Leave it to marketing pros to rebrand the traditional marketing agency model. The Hush Collaborative launches today, and it’s founded by four former corporate marketers who wanted to create a different sort of practice that they call “collaborative strategy.”
Following the old teach-a-man-to-fish adage, the new firm plans to teach its clients to market themselves.
“Strategy often gets a bad rap for being hard to understand and impossible to implement, and for good reason,” said Lauren Buckley, a co-founder of The Hush Collaborative and strategy director with experience from Minneapolis advertising and branding agencies Mono and PMH. “Agencies sell dozens of ‘proprietary’ processes and frameworks for very similar work, which has created complexity and confusion. We’ve transformed the existing model into one that integrates learning and skill-building, empowering marketers to become strategic leaders and advocates long after Hush has left the picture.”
Buckley partnered with Kate Moret, Kate Meehan, and Allie Fendrick to form Hush. Together, the four bring decades of experience with major brands and agencies including Target, General Mills, Best Buy, Crispin Cider, and McKinsey & Co.
They are looking for clients who want to learn. The process will include a series of customizable strategy lessons. “Then we actually jump into the work together … it’s truly about taking those learnings and starting to play with them and then apply them to the actual business to inform the strategic solutions that Hush will out-put with very practical deliverables,” said Moret. “Basically, we teach them how to fish, we go fishing with them, and then we serve them dinner.”
The Hush Collaborative is open to both short-term and long-term brand partnerships. Buckley and Moret said they expect for some partnerships to only require a few lessons and for others to be much longer-term.
“The proudest moment for us is when one of our partners says, ‘We don’t need you anymore,’” said Moret.
But Hush isn’t worried about becoming obsolete by sharing all its skills and secrets. Strategy is constantly evolving with the times, said Buckley, and “we’re as committed to continuing our own personal learning and development in strategy as we are for our clients. As things change, we’ll make sure we’re investing in our own knowledge so that we can continue to be at the cutting edge of what our partners actually need.”
The Hush Collaborative views its clients as partners and equal experts.
“Most clients are obviously hiring agencies for their expertise, but what often happens is the agency doesn’t treat their client as an expert,” Buckley said. “We acknowledge that we truly need our clients to be in the business with us because they have so much information and so much institutional knowledge. We want our partners to know that we will treat them that way, and we will ask them for their expertise in the same way that they are referring to us for ours.”
The partners intend to hit the ground running—Hush Collaborative is already working with Vancouver-based plant-based foods company Daiya and Minneapolis-based regional mental health and therapy company Good Human Work (formerly United Counseling and Wellness).
Read More: A New Minneapolis Marketing Agency Designed to Share its Secrets