As y'all know, I've been holding down the virtual fort at crayon for the past two-and-a-half years. We've had our ups -- I've had the opportunity to work with some great people and some great clients. But believe me we've had our downs -- I've toughed it out at a couple of points during our history when Jaffe and I weren't quite sure the company would survive. It has been an interesting ride to say the least.
But I'm happy to say it all ends today. Nope, I'm not "done coloring," haven't taken a position at Edelman, and believe it or not I'm not sick of Jaffe yet.
Today, I'm pleased to let you know that crayon has been acquired by social marketing and branded community provider Powered, Inc. We're one of three social media marketing firms joining the Powered family -- the other two are New York-based engagement marketing specialists Drillteam and Portland, OR-based Facebook powerhouse StepChange.
If you're not familiar with the other three companies, here's a bit of a rundown:
Before the acquisition, Powered specialized in building branded communities and creating branded content for clients like HP, Atkins, Verizon, Kodak and Sony.
Drillteam is an engagement marketing agency specializing in earned media. Drillteam helps brands acquire and energize customer advocates, then sustain momentum through both offline events and online promotions on platforms like Facebook, niche blogs and Twitter. They do this for brands like Target, Toyota, Saucony, Nestle, New York Magazine, Neiman Marcus and Gillette.
StepChange enhances a brand’s reach by extending its presence into social networks and mobile platforms through Facebook development/applications, social site development, mobile/apps and Widget Ads. Since its inception, StepChange has created Social Marketing solutions for over 70 clients and agency partners, including Motorola, Nike, Clorox, Nestle, Frito-Lay, Bayer Healthcare Gold's Gym, Adidas, Microsoft, Toys "R" Us, Williams-Sonoma and Fandango.While crayon and Powered will merge our capabilities right away (I'll join the exec team and will be running Strategy & Solutions for the combined entity), StepChange and Drillteam will continue to operate under their own names as Powered companies.
This is exciting for crayon (and for me personally) because this is exactly what we needed in order to take our thinking and our business to the next level. I think you'll agree -- even just based on the brief descriptions below -- that the combined entity bolsters crayon's thought leadership and strategic consulting capabilities with even more smart strategic thinking and a lot of executional punch (something we've frankly lacked -- by design, mind you -- until now.)
But I think it's an exciting move for our space as well, as it marks (I believe) the first bold attempt to create a full service social media agency truly capable of providing end-to-end solutions for the world's biggest brands. Separately, the companies already work with many of those big brands. Together, we can offer everything a CMO needs in order navigate the world of social media and effectively integrating all things social into an overall marketing strategy -- beginning with strategic planning, running through service delivery and execution, capped with a surefire commitment to delivering measurable results, and supported by a program-proven set of technology platforms.
The new Powered is bigger, better and badder than the smaller social media specialty shops (trust me, I know - I worked for one of them until today) but still has a laser focus on social (a level of focus our rapidly evolving space requires and a level of focus that, quite frankly, the traditional and digital shops can't match.)
You can get the complete details and read the full press release for more information.
I think it's going to be an exciting 2010. (Now if only I could finish my damn book, everything would be hunky dory.)