Our Lasting Impression
By Client Leadership Team
On September 15th, Hyperquake’s Dan Barczak, Creative Director and Partner, and Sherwood MacVeigh, Director of Strategy, co-presented “Stop Counting Impressions. Make One.” at the Brand Strategy Innovation Summit that was part of a larger Digital Festival in Studio City, California. Our message at the Summit—that when you make the right impression, many more impressions will come—is based in our purpose and philosophy: a brand must evolve, or it will fade away.
Over 600 people from diverse industries attended, looking for new ways to leverage brand strategy and digital experiences in order to connect with their consumers. As a co-owner of an agency that brings both strategic and creative solutions to its clients, it was insightful to sit back and observe how major corporations such as the Dallas Cowboys, Gatorade and Lexus manage and invest in their brands. It was so compelling to observe how others truly appreciate and benefit from the work we do.
In “A Lifetime of Once-in-a-Lifetimes,” the Dallas Cowboys VP of Brand & Media, Matthew O’Neil, spoke about his job: ensuring that every experience lives up to expectations, and delivers on what the Cowboys’ fans need and want from their team. Even when faced with “uncontrollable” things, he urged the audience to at least “put your hand on it”—anticipate and prepare to react to “what if’s.” The brand personality of the Cowboys is not humble or quiet; it’s loud and proud and should be celebrated, represented in that spirit at every touchpoint. Hyperquake couldn’t agree more. A brand’s archetypal personality should be seen, heard and felt at every touchpoint to develop that lifetime impression.
Matthew spoke after Sherwood and Dan; and when he said something to the effect of, “We do a lot of the things Hyperquake just talked about,” it hit me hard that we are making the right impression—and at that point I whispered to myself, “Awesome!”
Gatorade’s core message was strong: “Put the consumer in the center of everything you do.” Kenny Mitchell, Sr. Director, Consumer Engagement, reflected on their shift away from a product-focused message around a ‘drink that quenches your thirst,’ to truly identifying with their athletes’ wants and needs. With this transition, so many new opportunities for messaging (and even product development) were revealed. The Gatorade brand couldn’t evolve or remain relevant if they continued to perceive their role as selling a drink. Hyperquake couldn’t agree more. “Don’t sell me a drink—sell me fuel, designed and created for athletes.”
Purpose drove Lexus’s storytelling session, delivered by Erin L. Ilgen, Manager of Brand & Experience. Lexus uses storytelling techniques not only to bring their car’s campaign messaging to life, but also to inspire the internal culture of the company. The approach has the power to provoke new points of view from all associates and even from their customers. “Kaizen”—a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices and efficiency—is at the heart of the Lexus story, and guides their efforts to create, serve, communicate and ultimately connect with consumers around the world. With a clear purpose and an empathy for the people they serve, the Lexus brand and story continues to evolve. This approach from Lexus reinforces a simple truth we’ve observed over and over again at Hyperquake: a compelling story grounded in human values and meaning is one that moves people to action.
Our goal as brand stewards is to make each brand relevant, relatable and resilient in a changing marketplace.We accomplish this by focusing on why a brand exists, whom the brand serves, and how, when and where it can share its values (and personality) with the world. Since business strategy and brand strategy are interdependent, the value of an impression in the heart and mind of a consumer or associate is a positive and lasting contribution to the overall success of a company.