RICE Comms and AKIN partner to form new business unit

RICE Communications and AKIN have inked a deal to launch a new business unit LAB360, to help organisations design, integrate and innovate marketing and communications for business growth across Asia. According to a statement by the two, the launch of the unit “represents an open, cross-disciplinary collaboration in an industry that is typically fragmented”.

With companies today under greater pressure to seize digital opportunities whilst acting with purpose and clarity, LAB360 aims to help brands tell multifaceted stories and engage their audiences with personalised precision.

Through a consultancy approach that emphasises co-creation with clients, LAB360 will specialise in three pillars of capabilities - insights, brand, and future.

“The events of the past year have chipped away at marketing and communications silos because brands recognise that what they say, do, and believe are intertwined to an unprecedented degree,” said Agung S. Ongko, head of LAB360 and director, strategy and insights at RICE. “LAB360 will serve as that intersection to map out all earned, paid, and owned channels in one place while identifying data-led interventions for business impact.”

Insights: Deriving clarity on addressable opportunities and gaps by deep diving into audience behaviour, competitive landscape, channel effectiveness and attribution, among others. The LAB360 team draws on combined experience in data, research and consulting for multinational clients in diverse industries from technology, public affairs, and agribusiness to oil and gas, and fast-moving consumer goods.

Brand: Enhancing credibility and deepening engagement with communities of advocates through content that is delivered across different channels. This marries AKIN’s Human Brand Methodology with RICE’s reputation management through media and influencer engagement, and industry relations.

Future: Helping businesses future-proof their offerings by consulting on digital-led business models and customised marketing strategies. A big focus is on designing MarTech infrastructure for automation and integration across platforms, to improve revenue acquisition.

Arvin Tang, managing director, AKIN, said: “We’ve been working closely with RICE, and both our consultancies are aligned in our approach to partnering clients in an agile, collaborative and human-centred way. With LAB360, we are bringing together a team of diverse and passionate consultants with extensive experience and knowledge, to help clients get the most out of their marketing and communications efforts.”

“The services offered by AKIN and RICE perfectly complement each other, with a healthy level of overlap. Our areas of expertise around brand strategy, digital marketing, reputation management and media relations all come together in a unique way under LAB360. Together, we help clients get more return on their marketing and communications investments,” said James Brasher, managing partner, RICE.

“More importantly, both our consultancies adopt a people-first approach to building our businesses, which translates into great work and results. From a partnership and cultural alignment perspective, LAB360 will benefit our teams as well as our clients.”

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