Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm cooking now..., really. “I’m cooking” isn’t a metaphor for working hard at ADG... I’m actually standing in my son Tyler’s kitchen, cooking. A business trip this week left me with a few days to travel to his home in northern Idaho where he attends school. So why should you care about any of this? Well, if you’re a client, my culinary experience will actually make your projects better. Seriously.

I’ve been seeking to better understand not only what makes campaigns bomb or succeed – but also where the source of “mega success” comes from. What causes a brand to go viral? How is it that some just seem to stick around? And the granddaddy of them all (at least in my mind;) what firmly implants a brand forever in the hearts and minds of its intended audience? And after much consternation… I’ve come to this conclusion; the foundation of any bountiful brand is found in its “story.”

Back to lunch. The ingredients for my meal came to me courtesy of the local food co-op, and everything on their shelves came with a price. I’m not talking about the transaction at the cash register… I’m talking about the artisanal craftsmanship -- the blood, sweat, and tears that accompanies creating things “the hard way.” Don’t mishear me – I’m not submitting that just because something’s “hard” also means it’s good... but “story” doesn’t lie.

For the soup, I trimmed delicate ‘shrooms grown in the woods of Washington state (mere miles from the co-op.) The Feta for our salad was made in Greece and imported – there’s got to be a story there (or so I romanticize...) and the honey that was drizzled into the dressing carries the taste of the Idaho Palouse and it’s surrounding valleys. When the meal was finally served, as we sat down, my son and I became yet another part of the story.

So without going on and on (if I haven’t already,) I guess my point is that getting in the lives of clients, partners, consumers, and students requires building brands that have lives poured in to them.

Perhaps today was not so much an epiphany as it was a reminder... ADG has stellar people who love what they do and they pour themselves in to their work. I believe that they’re also incredibly grateful for the opportunity they have to do what they do for you, our clients. A lot of subtext goes in to the broader stories that ADG helps to tell. It’s a strange brew that we’ve concocted – strategists, designers, developers… writers, PMs, and AEs… their all part of what we do, and as the staff continues to grow, so too does the story continue. I can hardly wait for the next chapter to begin.

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