New Toronto shop urges prospective clients to ‘start small and think big.’
Noah Barlow is urging brands to think Smaller when it comes to their marketing and advertising.
Barlow is the founder and CEO of Toronto-based Smaller Agency, a new shop defined by its internal mantra “start small and think big.” It’s an approach that has worked for clients including Andrew Peller Estates, Starseed Cannabis, Saturday Cannabis, Grolsch, Pilsner Urquell and local upstarts including Lob Toronto and RCLUB.
“We think that the ability to do big things isn’t just for big agencies,” says Barlow. “It’s really the hard-working, well thought-out ideas that make the most impact in market.”
Smaller Agency’s varied work includes creating the brand identity and packaging for the new recreational cannabis brand Saturday Cannabis, as well as in-market programming for Grolsch around its longstanding TIFF sponsorship, and an extensive brand update for Peller Estates, that included new packaging based on substantial consumer research, testing of multiple iterations and custom production. Check out Smaller Agency’s work on Instagram.
Barlow knows first-hand how big agency bureaucracy can negatively affect the day-to-day work of helping clients solve their business challenges and is committed to ensuring Smaller doesn’t repeat those mistakes. “From time sheets, management tools and reports to on-boarding and team management -so much of the work wasn’t associated with the actual job of developing amazing creative for our clients,” he says.
Smaller Agency’s model is specifically designed for flexibility and speed to market, addressing an increased desire by clients for partners that are attentive and responsive to their needs. “No client ever asked for a bigger agency, more overhead and more account people working on their brand,” says Barlow.
Despite its relative size, Smaller Agency is a multi-disciplinary shop offering a range of services including brand design and strategy; go-to-market strategy; product launches and branded experience.
It is committed to remaining small and nimble while maintaining a start-up mentality. One of Barlow’s pledges is that the Smaller Agency team will never be larger than 12 people. “I feel like that’s as many people to make it familiar without being complex,” he says.