Jul 27, 2007

LEAP Expands with New Location, New Company

by: lfi in News

Business is expanding so quickly for LEAP's global brand interactive agency services that they have decided to take two significant steps to ensure continued growth for their clients. The interactive agency is opening a Boston location, providing better reach for continued focus on interactive productions and marketing for global brands. Additionally, the company principals are founding a new company, LEAP Small Business, whose sole focus is providing full-featured interactive marketing solutions for small businesses nationwide.

"Both these decisions constitute a big step for us," said Daniel Knapp, president of the 8-year-old LEAP. "Opening the Boston office allows us to better serve and more aggressively pursue clients on the East Coast, in an area with a high concentration of headquarters for global brands. At the same time, the increased demand we are receiving from the small business market warrants spinning off an independent company whose sole focus was small business interactive marketing solutions. LEAP Small Business enables us to continue providing a premium level of service from a team dedicated to the small business market."

LEAP Small Business® interactive packages are all designed to be implemented as a complete interactive marketing campaign including building a professional quality site with point-and-click simplicity and tools to promote that site effectively and build traffic, a different approach to serving small businesses than existing providers. Instead of simply giving small business owners a Website and expecting them to figure out how to make it successful, LEAP Small Business® packages include marketing calendars, promotional tools and resources to help achieve that success. Also, rather than marketing directly to small business owners, LEAP Small Business develops reseller relationships with value-added resellers and independent agents.

Boston Office "A Logical Choice"

Having headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky makes good business sense for the 8-year-old company. The current office is strategically located at a hub between the East Coast, Chicago, St. Louis and Atlanta. However, as the global brand work continues to increase, it has become clear to Knapp and Executive Vice President and Creative Director Alan Gilleo that a location on the East Coast opens additional doors for the company and its clients. Boston native Gilleo realized that his hometown is a logical choice for the new office.

"With growing clients in New York, Connecticut and Philadelphia expanding our presence in the Northeast makes sense," said Gilleo. Through their networking contacts in the region, Gilleo and Knapp found the ideal person to head up their new Boston office, Liz Hill. Hill has experience serving Fortune 500 corporate and commercial clients along the Northeast corridor for 20 years. Her clients have included biotech, financial, retail, ad agencies, cable and mainstream broadcast producers, high tech, pharmaceutical, telecom and entertainment entities. Hill's experience in helping to grow National Boston from a small fledgling production house in the early 90's to a premier creative services by early 2000 makes her a perfect fit to lead the new office.

As Vice President of Business Development for the Boston office, Hill says "I'm impressed with LEAP's growth, and I'm intrigued with the opportunity to expand LEAP's presence in the region. LEAP Interactive holds a fanatical view of client care that I find both unique and exciting."

New company capitalizes on small business demand

Along with the growth in their global brand business, LEAP is experiencing an increasing demand for interactive services within the small business landscape. A survey of interactive services available to small businesses shows a service gap between complete do-it-yourself options and agency-based models. The industry is demanding user-friendly knowledge-building tools to help those tasked with small business marketing to effectively deploy, manage and promote an interactive presence. Existing solutions offer tools to build a site, but are weak on maximizing ROI. In addition to user-friendly, self-serve website-building, e-commerce and interactive marketing products, LEAP Small Business offers Marketing Central, a unique knowledge-base and training tool. Marketing Central is an example of the different approach that positions LEAP Small Business as the savvy choice for small business.

LEAP Small Business is an entirely separate entity from sister company LEAP, with its own management team and employees. The company is taking a remarkable approach to their business model by building a network of reseller relationships, including value-added resellers and independent agents, instead of marketing directly to small business owners. Value Added Resellers, or VARs, are existing companies and consultants who are looking to add interactive to their portfolio of service offerings without the requirement of a major learning curve. VARs have the opportunity to get their own branded website on their own domain. Independent Agents are authorized resellers of LEAP Small Business. Whereas VARs view partnering with LEAP Small Business as adding services and products to their existing offerings, Independent Agents will be more focused on strictly sales and marketing of LEAP Small Business products. Independent Agents will also receive their own website and other marketing collateral with their own domain.

"We're not interested in competing with our partners," said Vice President Channel Partners, Jay Stewart. "Where other providers just offer a set of tools and basically say 'Good luck,' LEAP Small Business provides the professionals who promote small businesses with the interactive savvy they need to leverage those tools into online success stories. We're providing our interactive marketing experience, translated into common business language, so that the end-client can achieve maximum ROI. We believe this unique approach will maintain a leadership position for LEAP Small Business. It's a stronger service offering than any currently available."

LEAP is a full-service interactive agency, offering Interactive Productions including strategy, creative, web-software services and Interactive Marketing including PPC management, SEO, promotions, blog management, viral and social media marketing. Clients include Tommy Hilfiger, Fiserv, YUM! Brands International, Brown-Forman, Aleris, Jacuzzi and Insight Communications. www.leapagency.com

LEAP Small Business is committed to delivering unsurpassed, premium web-based solutions that provide world class self-serve and reseller-targeted online marketing capabilities specifically designed to promote small and medium sized businesses. Business owners, marketing directors, as well as resellers and others tasked with a company's online marketing, can not only quickly, easily, and affordably build a professional quality website, but can also find the tools and resources to promote that site effectively and make it a success.

About LEAP
LEAP is a digital agency with an integrated philosophy at its core. LEAP delivers integrated experiences that connect on brand promise and achieves true integration by ensuring brands become a seamless part of the consumer lifestyle, not an interruptive one. LEAP has developed a depth of expertise in the consumer product and retail, financial services, food and beverage, healthcare, business-to-business, and fashion and entertainment markets.

LEAP has offices in Louisville and Cincinnati. Find out more at www.leapagency.com.