Former FCB Inferno chiefs launch R&D consultancy

Robin + Tim colourFCB Inferno founding partner Tim Doust, who left the agency two years ago after 18 years with the business, is joining forces with former colleague and chief strategy officer Robin Jaffray to launch what they insist is a “different type of management consultancy”.

Dubbed R&D, the consultancy claims to help clients develop, flourish and successfully navigate big changes. The business is already working with start-ups planning to enter and disrupt a market, scale-ups seeking the next stage of their growth, and established businesses looking for their next leap ahead.

The founders bring a wealth of industry experience, and claim they are able to address a broad spectrum of strategic and operational issues. These include “helping to identify and hone clients’ business strategies, structuring dynamic and complementary leadership teams, and ensuring they are properly served by maintaining the right mix of agency engagement and in-house support”.

The consultancy will rely on the founders’ combined strengths, supported by a diverse network of advisors across different markets, cultures and sectors, whose specialist input can assist clients with every question their business may face.

Initially, R&D will offer three core disciplines: leap marketing, a tool which embraces change to drive marketing action, delivering “tangible and relevant benefit for customers, employees and other stakeholders”; business road-mapping and growth plans to help firms move to the next stage of whatever is asked of them; and finally, new business consultancy, including pitch coaching, new business strategy for agencies, and agency selection and on-boarding solutions for brands.

Doust co-founded Inferno in 2000 with Frazer Gibney, having worked at IPG running the Lloyds TSB account, among others, since 1996. Prior to that he was retail marketing manager at EMI Music.

Inferno was acquired by IPG at the end of 2013 and merged with DraftFCB in 2014. Doust left in 2018 to set up his own consultancy, Tim Doust & Associates.

He said: “Having experienced starting, building and selling a successful agency, I want to help others do the same. R&D does just that, bringing together our industry experience, hands-on approach and highly developed IP to help creative businesses and brands alike.

“By getting to know our clients’ teams and businesses personally, we avoid the one-dimensional, condescending input that businesses so often receive – and offer relevant, practical advice that works for our clients. We ask ourselves, what we would do if we were you.”

Jaffray started his career at Leo Burnett in the late Eighties as an account director, then moved into planning with spells at Banks Hoggins O’Shea, McCann Erickson and Chemistry Communications before joining FCB Inferno in 2008 as chief strategy officer. He left in 2015 and has worked as a consultant ever since.

He said: “In this business, every business is different. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every business is different and so our advice has to be flexible, timely and agile. We help clients really understand the issues and forge a way forward with them.”

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