FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Unison Intensifies Regional Consolidation Strategy, Acquires Strategic Marketing Firm Brand Machine
May 18th, 2018
Birmingham, MI-based Unison has acquired Troy, MI-based Brand Machine, representatives from both companies have confirmed. The deal closed on May 15th for an undisclosed sum.
The acquisition is a continuation of Unison’s growth strategy, which has been a key focus for Unison Chairman & CEO, Mohammad Hamid. “Over the past few years, we have been 100% committed to bringing together the best combination of people, process and technology, and Brand Machine brings all three to the table,” said Hamid.
In 2015, Unison acquired two42solutions, a media monitoring and analysis company that focuses on measuring consumer sentiment and corporate reputation. Since then, Unison has invested substantially in expanding its capabilities.
“Our first acquisition provided us with a platform on measuring public opinion. But today, our clients think of us not only as the barometer for customer engagement, but also a provider of critical insights around the engagement of other key stakeholders, such as employees, investors, suppliers, and more. By bringing all of these pieces together, Unison is becoming the standard for stakeholder engagement,” said Ben Chutz, Unison's Chief Operating Officer.
As Unison has grown over the years, the nature of the business has evolved correspondingly. “The foundation of our business is and always has been data analytics. Every single one of our Fortune 500 clients relies on us to assess how various different people around their businesses feel and more importantly, the business impact of these attitudes. But what we’ve found is that the C-Suite, and Chief Marketing Officers in particular, don’t just need a partner that can diagnose the issues they face, but a partner that can also help in implementing solutions to address those challenges. The addition of Brand Machine to Unison’s portfolio will allow us to provide the last-mile solution for our clients. In addition to our data products, all of our clients will now benefit from an army of subject-matter experts that can help them solve problems,” said Hamid.
Integrating Brand Machine Into Unison
Moving forward, Brand Machine’s Principal and Founder, Kevin Smith, will join the Unison leadership team as Executive Vice President & Managing Director of Strategic Services. Brand Machine’s products, team, and clients will all be integrated into the Unison ecosystem and Brand Machine will become Unison’s Strategic Services Division.
“Mo and I originally met as part of an engagement we had with a mutual client. After really getting to know each other, we knew there was a bigger opportunity to work together. In partnership with Unison’s leadership team, I am looking forward to building out Unison’s Strategic Services division, which will be comprised of several key members of the Brand Machine collective. As part of this move, Unison will now offer a range of services, including research, strategic planning and positioning,” said Smith.
In addition to key personnel and expanded client solutions, Brand Machine also brings an impressive depth of client experience to Unison. To date, Brand Machine has worked with a wide array of clients from automotive brands like Ford, Lincoln, Jeep, FIAT and Alfa Romeo; to Holland, Michigan-based Hudsonville Ice Cream; to B2B brands like Guardian Industries and Urban Science; and many of Detroit’s major ad agencies.
Unison’s Mission & The Future
This acquisition marks an inflection point for Unison. Earlier this year, they closed a significant round of financing, from local powerhouses such as Kim Cooke, David Farbman, and Barron Meade. Before 2019, the company seeks to add six people to the leadership team, hire up to six software developers, and also create a dedicated business development team.
“It’s really empowering to see our team making significant progress across our goals. With the right people, processes, and technology, we are not only well positioned to help organizations create economic impact, but also societal impact, given the global scale at which our clients operate. Now, with Kevin and the Brand Machine team on board, we are in a strong position to fulfill our mission,” said Chutz.
Unison helps the world’s largest organizations create and enhance relevance, engagement, and trust with their key stakeholders. Using a combination of the right people, processes, and technology, Unison's global team provides deep insights into key shifts in attitudes and behaviors among employees, customers, suppliers, investors, regulators, and society. By engaging with Unison, clients are able to operate at the apex of organizational performance, all while maintaining their commitment to operating sustainably and responsibly.
Since 2012, Unison's Stakeholder Insights Platform has been leveraged by Fortune 500 organizations across 5 key industry sectors: Healthcare, Manufacturing, Financial Services, Energy & Retail. Unison's groundbreaking work in addressing the C-suite's most critical challenges has been featured in The New York Times, Financial Times, Reuters and Forbes.