What happens when an unconventional architectural firm partners with an unconventional branding agency to create a new business centered on integrating architecture and branding?
Sharing information, ideas and concepts on a project led to the formation of a new hybrid for a niche market.
Clockwork Architecture +
423 Delaware St.
Kansas City, Mo. 64105
TYPE OF BUSINESS
TygerWorks combines the architecture expertise of Clockwork Architecture and branding skills of Tyger the Lion to provide fully integrated branding solutions.
It’s not a trick question—the answer is the business plan of a new brand studio, TygerWorks.
The company’s name is a combination of the Kansas City-based companies: architecture firm Clockwork and branding agency Tyger the Lion.
The idea for the company came when Tyger the Lion was hired to help RiskAnalytics, a cyber security company in Merriam, with its branding, collateral, etc. The company was also building a new space, and Clockwork was the perfect partner to bring the brand to life in the company’s new 24,000-square-foot corporate headquarters. The two teams shared information, ideas and concepts.
At the completion of the project, “we saw a fantastic opportunity to make the partnership more formal and continue to push the boundaries of traditional architecture,” said Christian Arnold, Clockwork’s founding principal.
Challenging the Status Quo
In its 13 years, Clockwork has always “challenged the status quo,” he said. Combining the work of an architecture firm and a branding agency make sense in the Clockwork world, he said.
But how do you explain to a building client that its logo, signage and branding can and should work in concert with the architecture and interior design of the building? Arnold acknowledges that it’s not the easiest sell.
Right now, TygerWorks is working on a multi-sport complex soccer arena and is in the midst of rebranding one of Kansas City’s largest accounting firms.
“It can be hard to explain,” he said. “We are creating a new category. But when clients interact with our collaborative approach, it makes sense.”
Arnold said that while TygerWorks is creating a new category here in Kansas City, there are a few firms around the globe doing similar work—but it takes the right client to make the concept work.
“It is unusual for entrepreneurial groups (like ours) to think this way. But every day we’re finding more and more unique ways to work with clients, and it’s catching on faster than we thought it would.”
Finding clients is one thing, but TygerWorks also is in hiring mode, and the hybrid nature of its work not only means clients have to be unique, but employees have to be, too.
“Finding employees comes down to less of the formal training and more of a mindset,” Arnold said. “We have to get people out of their silos.”
Neither firm wants to give up the specialties that got them this far. Both have clients who just want architecture or marketing, respectfully. And that’s just fine with Arnold and his partners.
But the end goal is, of course, bringing more clients into the fold. He thinks those likely will be companies in the mid-cap range, the type that already are indicating interest.
“We’d love to see a model where all of our projects get a dose of both,” he said. “We really just want to align with clients who see the value of this work.”