The Silicon Review
We are big enough to manage very important initiatives for global brands, yet nimble enough to do so in the right manner and with speed and efficiency: Scott Gardner, CEO Liquid Agency, Inc.
Building strong brands isn’t getting any easier. An explosion in the number of brands – as well as a proliferation of ways to communicate them, from hundreds of cable channels to the internet, product placement in movies, and even mobile-phone display screens – has made it tougher to get messages through. In addition, converging product-performance and service levels in many industries have made it more difficult to sustain existing brands.
In light of the above mentioned concern, we are thrilled to present Liquid Agency, Inc., the brand makers from Silicon Valley.
The firm provides services in the areas of brand design, culture design, experience design, and campaigns and media. It has launched new products and new companies, as well as revitalized existing brands and cultures; the company has also delivered complete retail merchandising solutions, interactive branding programs, integrated marketing campaigns, and comprehensive environmental branding projects.
Liquid was founded in 2000 and is based in San Jose, California. It has additional offices in Portland, Oregon; New York, New York; and Santiago, Chile.
The Silicon Valley Business Journal has consistently ranked Liquid Agency, Inc. in the top of their annual agency listing.
Interview Excerpt: Scott Gardner
Why was the company set up? How did you select the vertical and decide to be a part of the global platform?
Liquid was founded by industry veterans who are passionate about building brands and creating a respected, well-run business. Over the last few years, we have built a management team to help us accomplish our goals - and we feel lucky to work with such a talented and dedicated group.
The company was started in Silicon Valley, where we have had the opportunity to work with some of the most innovative companies in the world. From this experience, we have developed fresh new methodologies that allow us to transform brands from the inside out.
What were the grounds on which you have expanded your company and its offerings over the years?
The biggest change Liquid has made over the years is expanding beyond our traditional brand work that is focused on strategy and brand design systems. We have extended our solutions offerings to include employee experience, customer experience and media- and digital-first campaigns. Building brands with a culture-first approach is incredible.
Liquid works in an extremely collaborative manner – we pool our talent and experience from across all of our offices to deliver the best possible strategic thinking and creative execution to our clients. This flexible working model ensures that our clients benefit from a local presence that understands the cultural nuances and market dynamics of a particular region, supported by a talent resource from across the globe with many areas of specialization and expertise.
What do you feel are the reasons behind:
Your product popularity – The need to strategically define, design, build and manage brands will never go away in our lifetime. Great brands win, and we are the ‘Brand Makers from Silicon Valley.’
Your consistence growth as an organization – We have had some up and down cycles, as all agencies tend to have, but we are on a nice growth trajectory. Right now, with the need for digital transformation for all business and the need to win with leading brands and a motivated workforce, Liquid is in the center of the bull’s-eye to help our clients win.
Our clients have global footprints and need to engage their customers in multiple geographies. In order to better serve these requests, we’ve developed global strategic partnerships that allow us to extend our reach and allow us to better understand the cultural nuances that may exist.
Are there any trigger factors that have played key roles in shaping your organization’s road map?
There have been a number of key people that have played major roles in our 17-year history to successfully move the company in the right direction. Our executive leadership group is the governing body of the company. The alignment, combined with wonderful staff and clients who want an agency partnership over time, are key to our future success.
Our history includes working with the leading IT brands of the world going back many years. We worked with Intel, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and other leading brands when they were much smaller than they are now. We like to believe we contributed in certain ways to their success. Even though our client list extends beyond tech brands, we continue to work with brands that use technology and innovation to disrupt and win markets.
Where do you see you and your company a couple of years from now?
We want to continue to grow and build the agency and identify more key clients we can help win in their markets. Our employee and customer experience offerings will continue to evolve, and we expect a lot of new and exciting clients to engage us to help them lead in this area. As most agencies evolve, they take on a bigger equity partner to help them extend their reach and offerings and put them on a larger stage. We expect this to be a next key phase for Liquid.
The Brain behind the Picture
Scott Gardner, CEO: Mr. Gardner has been in the marketing business for over 27 years. His first company, ImageNetwork, specialized in channel promotions for technology companies and became one of the fastest growing private companies in Silicon Valley, as well as one of the Top 100 promotion marketing agencies in the U.S. Eventually, he sold that company to Full Moon Interactive - an Internet Professional Services firm with 200 employees, which he helped grow to $24M in revenue - and became one of their Managing Directors. He left Full Moon to start Liquid Agency.
Mr. Gardner holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California.