By lauradud84 / / As the submission said, “There has been a lot of talk about management consultants moving into the ad agency world, but this is one of the first times I’m aware of that an agency is moving into management consulting.” Xperience Lab also marks the second St. Louis company acquired by Barkley; the last was ad-agency Adamson back in 2010. Press Release as follows: Full-service advertising agency Barkley announced today that it has purchased XperienceLab, LLC, a management consultancy and experience design firm. The acquisition will let Barkley offer clients everything from advertising services to more upstream business strategy capabilities at a single source. The Kansas City-based agency will bring on 16 new employees with its purchase of the St. Louis-based consulting firm, comprised mostly of management consultants and experience designers. XperienceLab will expand a practice Barkley has already begun developing, which includes projects for companies such as Hearst Corporation, Thrivent Financial and Eurostar. The acquisition was driven by an increased demand from brands for a partner that combines communication strategy, traditionally owned by ad agencies, with business strategy, traditionally owned by management consulting firms. “Modern brands need connected ideas that take into account a customer’s point of view and workforce culture,” says Dan Fromm, President and Chief Operating Officer of Barkley. “Consumers expect a connected experience that starts with transparency inside the company and flows all the way through to the way we talk about it in advertising and social media.” XperienceLab was formed in 2013, and quickly formed a specialty in two areas: customer efficacy, which focuses on improving consumer’s relationships with a brand through strategy and material design; and workforce transformation, which focuses on helping employees to be more productive and developing stronger cultures. It has worked on projects with companies such as Monsanto, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and insurance company RGA. “Companies want to elevate their footprint through transformation and innovation,” says XperienceLab Managing Director and Cofounder Michael Chandler. “They want a partner who can design viable ideas that disrupt the entire ecosystem of experience, from the front-stage interactions with a customer to the backstage of workforce experience.” The deal is effective immediately. XperienceLab will retain its location in St. Louis.
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