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Adapting to Creativity:  MB Piland Advertising + Marketing

Adapting to Creativity: MB Piland Advertising + Marketing

By Jamie Slack

Photos by David Vincent

Companies are much the same—adaptability is necessary to connect with current clients and to create a business that can evolve as necessary. Risk and instability are common variables in the world of small business. Not only are we competing with the grocery store across the street, we are also competing with Amazon, Blue Apron, and the like. In order for small businesses to survive in this global economy, they must recognize the signals of change in the market and make swift moves to innovate and provide a product or service that appeals to the changing needs of their customers.


Creating a company based on a simple idea can be difficult. Creating a company that is creative enough to remain relevant and strategize additional avenues for future growth is far more difficult. Martha Bartlett Piland seems to have found the answer for how to do both.

The offices of MB Piland Advertising+Marketing, located in the Westboro Mart area, exude creativity. Bright colors everywhere, paintings on the wall, quirky furniture, and other eclectic items remind the office of where they’ve been along their journey.

Companies often find it difficult to foster creativity in the work environment. Martha, who often sees the world a little differently than others, tries to share her vision with everyone around her.

“We hear from people all the time, ‘I wish I was more creative,’ ‘you’re so creative,’ or ‘I wish I could be a fly on the wall in your office to hear you brainstorm,’” Martha said. “Many people want to be creative, but they have no way of figuring out how to do that.”

So, she and her team created a way to teach people how to look at ways to do things that aren’t conventional. MB Piland introduced TRANSFORMOTION (TM) in a Box in mid-2017. Each box contains items meant to employ a multi-sensory approach to thinking.

“It’s like a personal trainer in a box,” Martha said. “Get the creative juices flowing, then maybe better ideas can emerge for the business.”

At first glance, TRANSFORMOTION may just look like a box with cool stuff inside, but in reality, it is a series of activities to encourage creative inspiration. Some boxes may have Pop Rocks (the candy), chopsticks, a piece of twine, and maybe a balloon, but each of these things are a part of a development exercise to induce thinking in ways that are not commonly utilized. TRANSFORMOTION can be used by individuals or purchased in larger quantities to be used in corporate retreats or to get teamwork flowing and new ideas being shared.

TRANSFORMOTION also allowed MB Piland to reach clients who were outside of the normal advertising and marketing arena.

“I think that there’s only so much of us to go around, but we can still help people be more creative and think more strategically with this product because we don’t have to personally take them through the exercises,” Martha said.

Martha and her team gather together, along with close friends, to pack the boxes for all of the orders. “I have a great big, wall-length bulletin board in my office and I am always thinking about ideas for the next box,” Martha says of getting new ideas for the upcoming delivery.

TRANSFORMOTION in a Box, filled with playlists, unusual items and several developmental activities, teaches people to view the world from various angles.

“We all fall into ruts. We eat at the same places for lunch, we do the same workout, we may always insist on having meetings a certain way—and that may be the problem,” Martha said. “It’s time for a TRANSFORMOTION.”


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