The recent opening of the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport has brought back into focus a landmark building designed by legendary architect Eero Saarinen, who once said that “experimentation can present great dangers, but there would be greater danger if we didn’t try to explore at all.”
Daniel Friedman, the founder and CEO of Koncepte Digital Marketing, lives by those words, something you pick up on very quickly after just a few minutes of conversation.
“I’ve always been a creative guy,” says Friedman. “I knew from a very young age that I had the gene. My teachers would take away my notebooks because I clearly was not writing or drawing anything relevant to what was going on in the classroom, but then they’d call my parents and want to know how I wrote or drew those things. There was one story I wrote—I couldn’t have been more than eight or nine at the time—about an out-of-control matzah ball. The teacher was so blown away by the manuscript she’d confiscated that she made copies and had the entire class read it.”
Taking all of the above into consideration, it’s not a surprise Friedman set out to launch a company that would help shape the world from a creative standpoint, which is exactly what he wants Koncepte to be. The Cedarhurst-based agency aims to not only break the mold of what clients and businesses expect from a marketing shop, but to help clients realize they can be so much more and tell a greater story.
“I always wanted to find a way to channel my creativity into the right career, and knew I wanted to do something different,” Daniel shares. “That was very much the genesis for Koncepte and the idea behind the name.”
Koncepte boasts a variety of capabilities, such as creating and managing social-media content, web design, running social media and Google ads, e-mail marketing, branding, and more. It even does print ads for clients, despite placing a larger emphasis on digital. But what makes Koncepte unique is that, rather than offering these capabilities as standalone efforts, everything is done according to a specific marketing and branding strategy that serves as the heart of the entire operation.
Just ask Sol Hershkop, president and CEO of Wheels to Lease.
“We already had a name that people knew,” says Hershkop. “But when we started working with Koncepte, we really opened things up from a marketing perspective. We created our brand identity and have expanded our use of digital to reach customers and establish a strong online presence. We started using social media to interact and advertise.”
Simply talking about yourself and your products is not enough to differentiate your business in the competitive landscape. Koncepte brings branding, messaging, and positioning leadership to help craft an effective strategy that gets to the compelling “why” and resonates with your customers.
“There is a plethora of social-media marketing agencies out there that charge very little but provide very little,” says Friedman. “They don’t care what your business actually stands for or what it’s trying to be. If you’re a dentist, you’ll get generic articles or facts about dental health. If you’re an accountant, you’ll get generic content for that, and so on. It’d be easy for us to do that at Koncepte, too, but I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. I’d feel like I was robbing my clients.”
Friedman explains that the challenging part of raising these stakes is that his agency takes on higher costs to deliver on its promises, which may result in some “sticker shock” when compared to budget agencies, but it is well-worth the investment for a business that wants marketing that really sticks with consumers and audiences.
“We might charge more, but the amount of value and client care we provide is unmatched,” he says. “There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to marketing, and our clients appreciate that we work with them accordingly.”
The manner in which Hershkop describes the effects of Wheels to Lease’s relationship with Koncepte is emblematic of what Friedman and his idea factory are trying to accomplish.
“Ultimately, we’ve become more than just another car leasing company,” says Hershkop.
A self-described “out-of-the box thinker,” Daniel has had this approach throughout his entire life. “While my friends were preparing for law school or medical school, I was in the press box at Nassau Coliseum and Madison Square Garden,” says the personable Five Towns resident who has written columns and feature stories for Sports Illustrated and CBS New York.
Focusing on the big picture — and looking outside the box to find it whenever necessary — is what drives Friedman and his agency to do the ambitious things they want and fully expect to do. It’s never just about the work but what the work does and means to the client’s business. This is the lens they look through when approaching and executing on behalf of their clients. They create and roll out comprehensive strategies, build momentum, increase awareness, and deliver powerful results.
Rochelle Maruch Miller is a contributing editor for the Five Towns Jewish Times. She is a journalist, creative media consultant, lecturer, and educator, and writes for magazines, newspapers, websites, and private clients. She welcomes your comments at Rochellemiller04@aol.com.