#BostonSpotted: A Chat with Industrial Design Agency Altitude


Altitude Boston

Get to know Altitude 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 Altitude a product innovation firm with a deep understanding of how to make innovative design work for their clients.

Location: Boston’s across-the-river neighbor Somerville
Core Service: Industrial
Additional Services: Innovation

What’s the history behind Altitude’s name?

Altitude

At the time it was conceived, most firms were still naming themselves after the founders – so we ‘zigged’ when others
‘zagged’ and pursued a contrary direction. Up is always good, right? For us, I wanted to be inspirational, not egotistical. The name was born out of a sense of higher thinking. Today, it still feels elevated and expanding and heightens our perspective.

Your office is in Somerville, a few stops away from downtown Boston. Why is Somerville a good home for Altitude?

Somerville is located just two miles northwest of Boston and Altitude lives in the hub of Davis Square. The U.S. Census rates Somerville as the most densely populated municipality in New England and 15th in the country. Easy ingress is a primary driver to attract the brightest minds to work here. We have great access to the subway, bike trail, Zipcars, community bicycles, and an urban parking lot. The square is terrific for top-shelf restaurants, coffee shops, entertainment, and nightspots.

What does it mean to be an innovation agency?

AltitudeInnovation is very important for growth and success. Our purpose is to move ideas from concept to commerce through collaboration, communication, and connection—creating new products, services, and experiences that grow our clients’ businesses. Too often innovation yields great ideas that go nowhere. Success requires us to change minds and markets and make a deep connection between client and consultant, between consumer and emotion.

How does working with a consumer brand differ from working on an industrial project?

We have an amazing creative and human-centered process that generates great new ideas, technologies, strategies, and designs.

How do you help your clients balance innovation against business risk?

Altitude

Innovation is difficult and can be disruptive. So everyone at Altitude is a problem solver and a listener. We organize ourselves into three practices for connecting all skills needed for innovation, but that is only valuable if our clients can fully embrace and support our efforts. We get to know our clients as people and understand how their organizations really work. All our efforts are tailored to meet their unique circumstances.

 

What one innovative recommendation do you have for Marty Walsh, the new mayor?

‘Zig’ when others ‘Zag.’ Don’t follow the well-worn traditional path of thinking that innovation simply equals TECHNOLOGY. Innovation is merely making something better than you found it. The spectrum is broad, but don’t get scared off by focusing primarily on giant technology initiatives.

Thanks for chatting with us, Altitude!

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About Claire Wallace

Claire writes about strategy, insight, and advice to help inspire smart and savvy marketers. She completed her MBA at UMass-Amherst and has been a team member at City Sports, MIT, and an organic farm in Maine. A former student-athlete at the University of Wisconsin, Claire now runs marathons, for fun! On her bucket list is climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, dining at Per Se, and running the beautiful trails in New Zealand.