Our Story


We turn around stalled, stuck, and stale brands. Our niche is built on over a decade of proprietary research, two national studies, and three books on the art of navigating the brand wilderness.

In short, we are turnaround artists. Brand survival experts. And masters at navigating change. We understand human nature and its impact on business and marketing. Our intimate knowledge of the dynamics that affect growth combined with deep experience in marketing and branding enables us to address any business problem using marketing principles.

As the leading marketing firm in the wild Southwest, we carved out a niche for ourselves by always beating the odds. Our pioneering spirit led to winning three of our industry’s top awards in a span of 12 months, including being named Advertising Age’s Southwest Small Agency of the Year, winning the B2B Campaign of Year award, and being named one of Advertising Age’s Best Places to Work in the country.

But we didn’t stop there. We’ve stolen the show on behalf of clients at two of the toughest trade shows in the world (CES and HOW). We launched our own shared-services content marketing newsroom, the first of its kind in this part of the country. We developed a novel software platform that helps our client put their content marketing programs on steroids. We even found a way to reinvent the death care industry, collaborating with a client to raise several million dollars and launch a SaaS enterprise software company.

Take that, brand wilderness.

The Journey

Our journey to become the world’s preeminent experts in turning around stalled brands began back in 2002 when we made it on the Inc. 500‘s Fastest Growing Companies list. But what we thought was the beginning of world domination turned into two years of stagnation.

Over the next 20+ months we wandered in our own brand wilderness as our incredible growth stalled and we suffered 94% turnover. Ouch.

But that painful stretch inspired our greatest breakthrough. Not knowing what else to do, we conducted a national study to discover why some brands face adversity and come out stronger on the other side, and others wander into oblivion. Our groundbreaking research revealed seven statistically significant factors that affect business growth and led to our first book on the topic, When Growth Stalls: How it Happens, Why You’re Stuck and What to Do About It.

Over the next decade we would conduct a second national study, publish two more books, guide some of the nation’s most powerful brands through the wilderness, and learn to navigate, and in some cases create, business disruption.

The Wilderness Academy®


Turning around stalled, stuck, and stale brands is hard work. And staying on top of our game is a never-ending endeavor. To stay sharp, we created the Wilderness Academy, a series of programs designed to help people navigate the rapidly changing world of marketing and communications and create new ways to navigate their own brand wilderness. Programs include our annual Wilderness Retreat, Summer and Winter Advertising Boot Camps, ADBOWL®, and the Start Up Initiative.

The Wilderness Retreat


The Wilderness Retreat brings together leading experts in navigating uncertainty for an intensive, hands-on, 3-day retreat at a resort in the New Mexico wilderness. From physicists and statisticians to entrepreneurs and survival experts, the Wilderness Retreat connects the world’s brightest luminaries with leading brand experts to chart out the future of marketing and transform accelerating change into business opportunities.

Advertising Boot Camps


During our Summer and Winter Advertising Boot Camps, young grads and undergrads have the opportunity to hone their communication and marketing skills through an intensive branding crash course which includes mentorship and hands-on practice working for real clients. The method-marketing programs last between two and six weeks and culminate with a do-or-die presentation to a real client. It’s tough. It’s stressful. And it’s very, very rewarding.

The Lab


The MWCLab is a future-finding play space prominently located adjacent to our creative department, where on any given day you’re as likely to find an engineer or entrepreneur as you are an art director or copywriter. We believe that’s what the agency of the future will look like, and we’ve built it right here.

ADBOWL®


ADBOWL is a website that tracks consumer reactions to the commercials that air during high profile television events. We launched ADBOWL all the way back in 2001 and subsequently incorporated real-time social media feeds into the site, tracking all social media mentions before, during and after the biggest football game of the year. Consumers and Media utilize ADBOWL as their source for real-time conversations during what also amounts to the biggest ad day of the year.

The Start Up Initiative

 

Passare

More than a decade ago, online marketplaces like eBay, Craigslist and Priceline radically redefined their industries virtually overnight. By using the web to bring buyers and sellers together in previously non-existent or inefficient marketplaces, their innovative new models removed much of the friction (and costs) of doing business.

What we figured out was that perhaps in no industry is the marketplace case more compelling than funeral services. So we raised several million from the industry and launched Passare.com, the world’s first end-to-end, SaaS online funeral services marketplace. Passare.com is eliminating friction and bringing buyers and sellers together during one of the most trying, stressful and unavoidable purchase occasions each of us must face in life: the death of a loved one.

It’s a disruptive innovation that is dramatically transforming the funeral services industry. And it was invented right here at MWC.

 

Swellstarter

One of the things that bedevils brands about social media is its unpredictable reach. No matter how creative and consistent the content, brands can post it on their social media platforms and do little more than hope for the best.

What we realized is that brands–and the organizations in which they reside–hold vast, underappreciated, organic social media reach through their employees, members and fans. Each of those individuals has his or her own network of followers and, by tapping them, a brand’s reach can grow exponentially.

We built SWELLSTARTER to do just that. SWELLSTARTER is an intuitive, easy-to-use software platform that helps brands share relevant, customized, curated content via the networks of their natural allies. SWELLSTARTER amplifies organizations’ social media reach by supplying their internal networks with curated content that they can schedule and share via their own social media channels. We created it, we’ve implemented it for our clients, and now we’re licensing it.