This week, Sullivan is celebrating an important anniversary: 30 years of helping some of the world’s preeminent brands build engagement with their clients and employees.
It is a milestone nearly a lifetime in the making, beginning with a childhood dream of starting my own marketing company. To get here, I learned sales and accounting through summer jobs, studied entrepreneurship and marketing in college, strengthened business fundamentals with an MBA, and worked at leading companies to develop my point of view.
But none of these steps prepared me for building and running Sullivan. I could have never anticipated the number of day-to-day decisions to make, the thrill of fast-paced change, or the resilience that’s necessary for weathering the ups and downs.
I also could not have imagined the level of satisfaction and pride I’d have from working with some of the world’s smartest people who have gone on to do great things at our firm and beyond. Learning innumerable lessons from our team and clients, and evolving our business with them in real-time, has been one of the greatest privileges of my life.
Our appetite for evolution has helped us stay relevant in an ever-changing industry for the past three decades, and is critical as we build our future. To that end, as we look toward the years ahead, we celebrate the values that have shaped our success—and the promises we’ll always make for our partners inside and outside the firm:
We’ll remain steadfast in our vision. I started Sullivan because I knew that companies would benefit from a different perspective on brand: one that focused on the entire customer journey and infused brand value into product and service communications. This approach resonated with our very first client, American Express, who remains integral to our firm to this day. While the medium, channel mix, and specialization of our team have expanded, we’ve kept a laser focus on our vision. The same value proposition I wrote in my first business plan 30 years ago will continue to guide our future.
We’ll get into the weeds. Since day one, we’ve dug deep into our clients’ organizations. With a specialty in industries of consequence, we know the landscape forwards and backwards and bolster our team with subject matter experts and industry veterans. Our perspective is on our clients’ customers: understanding who they are, what influences their path to purchase, and how we can challenge conventional wisdom to shape their decision-making. We’ll maintain this expertise to create content that moves the needle for our clients’ bottom lines.
We’ll celebrate diversity. As a woman-owned, independent business, we’ve always brought a unique perspective and voice to the table. We know that diversity of thought makes our ideas sharper and our client relationships stronger. In 2020, we have codified many of our longstanding principles around diversity and inclusion, and have made new commitments in our allyship efforts for the years to come.
We’ll roll up our sleeves. Our team’s grit, tenacity, and get-it-done attitude never fail to inspire me after all these years. We’re a small firm, but one filled with doers who are always willing to go the extra mile for their clients and team. I’ve long believed that quality of work should take precedence over profit—so we’ll never be shy about over-delivering when we know it’s best for our clients’ goals.
We’ll take it personally. We invest our hearts and souls in our ideas and are elated when we see them come to life to impact our clients’ goals. It’s one reason why more than 50% of our team has worked at Sullivan for more than three years, and why 20% has been here for over a decade (a rarity in the agency world): the work we create here is as meaningful to us as it is to our clients. It’s a thrill to be part of this magic.
I’m honored to celebrate this anniversary alongside my partners, team, and the incredible clients we’ve worked with over the years. Thank you for your invaluable contributions—I couldn’t be more excited for our next decade.