Small Agency of the Year, Midwest, Silver: Solve

Lean Minneapolis Firm Is Not Just Another Integrated Shop

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While many small shops build their business model on the idea that they're integrated, Solve has strayed from the pack. It doesn't offer a stable of legacy departments and disciplines. Instead, it is comfortable with the fact that one agency can't do everything well itself.

The Minneapolis shop's philosophy is that its solutions should be free to take whatever form the client's problems call for has helped it win accounts like True Value, its largest, and Organic Valley. For the latter, the brand needed to grow by building on its stance in the market as the leading national dairy brand in food co-ops, and appeal to a wider audience by convincing consumers that its heftier price tag was worth it. The strategy worked: With Solve's campaign, the brand grew milk sales 22% and butter sales 37%. Founded in late 2011 by former Carmichael Lynch exec John Colasanti, Hans Hansen, Corey Johnson and Eric Sorensen, the shop has grown in a year and half to 10 full-time employees total and 2012 revenue of $2.4 million, with projected 2013 revenue of $3.9 million.

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