences.

Says CEO Christina Crowley, "Over 30 years, Kenwood built its reputation as a highly creative agency." Explaining the shift to a comprehensive, brand experience agency, Crowley says, "Recently we took a step back, looked critically at the marketplace, and saw a huge need for more targeted, personalized, and multi-channel approaches to engaging with customers. Traditional agencies aren't structured to think this way. For us, it plays right to our strengths. So we've invested in new staff and expertise to seize this opportunity."

Kenwood's rebrand is indeed substantial. The agency has built a highly capable executive team and brought in new talent across a range of disciplines.

Brand strategist Nico van Praag is now Chief Strategy Officer. Nico's resume includes notable branding work at agencies such as Sterling Brands, Venables Bell, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, and AKQA, and he has developed strategy for marquee clients including Audi, Xbox, Nike, and Visa. “You can't create impactful creative experiences without laying the strategic foundation,” says van Praag. “If you're not advancing a clear, relevant brand message, you’re just throwing money away.”

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