As a Brand Consultant.
I don’t pitch for work.
And I don’t do tenders either.
I just tell people what I think.
I am talking to a really great person inside a really great organisation about a really great opportunity.
Right here in Newcastle.
They are about to move into an emerging category.
A category that is of global significance.
It is a new(ish) work area that really is going to get bigger and bigger.
They are one of the first there.
And because of who they are.
And the resources they can access.
They can – if they do things right – accelerate faster than many.
I am encouraging them to pause.
I am encouraging them to think way, way beyond the initial opportunity.
I want them to think further.
I want them to think about what will happen as the category matures.
I want them to develop a deep understanding of how the future may pan out.
And (and this is important) I am encouraging them to think about how they may want to influence that future as well.
It is easy to get excited about emerging categories.
Especially when there appears to be a really good fit between it.
But it is important not to rush in.
Here is what I wrote for this particular client.
And this particular opportunity.
(Confidential elements removed).
As we approach the end of 2019, there is much talk around and support for this emerging and accelerating opportunity.
The spotlight shines from governments, businesses and hubs, educational institutions, consumers and, of course, the sector itself.
As any new category emerges, individuals and organisations jostle for position.
Some think short term. Some think long term. Some try to do both.
Some do whatever it takes to generate as much profit as possible as quickly as possible. Because their behaviour is fuelled by the uncertainty of ‘new’ and they want to make hay whilst today’s sun shines.
Others take a more considered approach. They balance a desire to maximise the opportunity with the patience and analytical approach that is required to fully understand the opportunity.
Speed is important. But committing to the rigor that is required to seek out, unearth and react in excellent, interesting and intelligent ways to insights is where the real power lies. This is also the key to developing the most compelling and resilient activities.
The most informed thinkers have the potential to formulate the clearest and most memorable opinions around the opportunity. They build relatable value and relatable values into the missions they adopt. They want to make a real and lasting difference. They see themselves as pioneering. They are happy to be different. Indeed they understand that ‘being different’ is an essential component of maximisation in the context of what they have the potential to become.
And they know that exceptional quality in all areas is a prerequisite. That’s the way it should be in any category. But it is the way it simply has to be when competition is energised, numerous and (in many cases) impressive.
The stand-out new entrants behave like leaders not followers. They want to drive change not just follow the trend. They want to matter. And they know that if they are thorough enough at the research phase, expert enough at the brand building phase, savvy enough at a strategic phase and clever, brave and precise enough with their tactical activities, they have the potential to ‘own’ the position that they take. And they also know that these approaches are the best way to become a meaningful and brand-rich organisation.
And brand-rich organisations are rich organisations.
This emerging category is happening anyway. It is up to us to decide how we want to get involved.
Let’s see what happens.