Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
Key executive: Kathryn Olive, president
2008 revenue: $5 million
2008 b2b revenue: $5 million
Key clients: Alimak Hek, FKI Logistex, Hickory Hardware, Hyster Americas, Paradigm Geophysical
Major 2008 campaigns: FKI Logistics, "The Choice Is Clear," online; Hickory Hardware, "Crafted for Your Life," print, online, in-store; Paradigm Geophysical, "Vision Is Certainty," print, online, events, collateral
Comments: Increased revenue by 7%; added new clients, including Alemite, Douglas Electrical, Elite Line Services and Megawatt Solar; won a BMA New York ACE award for Hickory Hardware campaign. Koroberi expanded its business significantly in a down year, with much of its growth coming from services such as consulting and brand strategy.
“While marketers tried to figure out which direction to take in the down economy, we tried to advise them strategically on where they were going,” said Kathryn Olive, president of Koroberi, a full-service marketing communications agency in Chapel Hill, N.C.
“There was a lot of consulting going on in the fourth quarter, and some people stopped their advertising programs, which was challenging. However, there was a renewed interest in PR, white papers and case studies as marketers scrambled to become relevant to the CEO's strategy.”
Koroberi still managed to grow its revenue 7% last year and picked up new clients including Alemite, Douglas Electrical, Elite Line Services and Megawatt Solar. It also expanded its work for existing clients.
For Hickory Hardware, Koroberi developed an integrated campaign called “Crafted for Your Life,” aimed at hardware retailers. Designed to give a more contemporary image to the hardware manufacturer, it included print ads, a redesigned Web site, packaging, in-store displays, social media and PR.
As a result of the campaign, Hickory's business expanded significantly, including key orders from Home Depot's Expo Design Center. The campaign also won a BMA New York ACE award.
Koroberi developed a branding campaign for Paradigm Geophysical, called “Vision Is Certainty,” to raise awareness of the company in preparation for an initial public offering. The campaign was designed to position the oil and gas exploration company as a green leader, and it used images of children from around the world in colorful environmental settings. The effort included print ads, a redesigned Web site, trade show support, PR and collateral, and was rolled out worldwide.
For materials handling company FKI Logistex, Koroberi developed a global campaign that included a Web site redesign and a multilingual, print-on-demand sales information application. The new Web site included a state-of-the-art media center, including social media news releases and virtual press conferences. The result was a savings of more than $350,000 in printing and labor costs for the client.
Koroberi has changed the technologies it uses for Web site development and online applications, moving away from proprietary software such as Microsoft products to open source Web publishing technologies including WordPress and Drupal. “Everyone wants to drive their own content, so we completely changed the way we do Web sites,” Olive said. “With open source technologies, clients can control it themselves.”
Olive said that giving more open content development tools to clients has not hurt the agency but, rather, helped it.
“Clients still need great content and great creative,” she said. “It has not threatened us to turn over control. We have been able to increase our profits, and 2008 was the best year we ever had.”
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