Troy Allen of ELEVATE thinking: Your Questions Answered

Troy Allen, Chief Thinking Officer at Elevate Thinking

Troy Allen did a brief stint as a speakeasy operator in college, moved on to toy designing, and after working in all aspects of marketing and advertising for big agencies, decided it was time Columbus had the “anti-agency.” So he opened one, ELEVATE thinking, here in 2009.

Herewith, Allen shares the questions he is asked most about ELEVATE and branding− and his answers, of course.

Troy Allen, Chief Thinking Officer at Elevate Thinking

1. What is brand? 

Brand is more than a logo or a website. It’s a complete personality, one that drives the focus of the audience and engages them on a personal level. From how you answer the phone to your look, culture, messaging and people, every element that leaves a lasting impression or has influence over the audience’s opinion is part of your brand.

2. Why is brand so important?

Now more than ever, consumers have what seems like unending options for selecting and choosing brands. Because of this, it’s imperative that you create a brand experience that truly resonates with your audience. Effective brand strategy and development goes beyond measuring the number of consumers you reach. You must engage your consumer and become part of their conversations and experiences, resulting in not just creating brand awareness, but lasting brand loyalty and advocacy.

3. How can I better engage my audience?

The media environment is constantly changing and your audience is now, more than ever, in control. They choose not only what and when, but also where and how they consume messaging and engage with brands. Knowing what drives your audience is critical in delivering messaging in a manner, time and platform most acceptable and relevant. In order to fully engage your target audience, an understanding of their patterns, behaviors and methods of receiving messaging must be identified. Your messaging then needs to engage and empower your audience on a personal and useful level.

4. Why a thought agency?

We love to develop thought-provoking creative, but if it doesn’t solve an organization’s business goals and objectives, or the ultimate desires of their audience to connect with the brand, then it’s just pretty pictures and useless words. ELEVATE focuses on utilizing brand design and strategy to achieve business objectives and successfully engage target audiences.

5. What does a chief thinking officer do?

Little bit of everything these days! I like to stay engaged in our client’s projects from beginning to end. I enjoy the relationship building and client collaboration on the account side of what we do, but my heart is in brand design. I’m highly involved in leading the creative process from research and idea generation to creative execution and production. I also sometimes function as the janitor or errand boy, and I’m known for causing havoc with impromptu Nerf gun shootouts or losing in three-on-three basketball to partner firms.

6. What’s with the sock monkeys?

It’s a simple way to remind us not to take ourselves too seriously. We have fun with them. When clients and guests come to the studio, they typically leave with one (our adopt a sock monkey program). They’re throughout our studio and all have unique names, as well as personalities. Feel free to stop by to adopt one.

7. The best part about running a business?

Growing client relationships. Partner, client, friend– it’s pretty much all the same. We’re a small business and we truly value all the brands in our trust. So, yeah, they are clients in the traditional sense. But they become partners through the relationships we build and a lot of times friends through the engagements we have to bring their brands to life. I love helping other organizations grow and succeed, seeing the effect we can create for them, and then growing with them, is extremely rewarding personally. I love what I do.

To learn more about Elevate Thinking, visit