Nicolas Roope, co-founder of Poke who left last year shortly after the agency was merged with Publicis London, has launched a "pop-up" consultancy to help brands looking to adjust quickly amid the massive disruption caused by coronavirus.
Co-founded by Hanisha Kotecha, former managing director at Good Agency, Reset Sessions aims to provide quick and targeted strategic recommendations for advertisers and help them develop a clearer, cleaner vision for their brand and culture.
Roope said: "There’s no time for lengthy brand strategies building decade-long platforms. Right now, businesses need leaders with a clear and concise purpose, crafted quickly to galvanise culture and consumer connection behind the brand's direction."
The pair are co-directors and equal-equity partners in Reset Sessions, which is supposed to be a temporary business operating during the pandemic. However, Roope is open-minded about expanding the company into a permanent venture, depending on how long the crisis lasts and how business develops.
He told Campaign: "It’s a kind of pop-up consultancy for this moment. It feels like a unique situation that needs a very particular kind of response. So Hanisha and I have spun this initiative up just for the current situation. But let’s see what happens afterwards, as the process will always be relevant to brands trying to strengthen their brands."
Reset Sessions does not yet have clients. Its aims to work with chief executives, chief marketing officers, corporate and social responsibility directors, and communications chiefs.
Roope, who co-founded Poke in 2001 alongside five people including Publicis.Poke chief executive Nick Farnhill, is also a co-founder of Plumen, a sustainable lighting company. He was most recently creative chairman at Publicis.Poke before leaving last summer, shortly after Publicis Groupe merged Poke and Publicis London.
Kotecha was managing director at Good Agency until February and was formerly business director at Lida and ex-head of strategy at Creative Access, the not-for-profit social enterprise that helps young people from black, Asian or minority-ethnic backgrounds get into creative careers.
The duo "got chatting after we both left our previous agencies", Roope explained. He continued: "[We were] both exploring what was missing in the industry and the role of purpose and digital in defining the new era for brand marketing. Then Covid-19 came along and so we thought we should use our combined experience and instincts to help brands at a moment that is both incredibly challenging and yet perfectly fertile for the systemic change needed to move things forward."
Roope added: "It’s around moments of intense pressure that people are prepared to change their habits. Clients have to make big decisions, the central tenets of their operations, how to build and maintain their brand and remain relevant. That’s the moment when you get to make changes. Risk bias means we’re unlikely to take those risks when things are going well."