The Indie Renaissance

Get to know the 2019 Indie List. Find out how these shops are carving a new path and rising to brand challenges.

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Is there a defined path to success for independent agencies? Making an entrepreneurial venture work is no small feat. Shops that compete against deep-pocketed multi-nationals often pride themselves on their agility and nimbleness, their openness with clients, and their hustling attitudes.

But if there’s one recurring theme from this year’s Indie List participants it’s that independence frees up these creative, PR and media agencies to be better partners.

Being a small organization, by its nature, usually means the most senior staff at the agency are actively involved in the work and brand relationships. That means a lot of experience goes into crafting marketing that resonates – but also to build the client trust that’s needed to make a real difference. It’s not easy to disagree with someone paying your bills, but with deep industry knowledge, and the shop’s reputation on the line, can come the conviction to say, “actually, I think you’re wrong.”

But it’s more than that. Independent agencies can take risks – try new billing models or team structures, get creative about accessing new technologies – and that innovative, flexible spirit helps deepen relationships.

It’s getting tougher for brands to stand out and that take-notice strategy can be elusive to come by. But it certainly exists, and indie agencies are structured to be go-to partners for truly out-of-the-box ideas.

From itty-bitty five-person shops to 100-plus organizations, here are 12 independents that are carving out new ways to rise to brands’ new challenges.