Company Culture
Business development / Workplace culture

Philadelphia digital marketing agency drops the e-branding and modernizes as Electric Kite

The change has been a long time coming for the firm formerly known as eCity Interactive, the partners said. “And also, we just thought it sounds cool.”

The team at Electric Kite, founded in 1999 as eCity Interactive. (Courtesy)

When eCity Interactive was founded in 1999, email was still written with a hyphen, ecommerce was a newly emerging field, and ebooks weren’t even a thing. Times have changed, and so has the Philly-based digital design and marketing agency.

Now the company is updating its name to better match its brand and suite of offerings. Meet Electric Kite.

The name is a nod to Benjamin Franklin and the kite-and-key fable, according to principal Kevin Renton. It’s a good fit even beyond the Philadelphia tie, said Louis Miller, Renton’s partner and EK’s client services leader.

“The concept of lightning striking and capturing that energy — and just the research and the scientific process that leads up to that — I think there are a lot of metaphors that carried over to us,” Miller told Technical.ly. “And also, we just thought it sounds cool.”

Electric Kite is part of a larger media group that includes Center City Film and Video. The agency side of things was originally a tech production shop primarily building websites, encoding videos and creating banner ads.

About 9 years ago, when Renton joined, he saw the digital marketing industry evolving. With more people using free, DIY website options like WordPress and Wix, he and Miller realized they had to focus on other types of work, and on creating positive customer experiences.

“Instead of just selling digital production services, we had to sell results,” Miller said. “To do that we had to really change the way that our agency was running.”

An electric kite logo on a black background.

The company’s new logo (Courtesy)

Electric Kite has doubled its revenue in the last three years, per Renton, and reworked many internal procedures.

The combination of changing services to keep up with the industry, changing work environments because of the pandemic and expanding to use employees and freelancers based all over the world ultimately led to this rebrand, Miller said.

The 25-person agency unofficially started the process before the pandemic. One of the earliest changes was turning the agency’s blog into a digital magazine called Volt, targeted towards marketing professionals in higher education.

The biggest push to complete the name switch has been over the last six months — and it’s no easy feat. A rebrand like this doesn’t just involve updating marketing materials and the website, Renton noted, but also things like external and internal communications, the tech stack and billing and invoice materials.

Going forward, the agency is excited to continue working with clients like the University of Pennsylvania and software company Thrive.

Both Renton and Miller are excited for the company’s brand identity to match the values of the team.

“We felt internally like we’ve been working as Electric Kite for so long already,” Miller said. “I think the bar has been raised on the quality of work that we’re doing, and the people that we have within the agency and the clients that we work with, as well.”

Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2024 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
Companies: Electric Kite
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