In October last year, Publicis Groupe shifted DigitasLBi from under Publicis.Sapient and aligned it with Publicis Media. It also appointed Kahn to helm it globally.
"When we were part of Publicis.Sapient there was an overlap with what we did with Sapient Razorfish," Kahn told Campaign in an exclusive interview on the rebranding project in December. "It makes sense for the agency to be more aligned with the people driving the marketing agenda versus the strategy".
With the realignment came the chance to pull the rather disparate network together under a more focused brand strategy.
"While a powerful entity in each of its markets, DigitasLBi has been allowed to operate independently in each market – it has different roots in North America, for example, then it does in the rest of the world," Kahn explained.
In the US, the agency started out 35 years ago with its roots in direct mail under a different name. Around 18 years ago, it rebranded to Digitas and was headquartered in Boston. Then, following its acquisition by Publicis in 2007, it merged with Lost Boys International (LBi) in 2013 to form a global footprint.
"This is our chance to bring all the operations under that one compelling proposition," Kahn said.
For the past few months, the networks’ heads of strategy and creativity from around the world have been meeting to craft this new brand proposition.
The result is a decision to rebrand the network more simply as Digitas with the brand line: "Truth. Connection. Wonder."
"Having the same name and story around the world will help us create a genuine global network that will provide bigger and better opportunities for our people and our clients," a statement from the agency reads.
The brand line brings together the origins of Digitas (originally created from "veritas" and "digital") and Lost Boys International which was named after a tribe of magical rebels.
"We now take the world stage united in name, in belief, and in the unique value we bring to our employees, to clients, and to Publicis Groupe," Kahn said of the rebrand. "With ‘Truth. Connection. Wonder.’ as our strategic guidepost for the work we do, the people who do it, and the culture that enables it, Digitas is positioned for sustainable growth in 2018, and beyond."
Under the new brand positioning, Digitas aims to promise clients a focus on reconnecting their brands with the needs and aspirations of customers and so will be describing itself as a "connected marketing agency" going forward.
For the UK this translates into the agency creating unified systems and approaches to connection strategies for clients. The agency says it will also be more choosy about the clients it goes after, focusing its efforts on brands that are looking for better ways to connect with people.
"Clients are trying to find more singular solutions that scale," Michael Islip, UK chief executive of Digitas said. "If we can be a single source of truth and direction by bringing all our skills together – that’s a powerful proposition in the marketplace."