Ex-Leo Burnett and Ogilvy veterans launch Thiink brand consultancy

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 16 December 2016
Nick Souter and Mike Beckerleg

Ad veterans Mike Beckerleg and Nick Souter have launched new consultancy company Thiink to assist companies to develop brand-building tools.

The pair claim the consultancy is the first of its kind to be certified by the Hermann organisation to develop brand-building tools and brand symmetry based on Whole Brain Thinking – a psychometric profiling tool that is used to improve the understanding of different mental processes, different people and different kinds of thinking.

The idea is to use the tool to get a perspetive on whether customers and staff are buying into a brand and motivated by the same values.

“No one before has managed to create brand imagery that allows you to look at the relationship between the people that work for them and the people that buy their product,” Souter says.


Beckerleg and Souter have had accomplished careers within advertising. Beckerleg previously headed up the marketing departments of both Sony and Vodafone and was the executive director at Ogilvy for four years. Souter worked at Leo Burnett for more than 10 years as ECD and chairman.

The pair recently assisted with the merger between retirement villages Anglicare Sydney and Anglican Retirement Villages (ARV) to become Anglican Community Services.

“To merge these brands was a critical challenge but we looked at where the brands overlapped and how they could become one unified brand,” Souter says.

“We are bringing a different methodology to profiling. With Anglicare and ARV we synthesised down to one image to help people understand the new positioning quickly.”

Technology chameleons

Souter and Beckerleg re-enter the creative industry at a time of flux, with debates over digital and traditional mediums flaring up almost every day.

“Work has become digitally orientated and that’s the way the audience is going. As the whole landscape disintegrates brands need to not become chameleons. Internally and externally you need to maintain one constant belief,” Souter says.

“The change in the industry in less than a decade is remarkable. I’ve noticed clients are far more concerned with the communication channel their clients are using than the creative content. Everyone has been blinded by technology and the reach.

“The short-term tactical ideas, the fast turnover and the less strategic approach – I find it less creative.”

On the recent ECD shake out, with Paul Nagy exiting Clemenger and Andy Dilallo’s departure from M&C Saatchi, Souter says it’s a far more “promiscuous market”.

“The relationship has changed fundamentally between creative people and clients. The stability of the relationship is less important because the industry isn’t stable,” he says.

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