#BostonSpotted: A Chat with Almighty (the Agency)

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Get to know Almighty and how they contribute to the hustle of the Hub.

Agency Spotter is all about helping marketers and agencies get to know each other. Discover the talent that makes Boston’s Almighty a standout design and digital strategy shop, straight from the mouth of co-founder Ian Fitzpatrick.

Location: Boston’s Allston neighborhood
Core Service: Design Strategy
Additional Services: Digital Strategy, UX, Advertising, Mobile, Marketing Strategy

Almighty is a pretty cool name for an agency. What’s the story behind it?

Chris Smith, one of Almighty’s co-founders, would tell you that it’s a reference to Apocalypse Now—“PBR Street Gang to Almighty”— though I remember it as simply the most preposterous name we could come up with at the time, back in 2004.

True story: in Burbank to deliver a presentation at the Disney Parks offices, a Disney executive once said to Chris that “It takes a lot of self-confidence to name your company Almighty.” Chris, without missing a beat, replied: “No more than it takes to name the company after yourself.”

What’s the vibe of the Almighty office?almighty

I don’t really know how to put our office vibe into words without making it sound like one of those mix CDs people buy at a Starbucks.

It’s a place designed for work — minimal decor, lots of polished concrete and desks and meeting spaces that can be easily rearranged and reconfigured. Because of that, the office tends to take on the personalities of the people who work there, and evolve over time.

Almighty creates experiences at the intersection of digital and physical. How do you determine the appropriate ratio between those two elements for each client?

almightyI think there’s a danger in starting to assign ratios to these ideas — or even taking them too literally. Instead, we’re talking about a means of approaching interactions and experiences in which the tools and the contexts that users — people, really — have is independent of the kind of channel thinking that brands and agencies have long been rooted in.

I’m sure that there’s some agency out there ready to declare that “J Crew has a phygital score of 72.3” or some similar voodoo, but the truth is that we don’t tend to think in those terms. Instead, we look at the whole of the experience of being a brand’s customer, across both digital and physical interactions and transactions, and try to identify areas in which we can eliminate friction through the development of a better product, service or experience.

Completed any unique projects in the past year you’d like to tell us about?

AlmightyQuite a few, in fact. We’ve just worked with New Balance to launch the second issue of The Loop — a culture magazine for high school runners of which we’re immensely proud. A lot of people, internal and peripheral to our agency, worked to bring that to life. Also for New Balance, the redesign of newbalance.com is rolling out over the course of June, and represents a great deal of work.

A lot of work we did in the Fall of 2013 helping the L.L.Bean marketing team develop a set of guiding principles is beginning to manifest itself in user experience and design work for llbean.com, which is a really exciting process for us to watch unfold. Similarly, a long process of understanding and designing for the LoJack Corporation dealer and end customer experience is taking hold in a series of portal projects we’re delivering for the brand this Spring and Summer — and it’s fascinating to see the insights we uncovered come to life.

There have been some other great projects, too: we just launched NODE — a networked event display — at TEDxCambridge, and we have another surprise or two to come before the end of the summer.

What is the one piece of technology Almighty could live without?

We don’t get very caught up in the enthusiasms or disdain for specific technologies — we’re here to solve human and organizational problems, so we expend our energies there.

That said, we’d gladly do away with Internet Explorer 8 and the latest release of Keynote.

almightyDoes Almighty have a mascot, official or otherwise?

We have a deer head on the wall in our 3rd floor space, whom we refer to as “Norm.” It’s been suggested that he should be animatronic — like one of those old Bugaboo Steakhouse animal heads — but we’re rather partial to him in his current, inanimate form.

Thanks for chatting with us Almighty!

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Claire Wallace