Former McCann Exec to Lead Brand Strategy Unit
SAN FRANCISCO–Hoffman/Lewis is moving forward with plans to build an in-house brand strategy group, and has hired Gail Piper to lead the unit as senior vice president and director of brand strategy.
Piper, who left McCann-Erickson, Seattle, last June after a yearlong stint as the office’s deputy managing director, has been in the Bay Area working as a brand consultant for clients such as Washington Mutual and Unilever [Adweek, Aug. 17].
Piper has also been assisting Hoffman/Lewis with new business pitches, which led to talks about her joining the shop full-time, according to agency partner Roger Lewis. She officially joined the San Francisco agency last week after several months of talking with Lewis and other agency executives, including partner Bob Hoffman and general manager Josh Nichol, about establishing the brand strategy unit.
“Things began to crystallize after working with Gail,” Lewis said. “We knew we wanted her to assist us with developing a brand strategy group to help clients determine what they want their brands to be, and [convince] them that they can do this without relying only on consumers to define their brands.”
“Clients are increasingly looking for help in steering their brands into the future, while keeping their brands’ heritage and equity intact,” said Piper. “Agencies have generally done a poor job at satisfying this need … and I’ve been looking for a shop like Hoffman/Lewis that is willing to step up to the plate and do something about the issue.”
Lewis said he hopes to add up to four more people in the near future to assist Piper with the brand strategy group.
Hoffman/Lewis’ clients include McDonald’s, Toyota and Birkenstock.
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