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news - 16.1.2020

Soshal Group Inc. launches digital experience design agency, Craft&Crew

OTTAWA, Canada, January 20, 2020

Welcome to Craft&Crew, the new independent digital experience design agency operating as part of the Soshal Group Inc. (SGI) family. At Craft&Crew, our goal is to create better experiences for the world’s largest digital brands, products, and services by being the most people-centric agency of our time. The services offered by our new agency include consumer and market research, user persona development and journey mapping, product and service strategy, brand development, and digital product design.

Like our sibling agency, Soshal, Craft&Crew is based in Ottawa, Canada where we work for a roster of local, national, and global clients that include Colliers International, Rakuten Kobo,, SurveyMonkey, and TD Canada Trust.

Who’s in charge around here?

Craft&Crew is lead by CEO, Dave Hale, and President & Chief Creative Officer, Chad MacDonald, who make up two out of the three partners at Craft&Crew parent company, SGI. SGI partner, Phil Sonea, is the CEO of SGI Ventures, which oversees the company’s strategic investments and R&D initiatives.

Why are we doing this?

“Over the last two years, we have had this ongoing struggle internally to try and integrate the vision, culture, teams, and unique client needs of two very different parts of our agency, the marketing & media side and the digital experience design side,” explains Hale. “We knew it was time to take an honest look at the business and realized we were running two very different agencies under the Soshal umbrella. In order for either side to reach its full potential, a break up was necessary. Now there is an incredibly exciting opportunity for both agencies, and the teams who work in them, to execute with laser focus on the clients, services, and processes that make the most sense for each offering.”

What’s happening with Soshal?

With the digital experience design agency no longer integrated into the marketing and media services side of its business, Soshal has repositioned as “The Agency for Modern Marketers.” where it will focus its energy on marketing and communications strategy, media planning and management, creative direction and production, and performance management. Dave and Chad will continue to provide executive leadership at Soshal and a new management team will be announced in the near future.

How are you “becoming the most people-centric agency of your time”?

Always, in all ways, putting people first is at the core of Craft&Crew’s new brand and the agency has an underlying mission of fixing, what it calls, a “broken agency model” by creating better experiences for its team and its clients. The company is profitable without relying on overtime, employs people who are paid fairly and equitably, maintains an average client satisfaction score over 93%, and puts people (not politics) at the centre of its work.

Thank you to everyone who has played a role in helping our business grow and evolve over the last (almost) ten years! If you have any questions or want to learn more about what we’re doing at Craft&Crew, please reach out.

Create better experiences.