Some people set out to become a brand specialist, and, through course work develop the foundational skills. My story is different. Brand expertise came along gradually, first in advertising, then in consulting.
Almost from the beginning of my work in advertising I had the good luck to be assigned to support great brands like Coca-Cola and American Express. Then the agency had a need in Tokyo related to Amex and asked me to take it on. Developing advertising and marketing campaigns for American Express cards in Japan was an immersion in the challenge of translating a brand across cultures. While in Tokyo, I also got to work on one of the great luxury brands, Tiffany and Co. Plus, I served other clients throughout the Pacific region, including a major airline. For most of my clients, one of our key tasks as marketers was to make sure that the brand was consistent at every touch point. As the ad agency, our direct responsibility was to use advertising to develop and support the brand. But we were regularly involved in discussions related to service and customer experience.
Four years later, it was time to return to Toronto. It felt like a good time to make the move into consulting. The assignments started to come along pretty quickly. Most of the early work was helping mid-sized firms adopt the disciplined approach to marketing of major brands. Within a few years, requests started to come from very larger service businesses.
Clients would say: We need to redefine our brand and we need to engage with every customer group, our channel partners and our staff to hear from them about what we stand for and what we need to do.
Or they would say: Now that we’ve defined the brand, how do we translate it into a consistent customer experience across every product and every touch point?
Serving clients, that’s how I became a brand specialist.
Oh, by the way, demand from clients to implement their brand throughout their 30,000 employee operations meant also implementing major change.
Want to grow your brand? Feel free to call.