The Twin Cities are rich in creative agencies, and have drawn attention for the breadth of options from spunky startups to established major players. Recently, industry magazine Advertising Age showcased the local area, noting that it's little wonder that so many agencies get their start here since Minneapolis is a "smart and artsy town."
One of the prime examples, the article noted, is Zeus Jones
, a Minneapolis-based firm that focuses on building brands and providing customer experiences and messaging that stand out in the marketplace.
Founded by advertising executives who'd worked together at large local agency Fallon
, the company was started in 2007 as a way to deliver marketing instead of advertising, states Zeus Jones co-founder Adrian Ho.
"We had a simple idea: that the reason people like companies has to do with what they do, not what they say in ads," he says. "We have an idealistic view of what that means, and for the last five years, we've been figuring out what that means."
In general, he adds, Zeus Jones assists companies in thinking about how they define their brand, and helping to rebuild that brand around a purpose. Ho says, "This goes above and beyond products. We figure out the best ways to bring their purpose to life." That could mean product design, retail design, strategy, or other creative services. Clients have included Thymes, Nordstrom, and Purina ONE.
The agency has 32 employees, and is currently hiring and growing. Ho notes that the business plan didn't center around growth, but as the firm has drawn more clients, it's been a natural evolution.
"We think there are better ways to communicate a company's message than running ads, and we're seeing that proved on a bigger scale here," says Ho. "Clients respond to that."
Source: Adrian Ho, Zeus Jones
Writer: Elizabeth Millard