Before moving it into its current funky-luxe White Plains digs in 2011, John Nunziato ran his fledgling brand-development and design firm Little Big Brands (which he founded in 2001) out of nearly every classic startup workspace you can think of: three different kitchens, two living rooms, above a greasy diner, a bedroom loft he could barely stand up in, and a small office space that endured a flood and nearly fried his servers. At one point, while preparing for a presentation to some major clients, Nunziato thought, “I can’t believe they are trusting me to do this.”
From those humble beginnings, Little Big Brands has evolved into a thriving 15-employee firm that truly straddles the small business/big business divide that its name invokes. “We are that perfect mix of little and big in terms of who we are as an agency and our philosophy on the work we do. Many of us cut our teeth working in big agencies on large global brands, but identified there was something missing in that mix,” says Co-Owner and Director of Client Services Pamela Long, who became LBB’s employee #2 in 2006.
Today, the company works with a diverse range of accounts (little: Lornamead, Stew Leonard’s; big: Bolthouse Farms, Unilever), providing brand strategy, brand identity, packaging, and design, as well as production expertise. What differentiates LBB from the army of branding firms out there? “We are a thinking agency,” says Nunziato. “We don’t just grab some imagery and make a cool logo for a brand. We put together beautiful work based on solid thinking about what will communicate to our clients’ consumers and meet the objective of their brand teams.”
A cool internal culture—as well as its just-far-enough from New York City’s “agency row” location—also helps, notes Co-Owner and Director of Business Development Crystal Bennett, who joined LBB three years ago. She points to perks like daily free lunch for employees, monthly visits from a massage therapist, and unlimited vacation time. “We give our employees the freedom to feel they are in charge of their own destiny,” she explains.