Brand Strategist/Planner

  • New York, NY
  • Full-time

Company Description

Who We Are

We are Mekanism.  

We solve real business problems using a strategic blend of storytelling, high design and/or clever, bust-a-gut humor. It’s basically just advertising. We do it for brands your Mom’s heard of – Pepsi, Aquafina, AMP Energy, Starbucks, Charles Schwab, Method, The North Face, Skinnygirl, Ralph Lauren, Ben & Jerry’s, Muscle Milk, Nordstrom Rack, The White House (seriously), and Jack Links (because who doesn’t love jerky and sasquatch?).

Our innovative approach to get asses in seats and move product from shelves has earned Agency of the Year Awards the past two years, numerous Effies, two Harvard case studies and all sorts of industry hardware. 

We take great pride in making unconventional campaigns for brands in conventional categories. Our patented blend of storytelling for emerging media takes a small army of Mekanistas to pull off. What is a Mekanista you ask? Being a Mekanista requires a rare combination of being a strange, wonderful and talented person who enjoys coffee, crying, ping-pong and impromptu rooftop jam and workout sessions. We are smart, strange, wonderful folks that brave our contentious and often violent brainstorming sessions to make advertising magic.


Job Description

Role

Mekanism’s Brand Strategy Department is made up of creative-minded brand leaders who understand people as much as we understand business and brands. We are part anthropologist, part business consultant, part communications planner, part new business insights creator and part trend watcher. It is our job to connect the dots between human behavior, creative development and business strategy. 

The Brand Strategist is a collaborative, fact-driven, creative thinker with great human and business instincts. You’ll work closely with and report directly to the Head of Strategy. You’ll help grow and support both the Strategy and Brand Management teams by uncovering information, distilling insights and synthesizing them to create inspiration for our creative teams and business partners. Our goal in the Brand Strategy department is to be the starting point for groundbreaking creative work and to become the go-to resource for our clients regarding deep, analytical business thinking and strong perspectives on their industry, consumer, marketing and business strategies.  

The Brand Strategist is responsible for managing multiple internal, new business and client projects and is expected to effectively collaborate with Mekanism’s Creative, Brand Management, and Digital Innovation teams. You’ll run projects independently, run projects in conjunction with Brand Management, Digital Innovation and Brand Strategy department leaders and play a critical support role on New Business pitches, working directly with the Head of Brand Strategy and the President/CEO. 

This position is an opportunity for a versatile young planner to gain a great deal of exposure to high-profile clients and work directly with the senior leaders of Mekanism to grow our business and change the way our clients think about theirs. 

Key Areas of Responsibility

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

• Creative Brief Development 

o Partner with Brand Management to transform client briefs into strong creative briefs for our creative leads, taking research, information and insights and distilling them down into a singular strategic idea for creative teams to operate from. 

o Support Head of Brand Strategy in development of creative briefs and distillation of information into inspiration.


• Research and Insights

o Primary Research: concept, write discussion guides and facilitate focus groups, man-on-the-street interviews, surveys, customer segmentation studies, etc. as necessary; manage 3rd party vendors for the above. 

o Secondary Research: Be resourceful. Find unique, unexpected insights and stories about our clients, our consumers and the way the world is changing around them.

o Keep up to speed with innovations and interesting movements in the tech and media space, identifying opportunities for learning and sharing with our clients and prospects. This includes developing a deep understanding of the media habits of today’s youth (12-18) and Millennial consumers (18-29).

o Synthesize the above into simple, actionable, inspirational strategies that our creative teams can “push off” of and our clients can clearly understand.  



• Communications Planning, Insights and Brand Strategy Leadership

o For select clients, lead all high-level, long-term brand strategy and evolution, medium-term communications and campaign planning and shorter-term engagement strategies to accomplish communication objectives. 

o Develop opportunities for proactive brand and communication strategy workshops to evolve client thinking, brand positioning/purpose and align on business/campaign goals. 

o Participate and consult in all consumer research and brand/social/sales analytics conversations, ensuring our work is always aligned with the metrics of our clients.


• Grow Strategy Offering

o Proactively work with Brand Management to analyze our client’s businesses and needs and recommend revenue-driving opportunities for strategic projects; develop proposals (with Brand Management) for the work, including processes, tools, deliverables and timeframes.

o Run research and strategy projects for clients including (but not limited to): competitive analysis, Brand DNA creation, brand positioning, brand tone of voice/ verbal identity and Brand Book creation. 


• Help Develop Strategy Department 

o Help grow the Brand Strategy department at Mekanism. Identify and communicate ways to improve the team, the department and its processes; be a champion for great work and the processes necessary to achieve that work. 


• Help Make Amazing Creative

o Stay involved in and help guide creative ideation and concepting throughout the process, ensuring that we produce breakthrough work that drives our clients businesses forward.


• Contribute to the Overall Company Growth Strategy

o Help grow the Mekanism’s client arsenal by working on new business development, and assisting in prospecting, contacting and pitching new business opportunities.

o Develop industry analyses and thinking across innovative platforms, agency models and client needs to keep Mekanism on the leading edge of the agency world. 


Qualifications

• You must be confident, articulate and have excellent instincts with regard to human behavior, business strategy and general marketing theory. And you should be able to do this quickly, with minimal supervision. 

• You should have a passion for creativity, culture, understanding how people think/interact, brands, platforms and problem solving. 

• You should be familiar with, but not be constricted by, formal processes for building and evolving brands over time and uncovering deep consumer insights.

• You must have excellent instincts both broadly across industries and deeply within any given capability or function. 

• You should, at any given time, be able to articulate a confident point of view on any industry, brand, consumer segment or communication platform. 

• You should have 3-4 years of relevant advertising/marketing experience. Graduate degree in communications, advertising, brand planning or business a plus. 


Additional Information