Lexicon Branding opens office in Amsterdam, 3rd globally

29 February 2016 Consultancy.uk

International marketing consultancy Lexicon Branding has expanded into mainland Europe, opening its doors in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. To lead the operations the branding services firm has lured Michiel Maandag to join its ranks, an experienced marketeer and consultant with over 20 years of working experience. 

Founded in 1982, Lexicon Branding is a marketing advisory firm that specialises in the development of brand names. Since its inception the company has completed more than 2,500 projects across industries and geographies, working with clients in among others the US, Canada, the UK, Japan, Singapore, Germany, Holland, France, Israel, Italy, and Finland. Key testimonials of Lexicon Branding include the firm’s contribution to iconic category-changing brands such as BlackBerry (engaged by RIM), PowerBook (commissioned by Apple), Swiffer (created for Procter & Gamble) and Pentium (for Intel).

On the back of its growth, the firm over the years expanded from its base in Sausalito, California to London, England, and currently employs a team of more than 20 professionals. Amidst a growing project portfolio in mainland Europe, the marketing consultancy has decided to expand its wings further East, and opened an office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. “The new office allows us to expand our client service offering and is a core part of our strategy to develop our European client base,” reflects David Placek, founder and president of Lexicon Branding.

Lexicon in Amsterdam

To lead the new hub Placek has attracted Dutch native Michiel Maandag to join the firm – in his new role he will serve as European representative and be tasked with developing strategic business opportunities in Europe and helping to manage overseas projects. After starting his career with Atos, Maandag worked for Nokia for over 10 years, most recently as as global director of brand and product marketing. During his years at Nokia, Maandag lived in Helsinki and New York and worked internationally. In 2012 he left the telecom giant to develop his own international consulting practice, and between 2014 and 2015 he was associated as a partner with Business Openers, a Netherlands-based marketing consulting firm. Besides his work as a marketeer and consultant, Maandag has authored the best-selling book ‘The Only Book You Will Ever Need on Branding’.

Placek says he is “delighted” with Maandag’s commitment, adding “Michiel’s hard working and energetic nature combined with his welcoming personality makes for a perfect fit at Lexicon. We could not be happier with his decision.”

Similar to Lexicon Branding’s global focus, the Dutch office will mainly target clients in the technology and consumer categories. Lexicon’s studio in California will remain chief responsible for developing the firm’s creative solutions.

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Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

05 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

A Newcastle-based consultancy has announced it will open its first office in Iraq. The news comes despite warnings that the area remains “high risk” for businesses.

16 years after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the nation remains a shadow of its former self. The continued chaos wrought by the Iraq War – which eventually played a role in the rise to prominence of Daesh, further destabilising the region – means that even now, the nation’s capital is deemed to have the lowest quality of living in the world. According to a recent survey from Mercer, Baghdad ranked last overall – immediately below Bangui of the Central African Republic and Damascus in Syria – despite the other two being determined as the worst cities on the planet for personal safety.

However, as with the wider Middle East, the oil-rich state presents a lucrative destination to businesses willing to take the risk. To that end, a Newcastle recruitment consultancy has announced the opening of its first presence in Iraq’s capital city. Samuel Knight has taken the decision to open its Baghdad locale in order to grow its business in the Middle East.

Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

While businesses remain wary of the region, Samuel Knight specialises in recruiting talent in the energy and rail sectors, and in a release it said the new office would continue to focus on these areas. It will also allow the firm to make sure it abides by local compliance laws. The new location will be headed up by Haider Kadhim, Samuel Knight’s Iraq country manager, who will work as the first point of contact for clients and candidates. Representatives from the Department of Trade Industry are expected to attend a launch event for the office, which will be held this month.

Commenting on the new office,  a spokesperson for Samuel Knight said, “We probably don’t see it as a risk, but more of an opportunity, as we operate in the Middle East extensively already. We have contacts in place in the country location and with the consultants we have. We felt it was a great opportunity to expand into a country we are already doing work in. It means we have an on-the-ground team to help our clients. From our perspective, it is that we are looking to expand into new territories, but we are also supporting countries that are starting to redevelop after years of warfare.”

Steve Rawlingson, CEO at Samuel Knight, said, “Our aggressive five-year growth plan is manifesting at  an impressive rate, taking the company to exciting new territories. The team is working diligently to surpass expectations set out in the plan, and to ensure Samuel Knight is cemented as the leading global energy and rail recruitment specialist. Our Baghdad office will give us a distinctive edge over our competition and allow for more exciting business opportunities. Once the office becomes more established and client acquisition develops, we will certainly be adding more consultants and manpower in the city.”