Spotted: A Chat with Branding Agency Mechanica

Mechanica was purpose built 11 years ago to solve problems and create opportunities for Restless Marketers.

Today’s ambitious marketers are restless out of necessity rather than choice. A restlessness brought about by an exponential increase in the rate of change that is fast transforming every marketer’s competitive, technology, consumer and marketing landscape. Mechanica serves Restless Marketers through being strategically based, creatively expansive and humanly fixated.

Inside Mechanica

Check out Mechanica’s portfolio on Agency Spotter

Location: Newburyport, MA

Core Services: Research, strategy, design and ongoing creation, execution and optimization of marketing and brand development programs.

# of Employees: 30

# of Four-Legged Employees: 2 full-timers with the occasional visitors.

Company Mantra: “Strategically driven, creatively expansive and humanly fixated.”


Does your agency have a cool origin story?

Eleven years ago, three Mullen Principals (Head of Strategy, Head of Design and Creative Director) locked themselves in a carriage house barn for several weekends in a row to “rethink the mechanics of branding.” The result was that we came to believe in the need for a very different kind of agency model, and several months later, we all left Mullen to launch Mechanica.

Mechanica represents a carefully crafted alternative to the fundamental limitations of existing ad agency and brand consultancy models. It was born out of the belief that the structure of today’s agencies and consultancies is largely the result of tradition. A tradition where, all too often, existing infrastructure predetermines solutions. A limitation that ignores the realities of what it takes to create compelling brand experiences in today’s consumer and competitive environments.

The Mechanica working relationship involves a tightly integrated mix of senior strategists, creative directors and project managers (30 full-time “Mechanics”) wedded to an open, network-based model of execution. The brand experiences resulting from this very strategic, guided collaboration provide our clients with a greater range of relevant insights, more actionable strategies and the unique comprehensiveness of execution required to create relevant, distinctive and profitable brands and businesses.


Most interesting physical thing in your office?

A turtle that is always pointing North, combined with every form of coffee making equipment ever made, plus a couple cacti.

What does #agencylife mean to you?

Impromptu office dance parties, transparency and accountability, coastal views, family-style lunches, and strong relationships with our clients.

“Infrastructure predetermines solutions.”

– Ted Nelson, CEO


Partners in Crime

In 10 Words or Less, What We Do for Our Clients:

Solve problems and create opportunities for restless marketers.


3 Characteristics We Look for in Potential Clients:

  • General restlessness concerning their current communications mix.
  • High level of respect for good partners.
  • Committed to creating great work.

Our Clients Love Us Because:

We’re incredibly honest and pragmatic in our recommendations. We never “sell”, rather we surface a range of options and discuss.

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What is the best compliment you have ever received from a client?

Jim Heppelman, the CEO of PTC ($1.4B in revenue) praised an important new product launch as the single best marketing effort in the company’s history.

Clients We’ve Helped:

Abt, AeroFarms, Aerolife, Akamai, Aloft AeroArchitects, American Pride Seafood, Autodesk, Baggallini, Bit 9 + Carbon Black, Blockbuster, Brahmin, Brainshark, ChaCha, Communispace, Disney, Fetch, Fisher Boy, Forect City Residential,, Hearts of Fire, High Liner Foods, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Kronos, Living Proof, NBC, Neighborhood Health Plan, Northeastern University, NPR, Nuance, OpenWork, Partners in Health, PBS, PTC, Samuel Adams, Saucony, Sea Cuisine, Simply Nutrilite, Simrad, T2Biosystems, The Beverly Hilton, The Folio Society, The Fullbridge Program, Ticketmaster, Timberland, Time Inc., Tribe, Trulia, Tuck Executive Education at Dartmouth, Virgin Health Miles


Breaking Down Branding

What is the one branding engagement you are proudest of? Why?

The recent Seeker series of social media videos for Saucony aren’t half bad, a favorite (that generated 1.6M views, by the way!)

If different from above, what is the most recognized branding work you have done? Tell us a bit about it.

We’re probably most well-known for our Saucony work over the past seven years.

Which one to three brands do you currently admire the most?

  • Rapha
  • Tesla
  • Stumptown


Which one to three brands need to be redesigned/repositioned/etc.?

It’s time for McDonalds to reposition itself. They’re innovating around their offering, but their brand hasn’t kept up.

What is one thing people don’t know about branding that they should know?

If you raise your prices 10% and most of your customers leave you, then you’re not a brand.


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Daniel Kim