Winnipeg-based Think Shift has merged with Portland-based LogiStyle to create a cross-border agency that combines traditional advertising and leadership consulting to create a service it it calls “branding from the inside.”
Prior to the merger, Think Shift was more of a traditional ad agency with clients such as Monsanto and Cargill, while LogiStyle was built as a consultancy advising on leadership and corporate culture.
The company, which will keep the name Think Shift, will advocate an approach for clients to think about who they are, then live and breathe it before reaching out to consumers to sell their product or service.
“Culture goes hand-in-hand with brand,” says David Baker, Think Shift’s founder and CEO. “I felt that the change in the market space meant that this is a good opportunity for us.”
LogiStyle was founded Dr. Balaji Krishnamurthy, who built a reputation helping companies develop stronger leadership and corporate culture.
Baker first met Dr. Krishnamurthy at a three-day leadership workshop in 2011. The two stayed in touch and eventually starting working together to help clients in sectors such as restaurant supplies, transportation and financial services in both Canada and the U.S.
It was late last year when Dr. Krishnamurthy suggested they combine companies.
Merging a Canadian and U.S. company has been complicated, and included much higher legal fees than Baker says he was initially prepared for. However, since the merger became official last month, the two companies are offering services they claim help clients better understand the influence of both culture and brand.
Baker says that’s important in today’s increasingly transparent communication landscape, where “everyone can see you in your underwear.”
“Authenticity is your only option,” says Baker, whose background includes television production with the CBC and serving as director of corporate promotions and marketing for the Winnipeg Jets before starting his own agency in 1995.
“It’s about connecting with, not convincing, your audiences,” Baker says.
Dr. Krishnamurthy, a former executive of various businesses with a Ph.D in computer science, founded LogiStyle in 2006 to help companies develop what he calls “logical leadership and intentional culture.”
“This merger will offer greater leverage and longer legacy for our tools and methodologies as we collectively help leaders, brands and organizations release their potential,” Dr. Krishnamurthy said in a statement.
Baker will remain as CEO of the company and Dr. Krishnamurthy will be chairman. The company’s offices in both Winnipeg and Portland include just over 60 people combined, with most based in Winnipeg.