9thWonder grew out of agency collective The Company, where Jose Lozano was partner and CEO, launching with seven offices, over 100 clients and 250 people. Its client roster includes former The Company clients Direct Energy, Phillips 66 and Riviana Foods.
“We took a hard look at what do we do better than most and for whom. We saw we had extraordinary, long-term success with dozens of clients that each provide a product or service that makes life amazing but that no one is celebrating,” Lozano said in a statement. “Across our partners, we saw we had the same thing in common: We really kill it when it comes to everyday products and services…we looked at the marketplace and saw that these kinds of clients are underserved. Great agencies don’t pursue them. So, what we do best can fill a meaningful gap.”
In addition to Lozano, the agency’s leadership team also includes partner, global creative lead Tony Stern and partner, global strategy lead Lisa DePoy.
“Smart creative can win awards and drive business growth – which is something a lot of the advertising world doesn’t truly appreciate,” 9thWonder partner and creative lead Stern said in a statement, adding that the type of clients the agency is focusing on “require a much more exacting approach to find the true differences, and much more energy to bring them to life and make them stand out.”
The agency grew out of development efforts Lozano began three years ago as CEO of The Company (previously known as FKM) entailing quantitative and qualitative research asking CMOs what they want from their agency partners, as well as recent pitches which Lozano described as a “wakeup call.”
Those conversations with CMOs led to the pivot from a collection of individual agencies to an integrated offering.
“We had thought we’d keep growing business and the partnership, and maybe morph into one integrated agency a few years from now,” he explained. “But several CMOs we interviewed this spring told us they couldn’t quite get their heads around hiring a group of different agencies.”
Going forward, 9thWonder has aspirations to expand to new locations, foster long-term relationships and “redefine what makes a powerful agency” Lozano and Stern said.
“One key thing CMOs are telling us is they see deeper expertise across our agency. Other agencies they’ve worked with will have a couple people representing an expertise all in one office,” Stern added. “We have multiple offices that have one or two foundation specialties, without a lot of overlap and redundancy.”