New Century, New Name for Cincinnati’s Northlich

It’s all about brand recognition in the advertising business, which has led Northlich Stolley LaWarre to revamp its name in a stab at greater national recognition.
The 50-year-old Cincinnati shop will now be known simply as Northlich. A new agency logo shows the word in crimson with the final silent “h” in slate gray.
With one of the original agency partners dead and two retired, the change likely wasn’t subject to the forces of ego and interoffice politics. Nonetheless, it was made only after hours of discussion.
“A name change is not something you take lightly,” said agency president Mark Serrianne. “There was no way we were going to walk away from our brand.”
A change was deemed necessary, though, as the agency attempts to build a national presence, Serrianne said.
“As we have really emerged as an agency on a national stage, as our companies have, we have to have a name people can remember,” he said.
Serrianne described the efforts to forge a new brand as “a year’s catharsis.”
“It really is a symbolic crystallization of our agency’s mission as change agents to help companies accelerate growth,” he said.
Northlich enjoyed record growth itself in 1999, with capitalized billings increasing 23 percent over 1998 to $131 million. The agency also grew from 146 to 170 full-time staffers this year.
The agency has expanded its e-commerce, public relations and direct marketing departments in the past year, and those will be the areas of continued growth in 2000, Serrianne said.
The three principals credited in the old agency name haven’t been involved with the shop
for at least two years. Bill Northlich is deceased, while Alex Stolley and Bill LaWarre have retired from the business.
Northlich was founded in 1949. The agency’s client roster includes Cincinnati Bell, Fidelity Investments, Gibson Greetings, The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, Procter & Gamble, StarKist and Whirlpool.