First-year students pose for a photo with their Droga5 hosts.
Faculty member Jason Severs, this past spring, brought first-year students to experience the Droga5 workplace, as well as the creative problem-solving that underpins all of the agency’s activities. Samantha Deevy, Group Communications Strategy Director, and Nick Maschmeyer, Director of Brand Strategy, gave students behind-the-scenes insight into how their teams approach the process of discovering a brand’s purpose and communicating it to the world. The brand strategy team is tasked with distilling a brand down to a single idea that drives the behavior of its collective parts moving forward. This “brand purpose,” says Nick, “is the North Star and foundation of the influential, effective experience that will follow.”
Samantha and Nick guided students through an agency case study that was punctuated by learning moments, illustrating much of their theory behind brand purpose. Nick demonstrated his team’s role in arriving at the “big idea” by thoroughly analyzing a company’s DNA and understanding not only the needs and behaviors of its consumers, but also its competition and potential in the brand’s category.
As a key player on the communications strategy team, Samantha focuses on making the brand strategy come to life. Considering the channels through which people consume and interact with a given brand is crucial, and this process starts with mapping the user’s journey. Communication strategy crystalizes the creative work that needs to follow for successful execution of the brand strategy. Success means taking someone who has never heard of a brand and converting him or her to be a brand advocate.
Samantha and Nick showed students in real time the energy behind uncovering brand purpose. To a room full of interaction designers students, understanding the perspective of strategy team directors helped to visualize the full campaign ecosystem that comes together to create optimal experiences for consumers.