"After ten years in the agency business, I was on the verge of leaving the industry," Noé Robert is quoted as saying in a press release. Shortly after his graphic design apprenticeship, he had built up his own branding agency, integrated it into an international agency and continued to support it as a strategy consultant.
But regular 60-hour weeks and internal corporate political battles eventually led him to wonder where the sense of purpose had gone, he says. "I was close to burnout and seriously considering doing something completely different, even though brands and communications had always been my passion," Robert says.
It was during this time that Susan Conza, founder of Asperger - now Twofold - approached Noé Robert. Over the last ten years, she had built up a company for training highly qualified learners with Asperger syndrome. Gradually, small digital projects for Swiss SMEs were added, but the agency was never able to gain a real foothold. Conza's offer to Robert was to turn Asperger into a global agency including training for people with Asperger syndrome.
For Noé Robert, it was an exciting challenge that came at just the right time: "I had no idea what Asperger's meant. But it was an incredible opportunity for me to transform an existing business while doing something really meaningful."
So, together with COO Marius Deflorin, the CEO set about building a powerful core team around the newly brought in Creative Director Lukas Rosenmund. "Marius has been a companion and close friend for ten years, Lukas and I got to know and appreciate each other at our last joint employer," says Robert. "The two of them were also about to leave at that time, brought an enormous amount of experience and know-how with them and were thus perfect partners for the upcoming transformation." Within the first three months, two more core team members joined and the repositioning could be started.
As part of a comprehensive positioning process, the Asperger company was renamed Twofold and realigned in the market. Today, the new image and the name Twofold - two is German for "twofold or double", "fold" also denotes a community or herd - unite agency and training operations under one roof. The way to the agency with an in-house training part, the Twofold Asperger Academy, was paved.
According to Robert, the topic of autism is one-dimensional and rather negative for many people. He himself had not previously been aware that autism is a spectrum in which there are great differences. "Our professionals with autism add incredible value to our projects and also on a personal level. We see autism as an asset, not a disability."
First major customers already on board
Already during the positioning process, Twofold won the budget of a Big Four company. This was followed by further mandates for brands such as IWC Schaffhausen, UBS, Zumtobel and Rail Systems Engineering. Twofold expanded the team with more than 25 new employees from the areas of strategy, design, technology, text and conception as well as motion design. After two years, Twofold employs over 60 people.