A couple of months ago, independent Toronto agency Cundari revealed the results of a self-rebranding exercise. The outcome was a revised logo and a new slogan, “It’s the thought that counts.” It’s a nice tagline. The rebranding is all very familiar until you understand what it means to Cundari. The press release reads:

“[It represents] a fundamental shift in how we operate as an organization, putting thought leadership at the forefront,” said Brent Choi, chief creative officer… Cundari will also focus on working with clients to solve problems beyond marketing… “We’re no longer necessarily an ad agency or communication company,” Choi said, “We want to be partners in solving problems. We ask them what keeps them up at night”…”.

Presumably, this idea flows more from providence and practicality than sheer hubris: Cundari recently acquired strategy and research firm Brand 360 (this would be the providence part). And agency founder Aldo Cundari is also quoted as saying,

“As a result of challenging times in the industry, we knew that as an organization it was time to make changes not only with respect to our people, but also how we looked on paper, online and from within.”

I would translate this to mean, “We need new sources of revenue.” The practicality part.

My wrong-minded Canadian sensibility makes me uncomfortable with this kind of proclamation, but it shouldn’t. Cundari’s new positioning is exactly where Marketing Wilderness hopes the enlightened and willing in our business get to. And Cundari has been successfully doing good work for good clients long enough that I believe they have the collective wherewithal to deliver on this new promise.

But let me implore to the powers-that-be at Cundari: make sure you do this well. As you consult beyond marketing, make sure you match MBAs with MBAs, CAs with CAs and PhDs with PhDs. The world beyond marketing isn’t nearly so concerned with form over content. Sheer force of personality isn’t nearly so powerful a force.

That said, go get ’em!