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Life at Powerhouse

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

Wherefore art thou tweet?

By | Cultural Trends, Experiential Marketing, Life at Powerhouse, Social Media Marketing | No Comments

Data can be fun and engaging, don’t laugh! It can spill out of your analysts cave, and help you optimize not only your business but also your enjoyment. Yes I just said “optimize enjoyment”, like enjoyment is a mathematical problem that has an optimal solution. So the ruse is up, you’ve caught me red handed, I’m guilty of being a data nerd. I openly confess to using data in my personal life to help make decisions, and I’m willing to bet that you do too. The trick for analysts, like myself, is to tame ugly wild data and dress it up all fancy. This is how we fool the non data nerds into unknowingly using data to help decide what to do or where to eat.

As an example of data improving personal experiences and helping inform decision making we need look no further than Cincinnati’s own MidPoint Music Festival (MPMF). Not even your most informed, music snob, hipster friend is familiar with all the indie bands that perform at MPMF. I’m enthralled with experiencing new culture, but with multiple stages and a lineup including such bands as “Grizzly Bear” and “Machines Are People Too”, I didn’t know where to begin. Suddenly I’m paralyzed. What if I watch band X but all the good people watching opportunities are happening with the crowd at band Z’s performance? Read More