New Partnership: To Russia with Ads

Published in The Memphis Business Journal, November 23, 2007

A simple meeting of the minds three years ago has transformed into an international partnership for a Memphis company.

Tact ical Magic, a Memphis-based advertising and branding company, and Moscow based NV-Brand, a branding agency, have created a partnership to create an original brand for Santechkomplekt, one of Russia's largest trade companies, a supplier of pipes, fittings, plumbing materials and other bathroom accessories.

Vladimir Federov, CEO of NV-Brand, met Trace Hallowell, creative director of Tactical Magic, in 2004 when a group of Russian advertising agency executives toured Memphis and met with their American counterparts.

Hallowell demonstrated his creative process during the delegation's visit to his company. 

Federov not only liked what he saw, but decided to take it a step further with Hallowell.

"The Russian market of brand consulting services is in its infancy," he says. "To do everything right, a small agency needs a partner who could give useful advice and share experience."

Hallowell says he was equally impressed with NV-Brand, despite the distance between the collaborators and language and cultural differences.

"Collaboration between teams can be difficult, even if those teams are in close proximity," Hallowell says. "It is no small thing to transcend differences in process and culture between firms."

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"Suppliers and especially manufacturers have market power because they have information about a product or a service that the customer does not and cannot have, and does not need if he can trust the brand. This explains the profitability of brands."
- Peter Drucker