5 Inspiring Quotes on Brand Expression & Positioning

By Ryan Dinger

ANA events bring together some of the smartest and most-talented marketers in the industry to share insights and best practices that help ANA members get the most out of their own marketing efforts.

Naturally, when ANA members and other top marketers get together, the potential for a great soundbite or two is very high. For this reason, we'll be collecting and sharing the top quotes from ANA events during each month throughout 2022.

Below, you can find the top quotes from ANA speakers for July:

"You're going to feel uncomfortable and that's OK. The expression of your brand, the expression of your product in the Metaverse, is going to look a little bit different than what it does in some of the other channels right now. You got to get comfortable with it and you got to get other people comfortable with it as well."
Craig Brommers, CMO at American Eagle Outfitters

If you haven't already done so, it's time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. That seems to be the way the entire marketing industry is going, as brands venture into new territories like NFTs and the metaverse. The days of tightly defined brand guidelines with hard and fast dos and don'ts seems to be well in the past, with many companies even "debranding" entirely.

"Ultimately, you've got to know who you are, and you've got to spend a ton of time listening to be able to figure out what are the right ways that you can authentically cross over with [gen Z]. Once you're sure of that and you know who you are, and you've delivered on that brand positioning, then you can ultimately begin to think about what are the right ways for us to engage here? Who are the right partners that we can leverage to help us as we begin to move forward in our journey?"
Carl Loredo, U.S. CMO at The Wendy's Company

Though the look and feel of brands are becoming more fluid, it's also very important that you and your marketing team have a firm grasp on what your brand is and what it isn't. Without this understanding, your brand could risk being lost entirely in the fluidity of 21st century marketing. Worse yet, if you don't understand what exactly your brand stands for, you may wind up grasping at straws when embarking on initiatives like purpose-driven marketing. If your brand gets behind a cause or purpose without having a demonstrated history of being active within that space, for example, you risk being called out for purpose washing, a big no-no.

"They add life, love, humanity, and another perspective to our context mix. Influencers are an excellent way to authentically include all ages, different races, and of course the modern family. Many influencers check two or three of these buckets."
Erin Silver, director of growth marketing and social media at Exclusive Resorts

Influencers are the partners who can help your brand appear in a different light or different place. Influencer marketing has proven to be a powerful and authentic way to connect with audiences. There's a reason why U.S. marketers are poised to spend $4 billion on the tactic this year alone. While certainly not a branding cure all, influencers offer your brand the opportunity to begin moving in the new directions and playing in new spaces without feeling entirely out of place.

"Legacy metrics like impressions and viewability are not enough. We need to add a multilayered dimension to that to better understand digital advertising effectiveness."
Vidyotham Reddi, director of growth analytics at Mars

All of these new ways of connecting with audiences and communicating your brand message are also going to require new ways of measuring the success of these efforts. For this reason, Vidyotham Reddi and his team at Mars have spent the better of the last five years learning how to accurately measure elements like attention with their digital marketing. With marketing budgets tighter than ever before, being able to prove the value of your efforts is critical. Adding a new dimension to your measurement with an attention metric now seems more like a business imperative rather than a nice to have.

"The machines are only as good as the humans programming them. That's why there's bias in almost everything."
Albert Thompson, managing director of digital innovation at Walton Isaacson

With a round up already full chock full of insights on data, technology, and modern marketing, we felt it was important to end this month's edition with an important and sobering reminder. New technologies and platforms can be exciting and offer a wealth of potential to marketers. However, as Albert Thompson astutely notes, all these things are designed by humans and therefore carry the flaws and biases that humanity itself does. These tools are not perfect, and they are not existing in some post-racial paradise. They will have flaws and shortcomings.

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

Ryan Dinger is a director of editorial and content development at ANA.