First, let’s get on the same page about what a process should be producing. For us, it’s not just a matter of finding the right audience and feeding it the right message.

It’s about finding the friendship levers in your brand experience and using them to drive real business building results.

That means we look for ideas that not only fascinate, but motivate new behavior. With help from data, debate, psychology and math, we look for the things your brand can do, not just say, that bring people closer to it.

Four things make our process uniquely effective:

We work on the real problem.

It’s a journey.

It’s collaborative and fast instead of linear and slow.

Creative, media and strategy actually connect.

We start with what problem we’re really solving.

Rarely are things like declining sales, low awareness, new competitors, etc. the problem.

Einstein once said if he had just one hour to save the planet from an impending crisis, he’d spend 55 minutes of his precious little time figuring out the true nature of the crisis.

Digging deep to understand the real cause for the “problem,” to find the real inflection point that leads to insights that ultimately change the way people see your brand. That change in your category conversation about you is what matters.

Example: Porsche’s flagship, two-seater 911s were in steady decline. They saw the $100,000 price tag in these tough economic times as the barrier. That wasn’t the problem. Perception of usability was the real issue. “Every Day Magic” showed it as a pick-up truck, a school bus and a snowmobile, and sold out inventory in three months. Won a big Effie.

It’s a journey.

Bringing people closer to your brand, which is the essence of friend making, works best when you understand and leverage the nature of your prospects’ decision-making process.

We call this process the consumer journey. And using it makes our thinking organically true to the people it hopes to influence.

Is it an emotional journey? Is it an educational journey? Is it a time-based journey? Does it vary by time of day and if so, when is it best to speak to them?

No category operates the same way. And different segments walk their own ways to a brand. Understanding the path your prospects are on unlocks enormous marketing power.


It’s collaborative and fast instead of linear and slow.

When agencies work in silos, thinking about your brand is a relay, with one department handing off their thinking to another. But in today’s world of connected media and connected consumers, brands need connected thinking.

So our process features a series of fast-moving collaboration points: small groups of discipline leaders from advertising, digital, media, PR, SEO, SEM, engagement planning, you name it. All thinking together to quickly develop creative ways to leverage the insights we’ve discovered or build on ideas in progress.

Most notable of these collaboration moments is the C-K Immersion session, a focused off-site inspired by rapid design lab dynamics that puts all of that strategy, technology, creative, media and even client people together to find idea spaces that focus on making loyal friends for the brand.

Creative, media and strategy actually connect.

Yes, it’s possible. One of the most common complaints we hear from clients seeking a new agency relationship is how hard it seems to get strategy and execution on the same page.

Marketers fall in love with a direction only to see it take another path in execution. Maybe the execution’s great. Maybe it isn’t. But imagine if a great plan were fulfilled with great execution?

This is the end result of how C-K works: what you agree you’re going to do, you actually do.

It seems basic. It seems like table stakes. But you know it’s neither, because rarely are any of those people under the same roof, in the same house, at the same time.

You should see what getting what you know you need feels like when everyone is on the same page at the same time, all the time.