Gibbs & Soell: Agency Business Report 2014

Revenue was up 14.8% to $22.5 million for Gibbs & Soell, making 2013 the second consecutive year of record revenue for the firm.

Principal: Luke Lambert, president and CEO
Ownership: Independent
Offices: New York; Chicago; Raleigh, NC; and Basel, Switzerland (a joint venture with Int/ext Communications)
Revenue: $22,490,108
Headcount: 127

Revenue was up 14.8% to $22.5 million for Gibbs & Soell, making 2013 the second consecutive year of record revenue for the New York-headquartered shop. 

President and CEO Luke Lambert notes income generated by a joint venture with Int/ext Communications in Basel is no longer broken out. Managing growth can be a challenge, but Lambert feels the firm’s team-oriented culture was a key factor in its ability to do so.

"It’s a trusting environment," he says. "One of our values is encouraging confident risk-taking. You have to do that because you can only manage growth if you get people comfortable taking on more."

Broader communications model
Gibbs & Soell serves clients in the advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, consumer, and home and building sectors. It shifted to a broader business communications model in 2012, which included a rebranding and a service-offering expansion into business consulting and employee engagement.

"Because we’re focused on a few key markets, we have extremely deep insights and build strong relationships with multiple stakeholder groups," explains Lambert. "Last year was an endorsement year for our new growth strategy and business model."

Ten new pieces of business were won in 2013, including AOR assignments from industrial biotech Algenol, Neolith, and Panasonic HVAC. Spectrum Brands awarded it work on Rayovac, and longtime client Syngenta expanded the relationship with a new global branding assignment.

US staff headcount was up 12 to 127. Brian Hall was named owner and SVP in the firm’s Chicago office, bringing the total ownership team to 11. The firm otherwise reported no senior-level hires or departures.

The agency also made a concerted effort to raise its thought-leadership profile. Initiatives included an event with about 200 former staffers and a Welcome to the Global Street Fight conference in New York.

Nurturing culture, investing in training, recruitment, and continuing to raise the agency’s thought-leadership profile are priorities this year.

"We will also look at strategic collaborations with other agencies and companies, including creative shops, digital agencies, analytics firms, and media-buying shops," Lambert says. "We’re taking a holistic view of this in 2014."

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