Brad is a consultant. He spends his days collaborating with companies that need his help. His help, in most cases, is being a sounding board for potential strategy, and guiding his clients to make the right decisions.
The strategy he responds to he hasn’t ever created. He reviews, listens, and tries to add something - anything - to the conversation. And the decisions he confirms are tentatively already made, he just gives a verbal and virtual nod.
For the most part, Brad isn’t very creative or inspirational. He’s methodological, process-driven, and essentially repeats what’s already been said. What he offers is confidence. Because he’s a ‘consultant’ and has ‘done this before’, he provides clients with the confidence that they’re strategy is good and creative ideas are indeed great, and that they will have the impact the team knew they would have anyway.
And, it ticks the box that says ‘need an independent viewpoint’.
Lucy is the strategy director and is forced to sit on a Zoom call every week with Brad. During that call, her multi-disciplinary team throws ideas they’ve already discussed and agreed at Brad, who confirms they are good, which she would’ve already known if she had actually participated in the creative ideation session rather than spent the time planning a weekend break to Douchecanoe, Florida.
As she believes herself to be ultimately dynamic and motivated, Brad is anathema to her. He is being paid more per hour than she is, and has the enthusiasm, intellect, and creative force of a bread bin. He performs a duty, she knows, but doesn’t understand why he needs to be involved, as it just slows everything down and makes people question her intuition.
Lucy feels that as she was hired to create the strategy for the brand, she should be allowed to get on with it in her own way. Not everyone agrees with that, of course, but it ticks the box that says ‘need a strategy director’.
Jet is a strategy-bot. Jet's role is to build brand strategy for any brand, based on the half-million brands that have gone before Lucy’s. Jet assimilates over two-hundred individual brand life-cycle markers, every brand communication campaign on all mediums, the impact and key performance measures of each, and overall brand efficiency, in terms of longevity and revenue, and ‘blueprints’ the exact course the brand should take to optimize success.
Jet doesn’t need to repeat things it hears like Brad, because Brad worries he’s not nearly as smart as the people on the Zoom call, and it doesn’t have to get all egotistic about directing anything like Lucy, because it has no disk drive in the fight.
Jet couldn’t give a RAM what Lucy thinks or feels, and recognizes that Brad is a real motherboard. Its only purpose in this case is to formulate an entire end-to-end strategy plan in under eight minutes, so the brand team can get on with the job at hand.
After Jet has created plans for a couple of brands, it becomes crystal clear that Lucy and Brad's job performance has been mediocre at best. They’ve been impersonating intelligent people, peacocking to fool those around them, and adding zero to the planning stage. Jet beats them both, hands down, minus the hands.
Now that Jet has strategy down to a fine art, and artificial intelligence has proved far more competent than natural swagger, attention has turned to Mal.
Mal is the creative who came up with those great ideas in the first place, and, while Jet is amazing at planning the campaign, Mal is the brilliant mind behind the messaging the campaign will use.
Together, Jet and Mal are a formidable team. Jet has removed the horror of the average from the brand’s strategy, and Mal, given a promotion, a pay rise, and a much larger team, has added the extraordinary.
Their relationship is synergistic and simpatico.
And the future.
Picture Jonathan Borba