Brett Marchand details the next steps for Plus Company

The company's CEO explains how recent acquisitions and additions to its board fit into its approach for U.S. expansion.


When Plus Company decided to bring on new leadership to helm its board of directors, the first person on CEO Brett Marchand’s list was former Accenture Interactive CEO Brian Whipple.

Marchand was working with a recruiter to find the right person, and Whipple had just left Accenture.

“I threw his name out as a complete flier. What would be the chances we could get the CEO of Accenture Interactive?” he told strategy. “Lo and behold, we’ve now got Brian Whipple. Sometimes you’ve got to dream big.”

Whipple, who helped grow Accenture Interactive into “a $12 billion business and the biggest digital agency in the world,” brings a wealth of experience and connections into his new role as chairman of the Plus Company’s board. “Having his advice, counsel and support is super valuable to me as the CEO, to the executive team and to the board. It’s worth its weight in gold, that kind of experience,” Marchand says.

He adds that Whipple will be instrumental to the company’s American expansion plans. “The U.S. is where he lives and it’s where Accenture is from. He knows a lot of good people and is a good judge of agencies when we’re looking to acquire, as well as who to bring in to help us.”

Expansion into the U.S. has been on Plus Company’s radar since before the company had even been named. At the time its formation was announced, Marchand specifically told strategy that the company planned to “make a big push into the U.S.” It has since acquired San Francisco-based marketing company Mekanism, which he describes as “our lynchpin to create what we call a full-funnel creative offering, like Cossette is in Canada.”

Back in 2011, “Cossette was an agency a lot like Mekanism,” Marchand elaborates, before it was merged with other practices, including a full digital agency; a CRM, loyalty and 1:1 agency called Blitz; a strategic agency called Nucleus and others. “All of those came together to create the modern Cossette,” he says. “The plan is to build those same full-funnel capabilities around Mekanism [in the U.S.]”

In addition to Mekanism, Plus Company plans to scale its two existing businesses in the U.S.: its socially-led media company, We Are Social, as well as its public relations practice, Citizen Relations. “The U.S. is important for a whole bunch of reasons, including that it still has the most global brands and is the biggest market in the world,” Marchand says. “We have a strong footprint in Canada, as well as in Europe through We Are Social. The U.S. is a really big focus for us.”