Disrupting an Old-Guard Industry by Investing in People and Attracting the Best

Image that says "People- Centric IT for Today's Changemakers"

Client: Pliancy specializes in providing end-to-end IT solutions and ongoing support for today’s highest-executing Capital Management and Life Sciences organizations. They are located in New York, San Francisco, Palo Alto, South San Francisco, San Diego, Austin, TX, and Boston, MA.


Problem to Solve: 

Pliancy was the scrappy underdog challenger of the IT services landscape, with just a few tech guys in a tiny office who loved to solve technology problems with creative, elegant solutions. They had genuine camaraderie, devoted clients, and plenty of ambition to grow a movement in the IT consulting space. What they needed was a sophisticated brand to attract more of the right-fit clients and empathetic talent to reverse the stigma of the apathetic IT guy. They needed a compelling narrative brand system that explained who they were, what they did, and why they were different so they could scale their operations and culture quickly.   


Strategic Breakthroughs: 

  • The end game of Pliancy’s brand isn’t keeping competitors from copying their people-first approach. It’s forcing them to copy or become irrelevant – ultimately disrupting the MSP industry.
  • Talent begets innovation, and talent follows a genuine culture of mentorship, development, and value-centric storytelling.
  • By playing the game they want instead of the game they found, Pliancy was able to grow its headcount 32x in 6 years while maintaining the highest retention rate in the industry.



Brand Generation – Phase 1

  1. This project began at a branding agency where Clea was Communications Director. The team conducted a full discovery and brand strategy, and Clea created a deep-dive positioning strategy and messaging framework, followed by web content strategy, and copywriting.
  2. The golden thread we wove through the narratives was Pliancy’s unique approach in the IT consulting landscape for putting people first in everything they did. We leveraged storytelling around the strong relationships between employees and clients as the defining feature of working with Pliancy and getting to work at Pliancy.
  3. After the initial branding project, Clea consulted with Pliancy to develop the brand internally and externally to position the culture for growth, focusing on challenger brand storytelling to consistently attract quality talent and win bigger sales contracts.


“When Pliancy first began working with Clea, we only had a crude understanding of the power of brand and messaging. With her support and persistence, we spent easily 100 hours dissecting what made Pliancy what it was. Starting with understanding the motivations, values, and purpose I had for starting the company, capturing that and distilling it into what you now see as Pliancy. It’s been instrumental in attracting the talent, clients and industry attention, and we couldn’t have done it without Clea!” – Marcus Olson, Founder & CEO

Brand Development – Phase 2

Clea joined the leadership team for a period to build an extensible strategic brand foundation for hypergrowth. In just two years, she:

  • Developed internal and external communications programs to align operations with a cohesive brand identity and narrative.
  • Worked with the leadership team to create, share, and champion the guiding principles of the company, weaving them into all facets of the employer brand.
  • Built a Brand & Communications department, hiring, training, and mentoring a team of brand & communications leaders to take up the banner upon her departure. 
  • Strategized and championed the Brand and Communications team’s departmental vision as an in-house agency powering a Learning & Development content hub for the tech industry, in alignment with Pliancy’s ultimate purpose: to empower tomorrow’s technology leaders.


Our guiding principles (purpose, vision, mission, and values) have played a critical role in establishing a thriving culture and clear sense of identity to propel us forward. Clea joined Pliancy as a Brand and Communications leader and expertly guided the rest of the leadership team through strategic workshops that captured our bold vision and authentic values. There are two things that stand out in particular at Pliancy as clear competitive advantages, and those are our brand and our ability to recruit exceptional talent. The work Clea did to develop our initial brand and then build out our guiding principles has been the cornerstone of our tremendous success in both of those areas!  – Patricio Pace, VP of Operations 

Free Vision Audit

Would you like a brand communications expert to review your guiding principles to find areas of opportunity for clarity and signature story-building? If so, you’ll want to take advantage of my free vision audit.

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