NEW YORK—Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve, a marketing consultancy that draws on its founder’s trend-spotting expertise, has formed a strategic alliance with international public relations firm Weber Shandwick Worldwide.
The new alliance is designed to fuse Popcorn’s “Applied Futurism” methodology with Weber Shandwick’s communications expertise, is being positioned as a response to the emerging “creativity economy,” which is spurring corporations to move their centers of gravity from sales to innovation as they reexamine the way they reach and respond to their current and future consumers.
“As what was once central to corporations is fast being outsourced to foreign workers, much attention is being paid to what pundits are calling the creativity economy,” says Faith Popcorn, founder and CEO of BrainReserve. “Today, the new core competence is creativity—the single most important asset that smart companies are harnessing to generate top-line growth.
“The game is changing and smart businesses are changing their focus: creativity, imagination and, above all, innovation, are key. Applying futurism, built on a strong platform of Cultural Relevance is critical to staying ahead of the curve.”
BrainReserve’s Cultural Relevance (or CuRe) process is a research-based approach to analyzing the culture in which a business or brand operates. It assesses the trends that will move that culture forward and determines the strategies that will successfully weave the DNA of a brand or corporation into the DNA of the culture for the long-term.
According to Gail Heimann, president of Weber Shandwick’s New York office, the alliance will offer clients from all industries an integrated approach: identifying the next culturally relevant trends, charting an optimal course for connecting consumers and developing a strategy to communicate the vision.
“Having the power to determine what people want even before they can articulate it is invaluable to marketers,” Heimann says. “Having the ability to communicate it in a compelling way compounds that power, and that’s the brilliance of the BrainReserve/Weber Shandwick alliance.”
The new alliance will be led by Billee Howard and Jennifer Risi, the co-leaders of Weber Shandwick’s global strategic media group and Todd Myers, alliance chief at Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve.