When I am not keeping track of screenplays for the NH Film Festival or losing sleep over Kelly and Nicky, wrapping up Caramel Cigarettes, I spend my time at my internship. This summer I’ve been obliged to intern for the creative agency, MicroArts. Monday through Thursday, I join two members of this agency and collaborate my thoughts on their leading brands. If I am not researching cancer statistics for Is My Cancer Different or looking up social media content for By Nature, my day is filled with a creative assignment to strengthen my understanding of the branding process.
The most recent assignment I was given involved reading MicroArts’ CEO’s book: “Launch A Brand.” The book gave great detail in comparing a strong brand to a weak one. Some chapters elaborated on how some brands associate their slogan with emotions, while others keep their image strong and confident. After reading the book, I researched examples of brands that weren’t used in the book. For example, I categorized Subaru as a brand that repositioned for emotional value:
Subaru’s commercial depicting a father waiting for the school bus with his daughter is emotional branding. Parents can relate to the anxiety and excitement behind the first day of school. After the girl gets picked up, the father follows the bus in his Subaru because he is “overprotective.” But when it comes to being a parent, you are overprotective and care about the safety of your child in or outside of your vehicle.
Another recent creative assignment I was given was to create a brand manual for a cross-fit sneaker. This assignment was more difficult than I intended it to be. After working a couple drafts, I realized how important it is to research and understand your brand’s audience/consumer.
If you have no perception of who needs or wants your product, your brand cannot stand on its own. You have to keep your branding consistent. If you cannot describe your brand in three words or less, you cannot expect a potential consumer to retain the concept.
With this being said, I spent one day JUST watching videos about cross-fit training. As absurd as it seems, it was time well spent.
A couple weeks ago, I searched for over 100 pet bloggers (people who love their pets and love to blog about them) to contact about reviewing a By Nature product. Some were not interested, a few were, a majority did not respond. This is when I got a clear demonstration of “following-up.” Not only did I draft out an email about wanting reviews, but I also had to compile a follow-up email. Almost all the bloggers who didn’t respond to the initial email contacted us within twenty-four hours replying to the follow-up. Consistency is key.
It’s been a great opportunity to work side by side with members of MicroArts. I walked into this internship with little to no understanding of marketing, and now I’ve learned more in the last two months than I thought plausible.
My first week at MicroArts, the brand director, who I work with on a daily-basis gave me great advice:
“No matter how good it is no one gives a fuck about your writing.”
I do not consider this harsh or cold. These are words – as a creative writer – to live by. After I get my Bachelor’s degree in creative writing, there will be no employer who hires me because my fiction or poetry is superb.
Writers are hired by newspapers, magazines or agencies and are told what to write and how to do it. If you are writing about cat litter, the average cat owner is not going to care for your detailed description. They want to read why it’s good, why they should buy it and be out the door.
I am more than happy that I am learning these skills now, going into my junior year, and not struggling with the concept as someone one year out of college. I can’t wait to see what these next few weeks entail before I go back to school.