When writing brand strategy there comes a point at which you need to profess yourself expert in the topic or category.  No matter our age, we are always young and inexperienced somewhere. Today I was wondering what it would be like to be a young tech executive attending Davos. Would s/he feel comfortable? I would hope not. Were I to go to Davos, I’d be a church mouse. Maybe an occasional chirp about branding but otherwise it would be all listen and learn. For a year or two.

That’s how I approach a new category.  Listen and learn.  Like Mr. Miyagi’s grasshopper.  When talking to doctors or security analysts, coders or block chain wonks, before putting finger to keyboard comfort with the topic is absolutely critical. Sometimes it requires learn a new language. Until that language flows conversationally, without awkwardness, you’d better not start your brief.

Maybe this is where the overuse of the word “authentic” comes from. If you don’t know of what you speak, if you are not comfortable, it shows.  In NY we used to call this “speaking out your ass.”  Comfort with content begets strategy. Everything else is copy.