Evol Empire Sets Plans for Domination
Andrew Tuzson was sick of the rah-rah.
He was sick of his 11-mile commute taking three hours and the grind of a congested city.
Both he and his wife Angie wanted something different for themselves and their two kids, so they sold their ad agency–which they founded in downtown Denver–and began looking for the right location to begin the next chapter of their lives, which would turn out to be another agency: Evol Empire Creative.
“I lived [in Lincoln]30 years ago and my wife is from Wichita so she’d been down for a few games and stuff, but it had been a while for both of us,” Andrew said. “We looked at pockets all over the country. First and foremost, we were looking for a community that was family-oriented, a good place to raise a family.”
Andrew said his family visited Lincoln and stayed in the Haymarket while checking out houses and the feel of the city. He said the first day of their trip hadn’t ended and they already knew Lincoln was what they needed.
They quickly moved into their new city and Andrew immediately began working in May of 2016 to create another ground-up ad agency: Evol Empire Creative. Andrew said the first few weeks consisted of him working alone at a desk in Fuse’s co-working space.
Soon Evol began hiring employees and the company grew enough to move into Fuse’s shared offices.
They quickly outgrew that space as well.
“We outgrew that in about three weeks,” Tuzson said. “So we moved to Nebraska Global; I rented the big private space. And we outgrew that. Now here we are, with 24 employees. The rate we’ve grown is insane. It’s cool, it’s humbling, it’s terrifying. The business side doesn’t scare me. I live to sit with my clients. But when you have 24 people relying on you to take care of them every month, it can be a lot of pressure.”
When it came to hiring employees, Andrew and Angie knew they needed Evol to be surrounded with top-tier talent. Andrew began scouting the nation for skilled people Evol could relocate to Lincoln. That meant hiring people from Amazon and other notable companies.
“It’s hard to get in but once you’re in, man, I make it really hard for you to leave,” Andrew said. “We don’t have turnover; we have a really good crew and they are super talented. We’re known for the quality of work we put out in the market and the speed at which we do it. We don’t sacrifice quality for efficiency. It’s this model we’ve somehow figured out. We’re fast and we’re good.”
Andrew attributed Evol’s quick success to their targeting of a middle-tier marketing niche. Some notable clients of Evol Empire include Boiler Brewing Company, Complete Nutrition and Anytime Fitness.
“We tell people we may not be the most cost-effective solution, but we’re the most effective solution,” Andrew said. “We fit this middle 80 percent of the market. That’s our sweet spot. It’s a pocket of the market that’s not worked as aggressively in the Midwest. We’ve really fit this niche very well.”
When looking to the future, Evol Empire is hoping to emphasize the latter part of their name. Andrew said he named the business Evol Empire on purpose and hopes to see the company rapidly expand in the next few years.
“Our plans for the next several years are aggressive,” he said. “Lincoln will always be home base but it’s going to be one of many offices. That’s the ultimate goal and plan.”
Founded in 1967, the Downtown Lincoln Association provides services and champions initiatives for maintaining and enhancing our vibrant downtown. Our vision is to create an energetic downtown environment where we live, learn, work, invest and play. DLA has evolved into a multi-faceted organization supporting a wide range of programs and activities including maintenance, economic development and advocacy.