Baltimore-based agency Planit is expanding beyond its ad agency roots to open Order & Chaos (O&C), a full-service coffee shop adjacent to its headquarters.
"Coffee shops are a hub of activity. So are ad agencies. Put the two together and it’s a double-shot," the agency stated. “How many great ideas have been scribbled on a napkin over a cup of coffee to later become the platform for a brand or a new company? That was the true inspiration behind Order & Chaos.”
The 1,100-square foot shop is open to the public as well as Planit employees. Planit employees have a “secret entry” into the agency from the new cafe and are offered free drip coffee - hot or iced - and an assortment of sachet teas.
The coffee shop serves as ground zero to learn more about consumers, test concepts and ideas and receive public feedback. One recent example: the agency showcased three different creative advertising concepts it had developed for one of its spirits clients. Customers preferred a concept different than the one the client had selected for its ad campaign, so the agency used the alternate concept to create social media content that would connect with audiences on Facebook.
Matt Doud and Ed Callahan own both Planit and O&C and each operate as two separate businesses. O&C general manager Ryan Herzing oversees the coffee shop and is responsible for hiring and staffing; O&C currently employs a staff of ten.
“Order & Chaos lives as an actual extension of our agency and we see a real opportunity to connect with the neighborhood and literally provide a glimpse into our creative world,” says Callahan.
Each company benefits from the other's expertise. Planit is responsible for the coffee shop's logo, branding, public relations, social media; essentially all marketing efforts.
Next month O&C will introduce a month-long guest roaster program. Each week will feature a roaster from outside of Maryland and O&C will be the only shop in Baltimore to offer these blends. To entice visitors, there will be an event to highlight the roaster where the shop will offer free cups of the roaster’s coffee to attendees.