OVERLAND PARK, Kan., May 1, 2020 — Stephens & Associates (S&A), a full-service marketing agency specialized in building animal care and human health brands, celebrates 40 years of business in 2020. The milestone marks four decades of delivering strategically based, creative marketing solutions and exceptional results for prominent clients in the animal health, life sciences, healthcare and financial industries.
Founded by Chuck Stephens in 1980, S&A celebrates its clients, old and new. “The partnerships we build have propelled our business from the beginning,” says Stephens, president and chief executive officer. “While much has changed over the last 40 years, our overall focus on partnering has remained. By becoming part of the fabric of our partners’ businesses, we’re better equipped to help them accomplish their goals with insightful strategy and engaging creative ideas – plus it lets us have more fun.”
Since its inception, S&A has helped build top-tier brands in the agriculture, healthcare and financial markets. The agency got its start supporting crop seed businesses. Over the years, the agency evolved to support various sectors, working with clients such as Payless Cashways and Synchrony Financial. Through the ongoing partnership with CareCredit (part of Synchrony Financial), the agency has built expertise in personal financing and human health verticals ranging from ophthalmology to dermatology.
The agency also celebrates a special connection to the animal health industry. From guiding the way for Bayer Animal Health’s iconic launch of Advantage® flea control in 1996 to devising an unforgettable 360-degree launch of Aratana Therapeutics® in 2016, S&A has established a reputation for generating entrepreneurial strategies and innovative thinking to deliver unprecedented results. That reputation remains today through recent work, such as partnering with Morris Animal Foundation to create a video news release announcing its $1 million Australian wildfire research grant to orchestrating marketing and PR efforts to relaunch a product with American Regent Animal Health.
S&A’s location in the heart of the KC Animal Health Corridor enables pivotal relationships, including one with the Corridor team itself. “When I joined the Corridor in 2011, I immediately knew about S&A’s reputation as a leader in animal health,” said Kimberly Young, president, KC Animal Health Corridor. “I met the team at Global Animal Health Week in 2011 and planted the seeds that would grow into a deeply connected and strategic partnership.”
S&A’s diverse blend of branding experience and dedication inspires the team to listen, respond and deliver thoughtful marketing solutions that make a difference, both in terms of business results and socially responsible outcomes. For example, the agency supported a joint effort between veterinarians and pediatricians to help reduce the risk of zoonotic diseases. What’s more, agency founder Stephens dedicates time and talents to various charitable causes, including serving as an active member of the Morris Animal Foundation Board of Trustees.
“S&A has been instrumental in our success,” says Andrew Ferrigno, senior director of sales and marketing, American Regent Animal Health. “We get a lot of value from tapping into the agency’s animal expertise, plus they mesh well with our team. Other agencies tap into animal health on the periphery, but Chuck [Stephens] is one of the mainstays in the animal health industry. He’s built a solid team that’s a blend of boutique-agency experience and capability with industry knowledge and a high level of service.”
Stephens fosters an atmosphere that encourages collaboration and ingenuity. This drives the agency’s momentum as it looks to the future, continuing to add talented associates and turning out inventive solutions. “We come to work every day to do what we love with people we love,” Stephens said. “As long as we can keep doing that and keep providing creative, grounded, strategic thinking, there’s a place for our business.”