Brand strategist Jeannette Hanna literally co-wrote the book on branding in Canada. Ikonica tells the story of Canada thorough the evolution of its brands, from the Hudson’s Bay Company to Canadian Tire. And Jeannette ought to know what she’s talking about: she’s been helping Canadian brands succeed since her early days as founding partner in a top Toronto design firm.
Today, Jeannette and her longtime partners run Trajectory, a new firm that brings together brand strategy and design to help organizations and clients engage with their audience to find success — whether it’s an NGO, a big business, a small start-up, or a municipal government. Trajectory’s client roster includes the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and the Toronto Pan Am Games.
We tend to attribute the word “brand” to the packaging, advertising, and selling of things. It’s a Mad Men pitch, right? Well, it’s not quite so simple.
“There is good reason to rail against the manipulative, uber-consumption ethos that many product brands have tried to cultivate in the past,” says Jeannette.
“Brand is one of those ‘catch-all’ terms, like design or innovation, that has become so ambiguous that it’s a barrier to communication rather than an asset.”
But once you’ve cleared that barrier, brand is a conversation about value, about ideas and relationships that are deeply rooted in a culture.
“The need to have a sense of purpose in business that guides decisions at all levels — how to treat employees, the nature of products and services that you provide, how engaged (or not) the enterprise is in its communities and its social responsibility — is not fatuous. That’s the brand narrative that matters, whether you’re a bank, a barbershop, or even an editor.”
In her session, Jeannette will talk not only about your brand as an editor, but how you can contribute to the engaging work of brand strategy, design, and implementation.
“We are in the midst of a fascinating new age of cross-media publishing which holds enormous possibilities for the profession. Editors need to actively promote their value in this rapidly evolving ecosystem,” says Jeannette. “I hope the conversation will spark some compelling brand possibilities for participants.”
Jeannette Hanna’s session “Do You Speak Brand? Learning to Love the Lingo!” is on Sunday, June 8, at 10:15 AM. Register for Tracking Change: e-Merging Methods and Markets to join in the conversation.