A marriage at eye level

BlueGlass | Team Farner has been part of the Farner family since January. m&k visited Helvetiaplatz, where the digital marketing agency with 45 employees operates on two floors. Independent yet connected, the result is a win-win situation. Above all, the customers benefit.

Die Geschäftsleitung von BlueGlass | Team Farner (v.l.n.r.): Nicole Treipl, Anna-Lena Wohlschlag und Christoph Emch.
The management of BlueGlass | Team Farner: Nicole Treipl, Anna-Lena Wohlschlag and Christoph Emch (from left to right).

BlueGlass | Team Farner didn't actually plan to get married. But as life sometimes goes, the digital marketing agency tied the knot this year.

Over the last 15 years, BlueGlass | Team Farner has grown organically, apart from two acquisitions that the agency has made. Anna-Lena Wohlschlag and Nicole Treipl have been with the agency for a long time, having started out as interns. Anna-Lena joined eight years ago and is now Managing Director. Nicole joined the agency eleven years ago, her role is Director SEO & Content Marketing. "When I started, there were five of us," says Nicole Treipl. BlueGlass | Team Farner now has 45 employees. Together with former CEO Raphael Bienz, the two women have formed the management team in recent years. He is now a member of Team Farner's Executive Board and, as Chief Digital Officer, is a link in the day-to-day business. This also applies to the other three digital agencies that Team Farner has merged: Jim &Jim, SEMSEA and Yoveo. Anna-Lena Wohlschlag, Nicole Treipl and now Christoph Emch are now the trio at the helm of BlueGlass | Team Farner.

"We took three months to really get to know each other and see if we were a good fit."

Christoph Emch worked at Farner for eight years before moving to the management of BlueGlass. "We took three months to really get to know each other and see if we were a good fit," says Anna-Lena. The chemistry was right, as were the values. It has been official since April. Emch is seen as a valuable new member of the management team. He knows Farner from the inside out, so he can also contribute his spouse's perspective to discussions.

Anna-Lena Wohlschlag, Managing Director und Teil der Geschäftsleitung von BlueGlass | Team Farner.
Anna-Lena Wohlschlag, Managing Director and part of the management team at BlueGlass | Team Farner.

"This wedding is good for everyone"

The topics discussed by the management are diverse. It is about market development, personnel development, marketing investments. But also about employer branding. The shortage of skilled workers is an issue at BlueGlass | Team Farner - at least for some profiles. The team tends to be young and therefore has a lot of digital native expertise. People treat each other as equals and the agency maintains flat hierarchies. Everyone on board is motivated to help shape things. And what about the gender gap, which is often still pronounced in digital agencies? Wohlschlag laughs. "We have more women than men, but we don't claim that." This has been the case since the very beginning; we don't hire according to gender, but according to qualifications. And if that's the result, then of course it's good and in line with the zeitgeist.

"This wedding should benefit everyone," says Christoph Emch. Team Farner is honing its expertise in the digital sector, while BlueGlass | Team Farner can draw on broad communication skills and specific industry expertise. But what is very important to everyone in the room is that BlueGlass | Team Farner employees can continue to develop. And that in the entire Farner universe. "We are a large and international team. So much inspiration comes together that you have to worry that you won't get everything. We have our finger on the pulse," summarizes Emch. In Daniel Jörg, Team Farner has a Chief Innovation Officer who ensures that everyone in the team is always one step ahead. "We can't afford to stand still," says Wohlschlag.

Team Farner now has a broad base. While Farner was already the largest communications agency in Switzerland, it is now a real heavyweight. Farner International has just acquired Lansons, a reputation management company from the UK. However, Team Farner does not want to be seen as a network group. "We are a collaborative alliance, which is very different from a network; the connection between us is deeper and closer," summarizes Christoph Emch.

Christoph Emch, Director Client Success und Teil der Geschäftsleitung von BlueGlass | Team Farner.
Christoph Emch, Director Client Success and part of the management team at BlueGlass | Team Farner.

Independence, despite marriage

And yet the team members are independent in themselves, still have their own clients, can act quickly and are like speedboats in sheltered seas. In addition to working with existing clients, BlueGlass | Team Farner is now also part of new projects to which the agency previously had no access; the employees have access to a pool of knowledge and can offer more integrated services. Clients now have the opportunity to have the expertise of all units at one table from the very beginning of their communication project. All three see this as a major advantage. "We solve complex challenges for companies in an interdisciplinary way, that's the vision," says Nicole Treipl. And Anna-Lena Wohlschlag adds: "We have no interest in keeping things to ourselves. If Jim & Jim | Team Farner can create more targeted content for a project, we're happy to hand it over; if Yoveo | Team Farner can contribute a video campaign, absolutely, they all belong at the table."

Nicole Treipl, Director SEO & Content Marketing und Teil der Geschäftsleitung von BlueGlass | Team Farner.
Nicole Treipl, Director SEO & Content Marketing and part of the management of BlueGlass | Team Farner.

Future plans

The marriage to Team Farner is still in the honeymoon phase, but all three are of course thinking ahead. They are thinking about the times when this alliance has to prove itself in everyday life, when the first difficulties arise and the relationship may even be put to the test. For Anna-Lena Wohlschlag, Nicole Treipl and Christoph Emch, the employees always come first. The work-life balance is a big issue. Christoph Emch hopes that he can help to bring the agency landscape closer to a balance between family and job. There are many parents at BlueGlass | Team Farner, and this potential should not be lost, he says.

"In addition to working with existing clients, BlueGlass is now also part of new projects that the agency previously had no access to."

It is important to Anna-Lena Wohlschlag that the work is fun for everyone, that everyone enjoys coming, feels seen and can express themselves. She seizes opportunities and drives things forward wherever she sees potential.

For Nicole Treipl, change always brings opportunities. In addition to satisfied customers, the most important thing is the team and the strong team spirit, so she is delighted when the seeds that were planted together ripen and bear fruit.

And if there are challenges, the three of them will certainly discuss them constructively and get through them together with the team. As befits a good marriage.

"Team Farner's mix of expertise is unique"

Interview with Raphael Bienz, Partner and Chief Digital Officer at Farner | Team Farner. 

Anna Kohler: What strategy is the management pursuing with Team Farner?

Raphael Bienz: Companies and organizations are facing huge challenges today - and many of them can be solved with communication strategies, for example in the areas of digitalization, ESG, inclusion, data protection or stakeholder engagement. We have rounded off our services in such a way that we can support our clients in all relevant areas thanks to our unique mix of expertise.


Creation, PR and data. How well do they fit together?

It is precisely these strategic links that are necessary in order to be able to act in a holistic and integrated manner for our clients. However, we go one step further and can supplement these core competencies with the specialized knowledge of our industry experts and special topics such as ESG, behavioral science or employer branding.


Farner International has bought Lansons in the UK, a reputation management agency. Is this the future? Using SEO/SEA to straighten out reputations on the web?

Before joining Team Farner, I spent 13 years building up the agency BlueGlass | Team Farner. The DNA of BlueGlass has always been to create organic visibility for companies. And that doesn't work by straightening out reviews, building up a few likes or placing a few search ads. We have always made it our mission to help our customers build a strong digital reputation for their brand and the services they offer. We see reputation management as an active, formative discipline. Building a credible, sustainable reputation is the starting point and epitome of every brand. What better fit for our range of services - from branding to SEO/SEA - than entering the UK market through such a renowned strategic reputation house?

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