BrandPie plants its flag in New York, adds Ford as creative director

The London-based firm also brought on Richard Ford as its US creative director, reporting to MaryLee Sachs.

Richard Ford
Richard Ford

LONDON: BrandPie Ltd., established in London in 2008, has opened a New York office to work more closely with US-based clients.

The firm also brought on Richard Ford as its US creative director.

Last year, the brand consultancy launched BrandPie Inc. in the US, but the American arm did not have an office until Monday, said US CEO MaryLee Sachs.

Sachs, who cofounded the US business alongside BrandPie founders Dave Allen and Roger Partington, said the firm decided to open a space in New York to support its growing roster of accounts. She declined to name any clients, but said BrandPie previously worked with its London colleagues on the DC 2024 Olympic Bid, as well as projects for EY.

As US creative director, Ford will report to Sachs, but she said the relationship will be more like a partnership. She added that her experience as US president and CEO and worldwide consumer marketing leader at Hill & Knowlton steeped her in marketing, purpose, and engagement, so she needed a partner on the design front.

Sachs cited Ford’s years of experience, noting he previously served as creative director for WPP firm Landor, and said he understands both the US and New York markets. Most recently, he worked at Combination Consulting as creative and strategic partner for more than three and a half years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Sachs added that she plans to ramp up the New York operation with new hires, particularly designers and brand management professionals, as part of a diverse staff. BrandPie’s London office has employees of 10 nationalities among its 35 staffers, she said.

Sachs described BrandPie’s initiatives as "much more holistic around the brand, such as helping companies define their purpose and helping to manifest that and working a lot around change management."

The firm mostly works with b-to-b brands, but Sachs said she is looking to have a balanced portfolio of both large and mid-size b-to-b and b-to-c clients.

The agency has also revamped its website to better reflect its US and UK businesses, featuring more details about its work and leadership in each region. BrandPie designed the site in-house.

In between leaving Hill & Knowlton, now known as Hill+Knowlton Strategies, in 2011 and joining BrandPie last year, Sachs launched her own consultancy called Changing MO. She also wrote two books: The Changing MO of the CMO and What the New Breed of CMOs Know That You Don't.

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