Six Degrees Celebrates 20 Years

Six Degrees Celebrates 20 Years

Six Degrees was founded 20 years ago today. Let’s take a short stroll back to 1999 and remember what else was happening around us back then.

In March, when Six Degrees opened its doors in executive suites in Scottsdale with a fax machine and a handful of personal computers, the Dow Jones Industrial Average passed 10,000 for the first time ever.

On the political front, President Bill Clinton was under impeachment and was subsequently acquitted. Dennis Hastert became Speaker of the House and would serve in that role longer than anyone before him. However, his legacy was characterized by the fact that he was to be the highest-ranking US political leader ever to go to prison. Speaking of long-serving politicians, Vladimir Putin succeeded Boris Yeltsin as President of Russia in 1999.

Interest rates stood at a whopping (compared to today) 8.5%. A gallon of gasoline cost $1.22, and the federal government had a balanced budget with a surplus of $124 billion. 1999 was also the year the Euro was established, while the Susan B. Anthony dollar was re-released and promptly re-retired.

In the tech world, Bluetooth was launched, USB flash drives were developed and MySpace (remember that?) made its debut.

The Columbine High School shooting left 14 teenagers and one teacher dead…little did we know it was going to be a harbinger of more school shootings to come.

On the lighter side, SpongeBob SquarePants, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and The Matrix all premiered that year. It was hard not to hear Cher’s “Believe” and Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” on the airwaves. On TV, we were watching “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire”, “ER” and “Friends”.

The biggest systemic fear people had was Y2K, when most of the world’s computers were thought to stop working because, until then, most software only used a two-digit representation of the year. The media coverage seemed to imply a return to dark ages when, in fact, the world never skipped a beat.

Similarly, Six Degrees took off and never looked back.


Think you know Six Degrees? (25 questions)

See how many questions about Six Degrees you get right!

The day Six Degrees opened its office, it snowed in Scottsdale
The name “Six Degrees” was chosen because there were six founding partners
The agency launched with no committed clients
The first major brand Six Degrees worked on was Viagra
During the “tech bubble” of the early 2000s, a fast-growing web company wanted to purchase Six Degrees in an all-stock deal only to dissolve one year later
Six Degrees has done brand-building work all over the world
The founding partners were all beer aficionados
The agency was founded to focus on the medical space
Today, the agency is still owned by the original six partners
Before the 2008 financial meltdown, Six Degrees was looking to merge with an agency in Milan, Italy
Six Degrees has never been confused with other companies named Six Degrees
When the agency built out its current space, it was pursuing a look of “refined industrial”
The daily music selection played at the agency is country, bluegrass or piano concertos
The three conference rooms at the agency differ in size but are the same color
Six Degrees uses a lot of image galleries in its branding work because words are imprecise
“Adrian the Alien” and “Dave the Degree” are fictitious characters invented by Six Degrees
Six Degrees has worked on 95 pharma brands and 130 medical device brands
Every third Thursday, Six Degrees celebrates “Wine Thirdsday” with an assortment of cheeses and wines
At Six Degrees, we only play the “clean” version of Cards Against Humanity
The agency has brewed beer but never blended wine
Two of the strangest requests for assistance to come through our door included branding an advanced-hygiene toilet and handsanitizer with nano-blades that pierce the cell walls of bacteria
There have been 6 logo updates to the Six Degrees brand
The approach Six Degrees uses for brand-building is called “psycho-sensory”
The newest offering at Six Degrees is clinical trial branding
Six Degrees is planning to expand into Latin America

Six Degrees

Six Degrees uses psycho-sensory tools and techniques to build more successful national and global brands. Brands are rooted in human perception. And our psycho-sensory approach is designed to identify deeper and richer insights from human perception and then develop brand communications that change suboptimal perceptions or reinforce the right perceptions. More than 80 percent of the information humans process is nonverbal, making it essential that brands manage the sensory signals they send out. Our people are passionate branding experts wielding powerful psycho-sensory tools to build stronger and more successful brands across the globe.

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