With the year drawing to a close, I wanted to share a selection of my articles and projects from 2012. In an era of new technologies and empowered consumers, managing brands is an increasingly complex undertaking. By tackling challenging issues, like whether sustainability has a place in a marketer’s annual plan or if brand reputation can be influenced in the face of social media buzz, I hope to add to the industry’s understanding of what it takes to build a brand in 2013 and beyond.
I kicked off the year with an article featured on Sustainable Brands that looked at the skill set needed by today’s brand leaders. I argued that good brand management means much more than finding the right positioning and leveraging well-understood media channels. Brand leaders now need to wear many hats: community builder, crisis manager, and sustainability specialist.
I had the opportunity to contribute to a Canadian Marketing Association Leadership Paper about marketing, sustainability, and social responsibility. Sustainability: Why the Marketing Needs to be Firmly Rooted in the Movement explains why addressing social and environmental issues is an imperative for marketers. My case studies of two iconic brands, Coca-Cola and Tim Hortons, offer lessons learned on how to take a sustainability message to market.
I had the pleasure of being a panelist for a screening of Miss Representation, a 2011 documentary that explores the often simplistic representation of women in popular media. The panel discussion was a reminder of the responsibility that we in the marketing industry need to take in portraying women and men as well-rounded individuals instead of leaning on stereotypes to communicate brand messages.
The short answer– in an era of Twitter, Youtube, and smartphones – is all the time. Now that consumers and employees have the means to influence how the rest of the world sees a brand, managing a brand’s reputation is a round-the-clock, multi-department, multi-media, cross-platform job.