Saturday, May 5, 2012

good job

Yesterday was a great day.

I've sort of fallen in brand love. That is, I handle a brand that I've come to really care for. It is an old brand that has started to feel a little clunky and truth be told, it has fallen on tough times. It is still a moneymaker for now, but little cracks are starting to show. They aren't so obvious yet, but if my loved brand doesn't think carefully about space, position and identity, the cracks will become holes and end up a leaking bucket.

I've had a gut feel for awhile about where I think this brand needs to go, what it needs to stand for to close the tiny cracks. People love this brand, I think, because of what it has meant to them over the years, not because of a clear identity that has been established. But this brand still has equity and gravitas. And I've had a feeling that we could think this through for them and help its brand managers rediscover its potential.

As a digital "specialist" agency, however, we don't often get to present total brand points-of-view. Our job is usually amplification of executions that an ATL agency has already done. To be honest we don't often agree with their approach, but it has been slow going gaining credibility to show that we can think brand, too, and that we think differently. But digital planners need to be as proficient as traditional agency planners at brand-level matters, because brands come to life on digital, 24/7, in-depth, on-demand. Whether we ask them to or not, consumers become co-brand managers who comment, create and project brand identity. And brands that don't have a strong sense of self could end up getting lost.

Yesterday we finally got our shot to share a piece of our dream for this brand, a starting point to where we could take it. We delivered a think piece that was little over the ask, but our client bought in to it and reflected on the critical questions we raised. In the end they thanked us for one of the best takes and understandings of the brand that they'd ever heard.

I was so happy, proud and felt so validated to have gotten to share something that I think will really help this beloved brand. We'll have to wait and see where this piece of thinking brings our agency but yesterday was a good day, that reminded me of the important role planners play in the communication process.

We are engineers of space in mind, of vision and brand dreams, of relevance and clarity. We are architects of identity, principles, value and personality. We are designers of form and action. In terms of discipline nobody else can or cares to do what we do. And I love that I love to do this.

Yesterday was a great day.


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