WPP experience agency SET has reshaped its leadership team, elevating current President/CSO Alasdair Lloyd-Jones to the role of CEO, while Founder Sabina Teshler and COO Kurt Kujovich will assume the titles of Chairman and President, respectively.
The pivotal management move reflects SET’s steady evolution from a production design and execution shop to a full-scale brand/retail strategy, experience ideation and design, and retail activation agency. “What clients are seeking is a more holistic view on how their brands can transform into experience-led brands,” Lloyd-Jones explains. ”We decided now was a good time to establish a leadership structure that enables us to communicate the power of experiences to propel every part of a brand’s business and drive the development of SET to align to clients’ evolving needs.”
As SET CEO, Lloyd-Jones will now oversee a network that spans Portland, Los Angeles, New York and London and collaborates on inventive, immersive experiences and activations for top-tier brands such as Nike, Sprite, Verizon and BMW. While his primary focus will be on delivering high-level work and developing talent across functions, the SET chief exec also places top priority on accelerating growth for clients by aligning their brand strategy to how they resonate physically with consumers through activations, retail stores or live events.
As he eases into his new CEO role, Lloyd-Jones acknowledges the challenges that lie ahead in clarifying and extolling the value of brand experience. “The toughest challenge we face is the adoption of the language of brand experience by all types of agencies,” he says. “It reminds me of the early days of the digital era where many costly mistakes were experienced and this slowed the progress of digital adoption among marketers. Our job is to ensure clients get the expertise they need when they make the leap into this space. It’s bigger than us alone, so we want to ensure that the category is well-served and its growth is sustained.”
After spending nearly two decades holding top strategic and planning positions at renowned traditional and digital agencies including Big Spaceship, Cutwater, Ogilvy and Publicis, the new SET CEO was drawn to the experience agency as it offered him the chance to essentially “unlearn” what worked in the past while applying some approaches he had learned along the way. “What I did bring to SET as an immediate asset was an understanding of how to function across multiple geographies and how to run a company going through rapid growth and being of a size that requires different systems and processes,” he recalls. “Still, my background has been largely defined by traditional advertising and digital, so the last three years have been a tremendous learning period. Having gone through this, though, I feel I’m better positioned to help clients make that journey to transform their own thinking.”
Regarding Lloyd-Jones’s appointment to CEO, SET Founder Teshler adds, “As SET continues to experience exponential growth, we couldn’t be happier to have Alasdair lead the company. With his extensive industry experience, creativity and strategic ingenuity, he is an ideal fit to fill the position of chief executive and guide SET moving forward.”
We are a global creative agency made up of designers, architects, and strategists, driven to create deep connections between brands and audiences through concept-driven experiences, primarily in the physical realm.