When considering my next professional move, I did something fairly common in a search process – I took some time to identify in detail what somewhere between the “ideal” to “acceptable” job would look like, feel like, and have to include.
I have been fortunate to work on some of the greatest brands and with some terribly talented professionals in the marketing, creative, publicity, operations, finance and legal spaces at the world’s leading consumer product and entertainment companies. Sure, I wanted to continue to build great brands with great colleagues – that’s not unusual for a brand manager. That’s “acceptable.” But the buzz words I began to think about and to say when I discussed new opportunities that were “ideal” started to repeat themselves: elegant disruptor, visionary and inspiring leadership, experienced yet energetic, creative and can-do people, lots of growth domestically and abroad.
Enter the W2O Group. Constructive disruption was certainly a well-used term in the business press about a year ago. How do you keep the business strategies and tactics that are still successful, throw away the tried-and-tested but now irrelevant noise, and be brave and open to radically new innovation be that new staff, agencies and partners, or go-to-business practices? Bottom line, from my experience, it’s tough to constructively disrupt at a mid- to large organization or at a minimum, do it quickly.
W2O’s founder and chairman, Jim Weiss, uses the term pragmatic disruption or “entrepreneurs in a state of “do” blowing up models one at a time.” Now this makes a lot of sense to me because it’s not easy for any established, entrenched company managing heritage brands to quickly change their culture, or go-to-market tactics, or their org chart even with the best of intentions. I think that a consulting firm that can deliver products and services that allow their clients to be pragmatic disruptors in an array of sectors is a firm that deserves to be positioned not only as pragmatic but as “elegant.” Why? Because W2O’s client solutions must be both ingenious and pleasingly simple if they are to work, to be implemented quickly, and measured solidly. In other words, the W2O disruption needs to be elegant as well as pragmatic. At W2O, we are fortunate to have a visionary and visible leader, blue-chip talent at all levels and with backgrounds from numerous sectors, incredibly innovative marketing and communications products and services in the influencer/social, media planning, corporate culture, and social analytics spaces. And W2O’s significant growth over the last several years indicates that our clients agree that we and they are on the right track.
I am looking forward to building business relationships, both with the superb W2O team and its clients, that will last my entire career – that’s the only kind of relationship I know how to build. I am also excited about using W2O’s outstanding analytics to develop fresh marketing strategies and messaging for outstanding brand-building, particularly in the area of multi-cultural campaigns. The definition of a strong brand has evolved from a mere compelling consumer promise with a personality and a visual identity to all of those things plus an extremely close and dynamic relationship with the brand’s consumers, fans, audiences. It doesn’t matter if the brand is toothpaste, chocolate, or a movie franchise. I am probably most excited about taking classic brand management/cpg principles from the creative, communication, media, and promotions disciplines, and turning them all on their ear with the innovation that exists within this firm.
I’m really excited to be a part of the W2O family – it’s definitely “ideal.”