The Evolution of an Agency: Where Content Becomes Concept
20 July 2016
Author: Vesta Zemaite
Here at Anton Dell, we are surrounded by brands day in and day out; branding is what we understand. Now that you can travel most anywhere and still be in the approximately same neighbourhood in regard to brands, what is next?
This is where Oliver Feske and his partner, Thomas Goetz, come in. We had the pleasure of exchanging words with Oliver and getting a better grasp on an expansive vision of a new manifestation for brands. Feske and Goetz sum up what they are creating in the phrase ‘the content is the concept.’
After working with fashion brands for ten years jointly with Goetz through their Düsseldorf-based company P4 Marketing, Feske set off on a global research expedition three years ago after noting a changing trend in consumer behaviour worldwide which he wished to get a better handle on. The insight Feske gained about innovative ways of presenting retail, lifestyle, and fashion in places including the US, China, Korea, and Japan was invaluable in shaping their new venture. And it is something truly new and completely original.
The agency itself has become a concept shop showcasing brands thoughtfully selected to complement an integral attitude and philosophy; soap company Dr. Bronner, international publishers teNeues, and sunglass brand Kerbholz among them. Renovation is currently ongoing on a new headquarters –1100 square meters housed in a manor dating back to 1880. As one enters the space, everything within the office – from the lighting system to the drinking glasses – can be purchased. Additionally, a collection of goods including gadgets, liquor, and books as well as the essential textiles will be showcased.
Alongside these goods will run a consultancy agency in addition to the original marketing company. Distribution and PR, among all other aspects, will be looked after in-house. Construction companies specialising in retail spaces and other retail experts are also included in the network that this new content agency represents, among many others. The entire lifestyle venture imaginatively and seamlessly incorporates the golden 4Ps of marketing - product, place, promotion and price - both physically and conceptually. Content is concept, remember? This idea is thoroughly considered and carried out to its full consequent end as never before. The new space is due to launch in October.
In retail terms, Feske and Goetz cite Amsterdam’s Hutspot, Los Angeles’ Poketo and Alchemy Works, and the familiar Urban Outfitters as reference points. Says Feske, “Our vision is that the client comes to the concept store and says, I want exactly that room. The combination of options.” When asked about his root motivations, Feske explains, “[High street shops now all] look alike, the whole thing has become very boring over the past years - only focused on sales and that is it. People want new experiences.”
In embodying what they want to get across to the very brands that they seek to represent, Feske and Goetz see the future of retail. This is of course only the beginning for the dynamic partnership, the enterprises they have dreamt up, and the stories that they are telling. Feske fantasizes about selling cars eventually; a café, possibly to be franchised, is already planned for the new space. Above all, Feske speaks passionately of the need for big brands to evolve to survive.
Especially given the highly positive reception that Feske and Goetz received at the German industry fairs SEEK and PANORAMA, we at Anton Dell are watching with great intrigue and interest.