One of the best books I’ve read (multiple times, in fact) is Michael Watkins’ The First 90 Days. It is a thoughtful guide for leaders beginning new roles or taking on new assignments. One of his more important suggestions is that you should take the appropriate amount of time to let it all sink in before taking action. In other words, take the time to listen and observe.
You might recall that we started BrandMETTLE because our target audience – the 50+ experienced consumer – wasn’t being heard. And just as important, we observed that too many marketers’ needs weren’t being met by their agency partners.
Therefore, Amy and I committed to following Mr. Watkins’ guidance when we launched BrandMETTLE. In fact, most of our initial meetings with clients, valued colleagues, and strategic partners involved listening for challenges rather than just talking about our solutions.
Indeed, we had a vision for what we wanted to bring to the industry, but, refreshingly, we weren’t encumbered by existing talent, traditional processes, or old technology. Of course, starting from a blank slate meant hitting the ground running to serve clients and build out solutions, so we simultaneously assessed the opportunities while focusing on our strengths – customer insight, branding, and technology.
Throughout our first few months, we’ve been observing how the market is responding to the totality of our promise as well as the individual components of our offering. While not surprised, I think we may have underestimated the need for excellence within some of the categories we serve:
1. The desire for proven, effective branding strategy and process
2. The mandate for effective, new, and innovative technology
3. Authentic depth of understanding and passion for this consumer market
The great news is that our collective strengths align perfectly to the greatest needs in the market.
While the learnings have been consistent, so, too, have been the questions. Many of you recognize the need to focus on this consumer and the significance of their contribution to your brand, but express uncertainty on where to begin or how to approach. Additionally, many of you have inquired how to get greater visibility into the effectiveness of marketing initiatives and greater control over how efficiently they get done.
We heard you. That’s why we have developed a clear and simple brand strategy process, supported by an understanding of key intervening factors of our target audience. And then providing every one of our clients, across a variety of industries, the visibility and transparency into their marketing efforts.
One final note. We have been encouraged and excited by the response of the market to our new offering. Not only do we have new and potential clients entrusting us with their brands, but the talent throughout the industry wanting to be a part of BrandMETTLE is overwhelming. And, most importantly, from those experienced consumers who fall into this target audience – all of whom have expressed that our offering is one for whose time has come, thanks to all of you!
We are very excited and ready to uniquely serve you!
This blog will discuss new ideas, evolution of aging theory, plus application in everyday marketing to older consumers, a.k.a. experienced ones. But before, we start down that path... Let’s back up–why BrandMettle?
Personally, I have had a passion for older consumers my entire life, beginning at a very young age when I volunteered at convalescent homes in the town I grew up in Northern California. It has evolved into a career where I have been constantly seeking out the venue to express my overall respect and admiration for this audience.
I have had the honor to work under or with some of the most influential people in aging: people such as Gene Cohen, Robert Butler, Ken Dychtwald, E. Percil Stanford, Mary Furlong. They've inspired me to challenge and break through age barriers.
As gerontologists, many gravitate to social mission or direct care of the older population, but my passion stemmed heavily in fighting ageism and communicating to the 99% of the aging population rather than serving the 10%. The latter is a noble mission and greatly needed, but the lack of truly authentic communication to older people, where they truly see themselves represented, is missing from the pop culture of everyday life.
Then enters, Matt Brown an agency guru that has spent the last twenty years building and rebuilding some of the most influential agencies. Matt has dedicated his personal and professional efforts to helping others. His personal life mission: to make lives better. That would explain why he has spent nearly 20 years committed to the healthcare industry.
In addition to wanting to help others, Matt also has a deep passion for building great brands. Not only has he built and launched several agency brands, he and his teams have launched hundreds of healthcare brands.
While the circumstances of our first meeting wasn’t an indication of a future partnership – a story for another blog post!–the opportunity to build a disruptive brand agency focused on experienced consumers called out to us both.
Matt and I are excited for the journey ahead. Our backgrounds complement each other and we are both passionate about creating an agency that will be influential in changing behaviors in the ad world. And the timing for our agency launch couldn't be better, as the aging of baby boomers and the longevity phenomenon creates the need for more agency talent to focus on this underserved demographic.
We are ready to show our METTLE. Will you join us in showing yours?