In this episode, I talk with the renowned strategist Gareth Kay, a founding partner of the cutting-edge independent creative studio Chapter, in San Fransisco, whose clients inc Google, Airbnb, Sonos, Dropbox, Uber, Facebook and PayPal. Prior to setting up the studio, he spent 20yrs at some of the world's best ad agencies, inc Goodby Silverstein & Partners, where he was Chief Strategy Officer. He says that 'today, people expect more from their brands. Those expectations may seem unreasonable, but they have been reset for good'. We talk about the 'complexity of uncertainty' summing up a key challenge of C19, but that we need to use the crisis 'as a portal to a better future' re: #TheGreat Reset. Finally, Gareth talks about the urgent need to support the 'cultural creators and enablers' that play such a vital role in our lives. Oh, and he's also been to more gigs than seems humanly possible and really, really wanted to be a drummer. So...please listen and enjoy!
The guest for Episode 2 of Inspiring Futures is Gareth Kay. and touches upon many things, including the future of advertising and the agency. Gareth is the founder of Chapter-SF- which describes itself as a new type of creative studio focused on designing soulful brands that thrive in today's world of unreasonable expectations. Our wide-ranging conversation-includes a discussion about Gareth’s background and experience, what he is trying to do with Chapter SF- versus the typical creative agency, the curse of specialization, the challenge of short-term thinking and pressures, the best client brief ever, our lack of human understanding, how he thinks about the future and the importance of timeless ideas and where we stand with digital technology in the communication and marketing space.
Gareth Kay of Chapter joins Adam today to talk about the way planning has changed from its introduction. His perspective on planning from both sides of the Atlantic (and some on the Pacific as well) frames up this discussion very well. He takes Adam to school. Enjoy. *Note: If you haven’t heard Rachel Mercer’s episode, you may want to listen first. She makes light of how we have augmented English planning which was the impetus for this conversation with Gareth Kay.* Get full access to The Strategy Inside Everything at specific.substack.com/subscribe --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/adam-pierno/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/adam-pierno/support
Gareth Kay believes brands should show, not just tell
How Brands Are Built
Gareth Kay believes brands should show, not just tell Gareth Kay is cofounder of Chapter, a San Francisco-based creative studio. Before Chapter, he was Chief Strategy Officer at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, the advertising agency known for work such as 1993's iconic "Got Milk?" campaign for the California Milk Processors Board. I was excited to talk to Gareth because, while he's a strategist, he doesn't come from the world of traditional brand consulting that I come from (and so many of my other guests come from). In fact, one of my first questions for him was, "What do you think the general perception of the brand consulting world is amongst people in the advertising world?" Gareth says advertising agencies are increasingly seeing clients that have already been through a brand consultancy, and "when [the brand consultancy's work] was good you would be a little bit miffed because [cracking the strategy] was something, as a strategist, you really loved doing." On the flip-side, he'd sometimes see brand consultancy work that looked "clever on a piece of paper but…frankly, it was un-executable or, worse still, was a piece of thinking that was clearly designed to get through the armies of different interests inside a client organization and it kind of got watered down…through rounds and rounds of meetings and consensus-building." I asked Gareth about an article he published in WARC, titled "The 'brand' word." When you think about how we throw the term [brand] about, more often than not we are describing something we do-a brand strategy or campaign, not the associations we are trying to create. … We use it too often to create a false sense of control and a mistaken belief that we manage the brand. The models we use reinforce this: the tools of temples and pyramids are about what we build, not how people respond to them. The tools we use to shape brands are not fit for purpose. They are used to create simplicity and consistency which run counter to a culture of complexity and change. This led us to a fascinating conversation on what agencies should be using instead of these "temples and pyramids." Gareth argues consultancies should: "Show the thing," a mantra at Chapter-essentially prototyping real-world applications to showcase brand ideas rather than trying to capture them with words alone, which he calls "a very lossy form of compression." Avoid wordsmithing. He quotes a friend, Russel Davies, "you'll be discussing whether