Top 10 Reasons Peppercomm Has Survived and Thrived for 20 Years
NEW YORK, Oct. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/—Peppercomm celebrated its 20th anniversary today by releasing the top 10 reasons why it has survived and, indeed, thrived for two decades. The firm wasn’t always one of the leading independent, integrated, strategic communication and marketing agencies based in the U.S. On its way to becoming a $20-million business, Peppercomm has weathered more ups and downs than most companies.
10. Peppercomm rides the dot-com boom. The year is 1995. The firm is founded by Steve Cody and Ed Moed, and named after Cody’s dog, Pepper. Peppercomm launches at the exact moment the dot-com boom goes into overdrive. Heavily funded start-ups, thinking that Peppercomm is an internet specialist, pour millions of dollars of fees into Peppercomm’s coffers. The agency is twice named America’s fastest growing PR firm by O’Dwyer’s, and approaches $10 million in billings as the dot-com bubble bursts.
9. Peppercomm evolves to win blue-chip clients. Peppercomm, however, is much more than an internet shop. The firm attracts such blue-chip stalwarts as Steelcase (still a bellwether client after 17 years), Duke University, GE, Aon and other brick-and-mortar corporations that enable it to survive the dot-com crash. Peppercomm very rapidly repositions itself as anything BUT an internet boutique.
8. Peppercomm puts its people first. In the late 1990s, Peppercomm realizes the key to success is hiring people smarter than they are. Peppercomm brings on the superstar employees who today populate its senior management ranks.
7. Peppercomm thinks outside the box. Peppercomm weathers the post-9/11 recession by pioneering new service offerings, including CrisisRx, a Six Sigma-approved crisis simulation program. It attracts numerous clients and generates much-needed billings at a time when many clients were actually deliberating whether marketing, advertising and PR were still appropriate in the “new, post-9/11 world.”
6. Peppercomm no longer a longshot. In the mid-2000s, Peppercomm begins routinely beating much larger global competitors by winning AOR status with such Fortune 500 giants as Whirlpool, Honeywell and Tyco. In 2006, the agency hits the trifecta by being named Small Agency of the Year by PR Week and PR News, as well as the industry’s most innovative firm by The Holmes Report, becoming a young star of the industry.
5. Peppercomm hires against tradition. As it continues to reinvent itself on the fly, Peppercomm begins reaching outside the PR industry to hire noted academics, researchers and quantitative analysts. Peppercomm also becomes the first and only PR firm to launch a licensing division.
4. Peppercomm adopts stand-up comedy. In 2006, Peppercomm introduces stand-up comedy across the firm. Today, every Peppercommer receives training in stand-up to improve their presentation and listening skills. At the same time, comedy becomes embedded in the firm’s DNA and is cited by Crain’s New York Business as the primary reason why Peppercomm is named New York City’s Number One Workplace in 2012. (We still treasure this award above all others.)
3. Peppercomm integrates. As social media blurs the lines between church and state in journalism and obliterates the walls that have always separated advertising and PR, Peppercomm acts quickly by making three separate acquisitions. Today, the firm is a fully integrated strategic marketing and communications firm, and routinely beats digital boutiques and ad agencies for business that was once considered completely off limits to communications firms.
2. Peppercomm asks why? In the late 2000s, Peppercomm originates Audience Experience, a first-of-its-kind qualitative research offering that answers the one question quantitative data cannot: Why? Audience Experience takes a deep dive into the gaps between what an organization says it does and what the actual end-user experience is. Peppercomm’s use of Audience Experience lands the agency’s first automotive client, a hallmark for any great agency. Proving that strategy, creativity and inventiveness can sometimes trump industry knowledge, Peppercomm is named AOR for MINI USA in 2013.
1. Peppercomm pushes boundaries. In its never-ending quest to help clients see what’s next, push boundaries and mitigate risk, Peppercomm’s staff today boasts experts from diverse worlds, ranging from digital and content creation to experiential and traditional/social media.
Justifiably proud of its past, Peppercomm is bullishly optimistic about what lies ahead. The two-person firm that opened for business in a squalid, one bedroom apartment today boasts 110 professionals working in four offices: New York, San Francisco, London and Boulder, Colo.
As for the future, bring it on. We’re itching to write the top ten reasons why Peppercomm survived and thrived for 30 years.
Helping clients see around the corner and determine what’s next sets Peppercomm apart from other integrated communications and marketing firms. It also enables us to push boundaries while mitigating risk for clients in financial services, consumer, B-to-B and multi-industry sectors. Our unique approach enables us to attract the best people who, in turn, help us win and retain the best clients. And, while we’ve won countless awards, our shining moment is being named Best Place to Work in New York City by Crain’s New York Business. We were founded in 1995 and maintain headquarters in New York, with offices in London and San Francisco. Go to www.peppercomm.com for additional information.