I really like the idea of ad agencies branching out by offering their own line of products or starting subsidiary companies to do so. Forbes MarketShare reports on the latest such venture, from Boston-based MMB.
After almost a decade of pushing brands on behalf of others, the agency’s three partners, Jamie Mambro, Fred Bertino and Jerry Cronin are now pitching their own. Noah Wild, created this year, is a line of apparel, backpacks, water bottles and such for environmentally conscious kids under the age of 10.
What’s supposed to make Noah Wild stand apart from many other kiddie product companies is that at least 30% of each item’s purchase price goes to one of five charities. MMB is working with Oceana, Defenders of Wildlife, Amazon Conservation Association, Hearts United for Animals and the African Wildlife Foundation. Customers choose which charity they want to support with their purchase of, say, a $15 water bottle or a $35 T-shirt.
It’s really a great way to learn the business of selling from a completely different angle. One of the things all advertising people can get better at is what it takes to start and run a business that sells a tangible product other than ideas. Then you get a look at merchandising, customer experience, pricing, the entire product supply chain, and all sorts of other things clients deal with every day.