a brand is funny or…humorous." "Is that really the best use of our time, of our money, of our resources?" he asks. The brand model used at Chapter is a "Brand Operating System," the underlying code and principles that define everything a brand does. The framework includes three layers: Belief: What does this brand genuinely believe in the world? This is the problem it's trying to solve or the opportunity it sees. Purpose: What do you do as a brand given your belief? Pursuits: Because we believe X (our Belief) and we're going to do Y about it in the world (our Purpose), we will do the following things. The Pursuits are normally three, action-oriented principles. Gareth provided a detailed example of the Brand Operating System by talking through Chapter's work for Silent Circle. We ended the conversation talking about brands Gareth thinks get all the fundamentals right (Hiut Denim and Allbirds) and his advice to young strategists and planners. For more of Gareth's insights, read his posts on Medium and follow him on Twitter. Below, you'll find the full transcript of the episode (may contain typos and/or transcription errors). Click above to listen to the episode, and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or elsewhere to hear every episode of How Brands Are Built. Episode sponsors · Squadhelp. To begin a business name contest with hundreds of business naming experts, check out their services to get a fresh perspective on your company. · Rev.com. Rev offers fast, reliable, and accurate audio transcriptions. Right now, Rev is offering listeners $10 off their first order. Follow this link for your $10-off coupon.
On this season finale of Real Famous, we have a conversation with Rosie Yakob, Faris Yakob, and Gareth Kay. Rosie was a Senior Social Strategist at Cake, led social strategy at Saatchi NY, and was also a Senior Strategist at 360i. Faris was the Chief Innovation Officer at MDC Partners, the EVP, Chief Technology Strategist at McCann, and is the author of Paid Attention. Together, they are the brains behind the consultancy Genius Steals. Gareth was the head of planning at Modernista!, the Chief Strategy Officer of Goodby, and the founding partner of Zeus Jones SF. He is now a co-founder of Chapter SF. Enjoy!
Gareth Kay co-founded Chapter after a stint as CSO of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and leading planning at Modernista! in Boston. However, he's originally from England where he achieved a MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford. So his planning bonafides are well bonfided.In this 40-minute interrogation, I hit Gareth with 150 questions. OK. Maybe 30. It's fast-paced. We cover a lot of planning topics that some people might think are below them to discuss. Not us!- What is planning?- Planning vs strategy - does it matter?- Does planning work?- Has planning always had a credibility issue?- What makes a good planner?- Why does planning struggle in agencies?- Are there nuances in the USA that make planning harder?You can find Gareth at http://twitter.com/garethkVideo: http://www.sweathead.co Mark: http://www.twitter.com/markpollard Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dscjW5
This is a conversation with Gareth Kay. He was the Chief Strategy Officer at Goodby Silverstein and Partners before founding Chapter SF. They are a new style of creative agency, bringing together product design and brand communications. We talked about the path that led him to advertising, the rush of working at creative powerhouses, and what it’s like to build an agency that doesn’t really do advertising anymore.
Episode 34: Agencies Should Solve Thorny Problems, with Gareth Kay.
Build a Better Agency Podcast
Gareth Kay is a strategist by trade. He’s co-founder of Chapter, a creative business partner dedicated to solving the wicked problems facing pioneering businesses. Prior to setting up Chapter, Gareth was Chief Strategy Officer and Partner at Goodby, Silverstein and Partners and the Head of Planning at Modernista! In his decade in the US, Gareth has led strategy on brands including Google, Cisco, TD Ameritrade, the NBA, General Motors, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. and (RED). What you’ll learn about in this episode: Gareth’s decision to venture off and start Chapter What makes Chapter truly unique How to build a business model and hire employees when the work you do is very diverse Becoming a client’s partner through absolute transparency How to generate new business when you’re in the project based business Creating ideas and solutions vs creating “stuff” How Chapter develops and retains its staff The importance of transparency with your employees How Gareth’s perspective has changed since making the jump into ownership Things agencies can do to move away from widget sales to selling ideas and problem solving Ways to Contact Gareth Kay: Twitter: @garethk Company Twitter: @chaptersf Email: email@example.com We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support