What You Should Know About Strategy

It’s the stuff of poets and comedians.

Photo courtesy Nathan Anderson, Unsplash

Thank you all for the support on the first article. Much love.

It’s been a few days since we last talked. Bohemiam Rhapsody took home Best Motion Picture at the Golden Globes this weekend, and personally I think A Star is Born got snubbed.

But whatdyado?



Last week I told you about my job at Young & Laramore. And while I wear a few different hats, it can be sort of difficult to explain out loud what I do here. So today I thought I’d demystify my role for you (and myself).

I promise to keep things interesting.

I wake up most days at 7:30, drive downtown, plop down in my chair, and think about behavior. Things like why we buy luxury cars. Or why free trials get us to sign up.

Here’s the thing — humans are pretty irrational people. You. Me. All of us. We think every decision we make is rooted in logic — that our moves, much like a chess match, are perfectly calculated. But that’s hardly the case.

Photo courtesy rawpixel, Unsplash

Humans also lie. A lot.

We lie about our intelligence and relationships. About our goals and past experiences and dreams and motivations.

No one’s at fault for this— it’s just what we’re conditioned for. We also internalize a lot, which makes observing the preferred method to asking and interviewing.

If brands knew exactly what people wanted — when and where they wanted it — agencies would quickly close shop.

But it doesn’t work like that.

Humans are very complex. We’re restrained and extremely emotional.

Strategists try to make sense of all this.

We use our skills in writing, research, art and business. Our fascination with culture. And our wild obsession to understand why people do what they do.

We’re students of the consumer, so we listen intently. Never assuming. And we never ever shy away from the truth. Because stubbornness is where good ideas go to die.

The goal of our work is to find what we call “insights” — proven truths about the human condition. It’s the stuff of comedians and poets. Where culture, with the help of wordplay, is condensed to “oh shit, that is true” moments.

A simplified strategy process. Photo courtesy Mark Pollard, Twitter

These insights separate creative work into two camps:

The Mediocre,

and The Truly Game Changing — work that transcends culture and ultimately moves you to buy.

Photo courtesy Colin Kaepernick, Twitter

Every agency has their secret arsenal of tools to understand behavior and a brand’s target. (Come work with us if you want to know more 😉) In most cases, numbers and opinions quickly pile up, but great strategy and creative doesn’t let what’s true stand in the shadows.

At Y&L we use these tools to build brands and help existing ones take a stand. Most important is how we help the client understand the role of the brand in the consumer’s mind.

From there there we tackle our next challenge, always committing to great work for our clients and seeking new opportunities to flex our creative muscle.

There you have it. My day job reduced to a handful of vague paragraphs. Business speak can get in the weeds pretty quickly, but for what it’s worth, marketing is pretty interesting.

As always, thoughts and criticsm are welcome.

Chat soon

Follow me on Instagram to be the first notified when a story goes live. I write about post-grad, minimalism, marketing and whatever else is on my mind.