TFA Seeks to Better Define Itself in B-to-B Space

Technology Specialist Emphasizes Brand as Key to Success
BOSTON–TFA/Leo Burnett Technology Group wants to stand out in the increasingly crowded field of technology shops through its devotion to brand building and its dedication to infusing high-tech campaigns with as much “genuine emotion” as possible, said Jeff Winsper, president of the firm’s office in Boston.
There’s no reason Web-based clients can’t generate as much feeling and brand loyalty through ads as companies that make cars and sneakers, Winsper said.
The high-tech business-to-business specialist last week began defining its position to outsiders with a $2 million trade advertising campaign, and to its own employees with agency meetings in the shop’s Chicago, Boston, Austin, Texas, and San Francisco offices.
The goal: Maintain recent momentum across all offices and attract new clients. The Boston operation, launched three years ago, grew nearly 60 percent in 1999, claiming $56.7 million in billings and revenues of $8.5 million. The Chicago agency claims $170 million in overall billings.
“We’re putting our stake in the ground to say the brand is what will drive the technology company,” said TFA’s chief executive officer, Sean Bisceglia.
The agency’s print campaign will appear in advertising-trade and high-technology-marketing magazines. One ad shows a parent helping a child with her first steps with the headline, “IPOs are money. Brand is wealth.” The line, “Building technology brands,” appears under the agency’s logo. “[The effort] gets everybody on the same road map as to where we’re going as an agency,” Bisceglia said. “The technology market is changing so fast, we needed to define who we are and who we wanted to go after.”
Executives last week unveiled a mission statement and business plan that moves the agency from startup businesses to more established “growth” clients. Of late, TFA has been most successful mining dot.coms and startups for new business, adding Ecredit, Allaire and Webline last year in the Boston office. K