Envoy, a design consultancy-agency hybrid based in Irvine, Calif., announced today that it has acquired San Diego design studio Bulldog Drummond and Chicago experiential agency Leviathan. The three companies will combine to form Envoy Group, a self-described “strategic cross-discipline consultancy” offering strategy, design and tech services.
Envoy Group will employ more than 100 people working for clients that currently include Verizon, McDonald’s and Vizio.
“By bringing together Envoy, Bulldog Drummond and Leviathan within a single platform, we’ve created a curated network of some of the world’s most talented domain specialists while providing a platform capable of operating at the scale needed to drive business growth for our clients,” said co-founder Ryan Rommelfanger, who described the launch as “a way to provide brand leaders with more agility, more collaboration and more access to hands-on specialists that can have a direct impact on their business.”
The Envoy Group calls its overall offering a “whole human experience” approach to modern business challenges.
It is not, however, a holding company. President Kevin Bauer said that while many question the validity of that model, “one thing that is clear to us is that there is room for another approach.” The Envoy Group principals’ “digital DNA and commitment to flexibility” will allow it to transcend such “rigid” structures by delivering creative ideas in the style of a less traditional consultancy, he said.
In 2016, Rommelfanger told Adweek that Envoy was a company focused on helping clients create products, design packaging and launch apps, rather than a traditional ad agency.
Bauer will lead the new company while Rommelfanger and his twin brother Russell will serve as co-executive directors, and Michael Bennett, who was managing partner at Envoy, will be managing director of Envoy Group.
Bulldog Drummond founder Shawn Parr will move into the chief strategy officer role, and Chad Huston and Jason White will continue to lead Leviathan.
“Being a part of Envoy Group is us responding directly to the complex marketing challenges that our partners are facing today,” Parr said, adding that his company will retain its unique profile while offering the new group’s clients “a more comprehensive set of capabilities across the entire customer journey.”
According to the announcement, Envoy Group will continue to try and expand its offerings via future acquisitions.