The Growth Engine Co., Norwalk, Conn., recently launched what is billed as the first full-service innovation agency. Growth Engine brings the agency model to the discipline of innovation for companies looking to move beyond modest product line extensions. Growth Engine says it works closely with its clients on a long-term basis to ensure a continuous stream of higher-margin, game-changing new innovations that deliver significant revenue growth.
For two years, Growth Engine tested and refined the philosophy and practices behind the Innovation Agency concept while working with nationally recognized packaged-goods client Thomas, Totowa, N.J., the number-one maker of English muffins and prepackaged bagels. Growth Engine says it is now excited to share its proven innovation approach with the business community.
“Hiring The Growth Engine Co. as our Innovation Agency of record has been strategically important to us,” says Pete Rollins, general manager of Thomas. “The innovations they’ve helped us with have led to $125 million in new annual revenue. And we now have a wealth of ideas in our innovation pipeline that will help us continue that growth.”
The right time
In the history of marketing services, specialized agencies were invented as the need for them arose, such as ad agencies in the 1880s, public relations (PR) agencies in the 1920s and promotion agencies in the 1960s. With a 2007 “Business Week” survey indicating that 66 percent of executives rank innovation as one of their top three priorities, Growth Engine says that it is launching its specialized innovation agency to address this current business need.
According to the company’s press release, long-term partnerships allow Growth Engine to gain a deeper knowledge of a client’s business. By providing continuous strategic innovation leadership as well as expert people resources, Growth Engine ultimately helps organizations foster a more innovative environment and cultivate more creative leaders, the company says.
Some of the key client benefits of the innovation agency approach, according to Growth Engine executives, include: creating bigger, better ideas; developing a unique and insightful consumer understanding; reacting quickly to market changes; empowering clients by making innovation a collaborative effort; and offering longer-term innovation continuity, resulting in significant revenue growth.
Who are they?
Growth Engine was co-founded by principals Bryan Mattimore and Gary Fraser, who have more than 45 combined years of experience with innovation. Mattimore is author of “99% Inspiration, A Real World Guide to Business Creativity.” Fraser, a recipient of “Brandweek” magazine’s “Marketer of the Year” award, is a 25-year veteran of creative marketing and brand management at some of the world's top consumer products firms, including General Foods, Chesebrough-Pond’s and Unilever.
“We’e not just about creating ideas,” says Mattimore. “We’re about evolving ideas into successful marketplace innovations.” Fraser continues, “That takes persistence, patience and drive, which are made possible by a long-term Innovation Agency partnership.”
Growth Engine Co.