Q&A With Struck CEO, Daniel Conner.
Daniel Conner is the CEO of Struck, a leading digital-forward creative agency. He looks ahead and shares his thoughts on new trends, his vision for 2012, his favorite new app, and more. Here it is, straight from the CEO’s mouth to your eyeballs.
Q: What do you see as the trends in digital advertising?
DC: Mobile first. The demographic known as Generation C, formerly ‘the Millennials,’ is going to supersede Boomers as the largest single demographic to date, and this group is tied both day and night to their mobile device. What this is affecting is design - how creative concepts are being designed, ideated within the design, specifically for mobile, and then optimized. We are quickly moving to a post-PC world and the challenge we face is how to create a consistent mobile experience, regardless of what the mobile device might be.
Q: Where is advertising/digital headed in 2012?
DC: The idea creative is king is certainly still very relevant. If you are a great brand, consumers have a certain expectation that everything you do will be part of that brand, which should be great on some level. And creativity really is the measure of how great or how engaging a brand is. In 2012, content will become king, especially in social spheres. Thanks to technologies like Flipboard, brands will need to start thinking more like publishers than marketers. They need to continually be producing great content that people will want to share through their social channel.
Q: What is your favorite new innovation for 2012?
DC: Pinterest. To be relevant to an increasingly social audience, you’ve got to position yourself where the content you’re creating is sharable in bite-sized pieces. This is done in a very image-based, consumer-commented way. The rise of Pinterest is just phenomenal from that standpoint because it takes very serious concepts, puts them into a picture and comments. Everyone gravitates to that; everyone can speak pictures and understands the power of an image.
Q: How are you using digital to better help your clients engage their customers?
DC: We all recognize that brands must truly have a conversation with their customers. That is certainly something we emphasize in any digital strategy we put together for our clients. However, given the multitude of digital platforms, the challenge becomes how to have the conversation. For instance, in our latest campaign for Jack in the Box, our digital creative wasn't tied to a desktop computer. People could access the campaign with messaging that was optimized for mobile, digital, desktop, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Each of those areas contained a slightly different and nuanced version of the campaign that took full advantage of the technology and content types specific to each platform and channel.
Q: You’ve talked about how Struck helps revitalize clients' business by re-imagining their brand experience from within. Tell us about that?
DC: When we re-brand a client, our goal is to create a foundation that will define who they are on all fronts. Their new brand should tell them what they look like in print and online, it should define the appearance of their physical space, how their employees dress and interact with customers, what music plays over their sound system and how they communicate in their social media channels. The best brands are consistent across all boards - advertising, digital, social media, product and packaging - and this level of consistency really resonates with consumers. It creates a brand advisory that everyone is searching for. Every aspect of a brand is exuded through every touch point.
Q: From Struck’s portfolio, what is a real world example of how you re-imagined the branding experience?
DC: A great example is our effort for JouJou, the new toy store at The Grand America in Salt Lake City. This wasn’t just about creating a really nice toy store. Every square inch of JouJou is designed around a brand essence of a playful wonderland - a place for kids and adults to experience a toy store unlike they’ve experienced before. From a branding standpoint, it was more than a color palette choice, it was really about creating a retail experience that engages a consumer literally on every level. JouJou means toy, so the store, in short, is one big toy experience itself.
Q: What sets Struck apart?
DC: As a digital agency, a real differentiator is our branding expertise and digital innovation. From our standpoint, a big channel of digital innovation is how we connect the online and offline worlds. We are very fortunate to have amazing brand strategists, a top-notch digital team and brilliant content creators all under one roof, working together. Because of this collaboration, we are set up very well to move quickly into this next era of mobile-first, highly social, content-rich branding. Struck is pushing the envelope forward on how we create a great idea based off a brand strategy. That then manifests itself within all these channels in a very unique and consistent manner, unlike anything else anyone is doing.
Struck, http://struck.com/ is a national digital-forward, creative agency with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Portland and Salt Lake City. The brand experiences and campaigns the agency creates are well-recognized for their forward-thinking, break-through creativity and pioneering technology. Clients include Nickelodeon, Dreamworks, Jack in the Box, Universal, Westfield, TCBY, Mrs. Fields, The Little Gym and The Utah Office of Tourism.