“The essential characteristic that lets any company survive for 100 plus years is adaptability.”
Alex Morrison is President of Grey West, overseeing offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Grey is, at its core, an ideas company that works with the world’s most ambitious brands from a uniquely cultural perspective.
In this episode of Velocitize Talks, Morrison reflects upon the staying power of an agency like Grey—it’s been around for more than 100 years—and how companies can best adapt for changing times. Grey is masterful at helping their clients navigate change and connect with their consumers in a way that’s culturally relevant in the new marketing and advertising landscape.
Driving growth [1:18]
“A big focus for us has been really an inward focus on creating the right kind of culture and the right kind of team structure.”
Agility is key to a company’s growth, which allows a brand to adapt across different forms of multiple projects and campaigns. That’s what makes it so imperative to have the right team in place. Grey has been hugely successful at attracting top creative and talent by choosing people who are committed to its culture and mission.
Content is still king [3:55]
“The precondition for any content marketing needs a really strong brand and a really strong idea.”
The evolution of content delivery has clearly transformed the marketing industry. There needs to be a strategy that binds these moving parts and bites into a cohesive and compelling story.
Be authentic [5:30]
“I think there’s a deeper authenticity that’s probably even more important which is, are you behaving in a way that’s consistent with your stated values?”
With the rise of Gen Z and younger consumers, have celebrity endorsements become less popular with brands? Not necessarily. As long as an agency is staying true to its values, celebrities can still help, although new influencers have taken on a bigger role.
Voice as a brand [8:55]
How would this brand voice start to manifest if you were able to talk with it?
Whether you’re typing on your keyboard or talking to Alexa, it could be more about the interaction than the voice. What kind of experience is it providing to the consumer, and is its message resonating?
Values in advertising [11:27]
If you look at Gillette, I think it was a very brave move… to stand up to toxic masculinity.
Staying true to your values and purpose as a brand is important but the more vocal you are, there’s a potential for risk. Bigger brands like Nike or Gillette may have more freedom to do that. Grey produced the provacative, and somewhat controversial, Super Bowl ad for Gillette that weighed in on the #MeToo movement.
How do we make sure people are buying more than just what we’re selling… they’re buying into what we’re selling and who we are.