Omnicom's branding firm Siegel+Gale has formed a strategic relationship with Gramco Company, the largest branding firm in Japan. S+G and Gramco will continue to operate independently, partnering when appropriate opportunities arise, the firms said.
As part of the alliance, a Gramco executive will be based in S+G's headquarters in New York City and S+G senior executives in the Asia-Pacific region will be interfacing with their equivalents at Gramco on a biweekly basis as a means of cultivating opportunities from both firms.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
There are two primary reasons this deal is happening now, says Jason Cieslak, president, S+G’s Pacific Rim region. "Gramco has seen an increasing lift in their Japanese-based clients that are looking at North America as a strategic priority. This aligns with Japan's economy starting to recover."
Moreover, each side benefits from this partnership. For S+G, it underlines its priority to grow market share in the Asia-Pacific region. "For Siegel+Gale it works well as we continue to focus on trying to scale and grow our business in Asia, and China specifically," says Cieslak. "Gramco's offering in that market will complement what we are doing there. They have been in China for more than 10 years, so they have stronger relationships, bigger business, and some services that we don't offer in the region."
Gramco, whose strength is with creative and planning, now benefits from S+G's reach, as well as its experience in research, analysis, and strategy. "Gramco's commitment to developing memorable, clearly defined brands, together with Siegel+Gale's ethos of simplicity, makes this a perfect cultural alignment that will provide tangible value to our clients," said David Srere, co-CEO and chief strategy officer at S+G.
Gramco initially reached out to S+G to inquire about this collaboration. Gramco has previously used alliances in the past to help service their clients in regions where they don't have offices. There were no discussions regarding an acquisition or a majority stake. "This was a pretty easy alliance to form given the fact that we complement each other in the three main markets where this is going to happen—China, U.S. and Japan," says Cieslak.
The 27-year-old Gramco established its subsidiary in Shanghai in 2004, and opened a branch office in Beijing in 2006. Shanghai headquarters provides many Japanese and Chinese enterprises with consulting and design services, while the Beijing office mainly provides "Spatial Branding" services, as well as general branding services.
As part of the DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom Group, Siegel+Gale has offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai and Beijing.