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Life at Powerhouse

‘Roo Roundup—Observing Trends and Culture at Bonnaroo Music Festival

By | Cultural Trends, Design, Life at Powerhouse, Powerhouse News | No Comments

We left the shop at 4 a.m., easing the RV onto the interstate in the dark and headed south. With our poster tubes, prints and a piñata in tow, we were officially Bonnaroo bound.

For seven years we’ve made the flatstock festival rounds, slangin’ prints and merch at music fests like SXSW, Bonnaroo, Forecastle, Bunbury, Pitchfork and MidPoint Music Festival.  We travel to these events not only to sell our wares, but to stay in tune with and immersed in a music scene that is distilled in its purest form in these highly charged environments. Read More

Different and Relevant—Crafting Our Company Culture with Screen Printing 101

By | Brand Building, Consumer Experiences, Cultural Trends, Design, Life at Powerhouse | One Comment

At Powerhouse Factories, we’re proud of our roots in the art of printmaking, or more specifically, screen printing. More than a decade ago, I was learning printmaking and design in a formal education setting, while simultaneously forging a path of my own making rock posters for my favorite bands. Back then, we built our own equipment, using whatever we had available to us. At the time, we scrounged up odds and ends, fashioning our own light tables, drying racks and printing stations. Our creative process was one of trial and error rather than a practiced and perfected science. We were in pursuit of something different, something real and something exciting. We didn’t really know where it would lead, but we knew that it was important, worthwhile and, most importantly, relevant.

Now as a full-fledged brand-building agency, we harness what we know from living and working at the intersection of pop culture and counterculture to help clients. Read More

Our Entrepreneurial Journey

By | Life at Powerhouse | No Comments

A recent survey by Deloitte found that 20 of the 50 companies most recently added to the S&P 500 started in 1990 or later. The study also suggests that when companies commit to entrepreneurship, they improve their ability to innovate, adapt and maneuver quickly. We believe these traits are essential to providing the best thinking and service to our clients.

With this in mind, we hosted a series Entrepreneurial Spirit sessions before the New Year to remind ourselves why entrepreneurism is so vital to our agency success and determine what we can continue to do to be more empowered, accountable, nimble and flexible. Read More

Cincinnati – home for startups and haven for culture

By | Cultural Trends, Life at Powerhouse | No Comments

Last week, Cincinnati was recognized as a start-up friendly city in CNN Money’s article, “The next generation of start-up cities”.  http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/27/smallbusiness/startup-cities/index.html

It was great to see a city in which I have worked in for most of my career recognized as a great place to launch a business.  The article cited startup attractions such as office space, networking, and access to venture capital funds, but there are benefits for any company operating in the Cincinnati area:  access to a substantial talent pool, Midwest work ethic, low turnover, low operating costs and generally an easy commute.  As a testament to this, a number of companies have proven success operating in this market: P&G, Kroger, GE Aviation, Fidelity, dunnhumby, EW Scripps and Perfetti.

As a brand-building agency based in the Midwest, I have always been curious to understand why brands interested in getting a top-notch marketing services partner often discount Midwest-based agencies in favor of those located on a coast.  The reason for this appears to be the perception that the Read More

Why Culture is Critical to Our Agency Success

By | Cultural Trends, Life at Powerhouse | No Comments

On Monday mornings, I enjoy my elevator ride up to the Powerhouse office space with my co-workers: a brightly-tattooed music lover, a trendy dressed fashion blogger, a Star Wars T-shirt-wearing gamer and a fitness-focused mother of three. It’s the perfect reminder of how the Powerhouse culture is unique.

When we launched back in February, I was asked time and time again to describe the culture at the new brand-building agency.  At first, I explained that we are encouraged to dress casually (sweatshirts are welcome); we can crack open a beer with no judgment (in afternoon meetings, of course); no one has an actual job title (make one up if a situation calls for it) and we can “work from Mars,” if that’s where we produce our best work.

This description is accurate, but it’s not how I would explain our agency culture if asked today. Now Read More