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Indian Summer: What's an Agency do?

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Drew Ligget is a super cool guy who knows way more about the relationship between brands, shops, and shoppers than we'll ever know. Maybe that's why he started a full service brand agency called Indian Summer? We don't know what a full service agency is, so we asked Drew what it's all about. Read and learn kids...

What's an agency do?

Hahaha so good!  I feel the same way when it comes to technology stuff, I would rather just not know… Anyways, to answer your amazing question, our agency is the business side of some of the most inspirational and creative brands around. We are a company that loves what our brands stand for and work all day to get them into the best stores, create compelling campaigns, throw amazing events, and tell their story to the world.  I have been lucky enough to work with amazing companies, from Jacks Surf Shop to Volcom to TOMS to The NTWRK and can now use what I have learned to help grow our brands into household names.  In short, we exist to build the brands in any way possible and existing is real real good!

Cool, so you're like an ad agency or a PR agency? What's the difference?

Haha great question!  We are a sales agency first and foremost. It is our job to make sure our brands are stocked in the finest retailers and that we always support our stockists, it's a two way street. When I was starting the company though I read "confessions of an advertising man" by David Ogilvy a hundred times and I try to apply as many of his principles from running the worlds largest ad agency to running our sales agency. Ideas like "A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself," "good copy can't be written tongue in cheek, you've got to believe in the product," and "Don't bunt, aim out of the ball park" are all quotes I think about everyday that guide us. We want to work with stores who believe in our brands, brands who have big ideas and take big risks, and we prefer praise heaped on our clients and partners over ourselves.

So you like connect the ice cream maker to the ice cream truck?
What's you favorite ice cream? I like like that Thrifty's kind. They're scooper guns are super cool.

To be honest I had not heard of it either before I started working for one a couple years ago!  It is a pretty interesting concept, but if you think about it we want to live in a world where the creative geniuses behind our favorite brands are free to create more radical products.  We don’t want them to also have to answer endless emails and fly around the country for meetings, this would take away from their passion and their creativity.  That is where we come in, to get the ice cream out to the most attractive ice cream truck so that all the world can taste it and fall in love.  Great metaphor by the way, I could never have put it so eloquently.

Speaking of Ice Cream, whatever happened to Dipp n Dots?  Wasn’t that meant to be the ice cream of the future?  My personal ice cream loyalty goes to this truck called The Van Leeuwen that always pops up in the neighborhood (Venice) at the right time with the treats.

What are some of your favorite retail shops to work with?

My favorite stores to work with are the ones who have a vision for the items they want to curate and who have a voice for how they want to speak to their customer. Stores that take risks and back brands they believe in no matter what anyone says, and stores that understand their customer. There is so much opportunity to make the experience for the customer so good and so fun and I love when retailers see their store as much more than a place to sell things, but as a hub/hangout for the community. You see this everyday with the great stores when they add a barber chair, whiskey bar, great mags and coffee table books, seating areas, and when they are sponsoring contests and festivals in their city, hooking up local skaters/surfers and throwing rad events. As a consumer the less I feel like I'm being sold to and the more it feels like I'm just hanging with good people, the more I want to support that store. 

Since folks can just buy directly from most brands what's the role of retail shops these days?
When we buy directly from brands shouldn't it be like 50% cheaper because we're cutting out the retail's mark up?

It is interesting with the growth of this internet thing (totally turned out to not be a fad) that pretty much any customer can buy from any brand and that makes it tough for stores. But that is why this whole thing is a partnership, the brand supports the stores by creating exclusive product, making sure to never sell to another store too close by, getting great displays made, and giving product to the kids working the floor. The stores support the brand by creating that unique experience for the customer and educating the customer on what is the newest and neatest. People don't have time to sit around and research brands all day so they go to the cool shop to find epic new brands, bam, a beautiful cycle. 

I bet this is a touchy subject. What other subjects are super touchy in your business?

That is definitely a touchy subject but I truly believe the consumer is super educated and cooler than ever and they understand that they are paying for the super rad experience. They are paying for the quality of the products and it is a badge of honor to be able to support brands and products you believe in. One of the hardest parts of my job is not going broke buying clothes because I am in stores all day and see so many amazing pieces. Even when I know I can probably make a couple calls and get the item for half the cost, I don't because it makes me really psyched to be able to support great stores and great brands. 

You are really bringing the heat today with the questions I love it! Our jobs are pretty dreamy to be honest, there is not much to get worked up about. We get to be creative and hang out with awesome people in amazing stores all day and have conversations about great brands and meet crazy genius designers (and surf for breakfast and lunch when applicable). Anyone who gets touchy doing what we do probably needs to go work for standard oil or something. This is all I've ever wanted to do and I work under the impression that everyone else I work with feels the same. 

I see how it is, you soften people up with your ice cream questions then come in with the hammers!  Well played sir.

Whap! Was that the sound of a hammer? Nope, it was the sound of you plopping your big balls on the table. Good job answering these stupid questions. You're a good guy who believes in the work you do. Gotta respect that!

Are you looking for new brands to rep? Are you looking for new stores to hang out at?

Thanks man I really appreciate that, its hard not to sound cheesy when discussing it, but that's how I truly feel.  I love what I get to do and I love the people I get to work with (yourself included).

I am always open to talking to new brands, but I want this agency to be special.  I don’t want to take on anything that may make us a lot of money if I do not love the brand or their products, we want to be very specific and very intentional with who we work with.  Always looking for new stores to hang out in tho! Always!

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