Central Strategy launches in Toronto

The new consultancy aims to put solving business problems above selling agency capabilities.

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Pictured: Central Strategy co-founders Dino Demopoulos (left) and Zach Klein.

There’s a new venture on the block in Toronto, focused on the role of strategy in solving brand and business problems.

Central Strategy, co-founded by Dino Demopoulos and Zach Klein, has been in soft launch mode for about six weeks.

The impetus behind Central Strategy was to focus on how to solve big picture brand and business problems, rather than selling in-house agency capabilities, says Demopoulos, most recently SVP, head of strategy at DDB. For his part, Klein has been a freelance strategist for the past few years, following roles with Taxi 2 and BBDO.

The creative brand consultancy is focused on two kinds of client relationships, Klein says. The first would be to act as a de facto strategy department for startups or small and medium-sized businesses, including independent agencies. The other would be to augment clients’ existing strategy teams and work on projects that need more strategic attention or may have been put on the back burner.

The consultancy will operate on a project basis, moving away from retainer or hourly models, which Demopoulos says aren’t really what clients need these days.

While currently working with freelancers, the plan is to recruit a team of full-time planners and strategists that complement Demopoulos and Klein’s creative agency backgrounds, including those focused on analytics and UX.

The hope is to also have Central Strategy be attractive to the next generation of planners, who aren’t always seeing the right opportunities for sinking their teeth into business problems within traditional agencies, Demopoulos says.