Peter Schmidt Group: Agency's new focus brings in new accounts

Many companies are already looking ahead to the post-Corona era. They are reevaluating long-established work processes and brand positionings – and they expect their agencies to provide inspiration and a sounding board for their new focus. Peter Schmidt Group is meeting this demand with interdisciplinary studios, redefined management roles and increased emphasis on the agency's approach to empathic brand management. Renowned companies have taken note.

The global pandemic has forced many businesses to evolve at a record-breaking pace. Faster than expected, they have integrated agile processes and digital tools into their employees’ daily routine. But in addition to internal reorganization they are also readjusting their products and services. Brand managers have registered massive changes in their customers’ values and expectations – a shift away from unrestrained consumerism towards a more comprehensive understanding of social responsibility. But how can brands become sustainable? And what role can design play in this effort? Businesses are turning to their agency partners for answers to questions like these.

Peter Schmidt Group has developed a suitable solution with its model of empathic brand management. By adapting the concept to the respective individual client, the agency has succeeded in winning numerous new contracts with renowned companies like Deutsche Bahn, Mercedes-Benz and Nivea. “The feedback after many of our presentations is that Peter Schmidt Group is the only agency in Germany capable of managing iconic brands on a global scale,” said managing partner Lukas Cottrell. After all, companies can only meet the diverse needs of disparate target groups, situations and contexts by taking an empathetic approach.

Integrated studios for integrated services

And because empathic brand management is not limited purely to design aspects, Peter Schmidt Group has taken the next logical step and reorganized its internal structure by combining existing teams into interdisciplinary studios. This facilitates enhanced creative exchange and results in more integrated offerings and services. The use of the term "studios" harkens back to the origins of the agency, which was founded in 1972 as Peter Schmidt Studios.

Peter Schmidt Group has also reinforced its team in Hamburg, having hired Pedro Vilar as executive creative director of one of the studios. A designer with extensive international experience, Vilar most recently worked for the Design Bridge agency in Amsterdam, where he was creative director. “More and more of our business is international, so we felt it was important to strengthen international perspectives within our agency as well,” said managing director Ruediger Goetz. “I am a strong believer in the power of creative diversity, and it's inspiring to bring in a wide variety of experiences and points of view about brands and markets. I am very happy to have an accomplished colleague like Pedro Vilar on our team.”

Strengthening international aspects and stimulating inspiration

The implementation of the studio model is part of a simultaneous reorganization of the agency's management structure. Effective immediately, Lukas Cottrell and Ruediger Goetz will manage business operations, while Armin Angerer will be responsible for the agency's international focus. Initially, Peter Schmidt Group will rely on its strong connections with Asia, where it maintains an office in Tokyo. “The Asian market is increasingly a growth driver for the agency. We are building on numerous successful business relationships, including clients like Panasonic and Shiseido,” said Armin Angerer.

In addition to the new studio structure and new management tasks, Peter Schmidt Group is also implementing a flexwork arrangement that allows employees themselves to decide where they want to work – be it their home, a co-working space, a café or a camper van. The agency has not only embraced the home office trend but also encourages its employees to seek out an inspiring location from which to work.

Peter Schmidt Group is Germany's top-selling brand and design agency and part of BBDO Group Germany. With offices in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Munich and Tokyo, the agency guides brands along the path of change, combining meaningful ideas with fascinating design to create solutions that are immediately effective and enjoyable to use. Peter Schmidt Group is the lead agency for the corporate design of Deutsche Bahn and Mercedes-Benz. Other clients include companies such as Henkel, Linde, Postbank, KfW, Douglas and REWE.

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