Gary J. Nix on brandarchy, web3 and strategy as a service!
Welcome back to our B2BeeMembers series! Today, we’ve got some good, old-fashioned brandarchy coming your way—and an upcoming opportunity that you will not want to miss. Let’s introduce the brand strategist leading the charge into web3, Gary J. Nix.
You’ve heard of the metaverse, NFTs and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, right? That is what web3 looks like in action. It’s our technological future, packed full of enhanced cybersecurity and complex algorithms. How does it make the web more secure? The New York Times describes web3 as “a new kind of internet service that is built using decentralized blockchains.” A decentralized blockchain (often publicly) records the transactions between owners of digital assets without centralizing the records of those transactions under a particular location, authority or government. Therefore, these blockchains enable large amounts of data, like digital assets, to be publicly stored online. For example, if you bought a NFT of a really cool bee, then there would be a digital record of your purchase that states that you own that very specific, really cool bee; this really cool bee would not be interchangeable with another cool bee, and any transaction that occurred with your really cool bee would be registered on a public blockchain. Therefore, if someone stole your really cool bee, you’d know exactly who stole it and with what accounts. As a whole, web3 has added this level of cybersecurity to the exchange of digital goods, assets and currencies, which is changing how people do business online. These decentralized blockchains touch every industry—from healthcare to video games to art collections—and they’ve already affected how many industries handle large-scale data. It’s a shift that will affect every side of digital businesses and marketing—even Starbucks is making web3 moves with their new NFT rewards program!
Gary J. Nix is the founder and chief strategist at the brandarchist, an agency that crafts distinct, effective marketing and design strategies for their clients. They prioritize the long-term success of their clients—so you won’t have to rely on short-term thinking that quickly becomes obsolete as new trend waves hit. Today, Gary has taken the time to answer our questions about the brandarchist brand, “strategy as a service,” and an upcoming workshop that can prepare small and medium businesses, marketers and all members of B2BeeMatch for web3.
You’ve got such a neat name! Where did “the brandarchist” come from?
The spirit of the name comes from a natural degree of rebellion from within. However, the word itself was born inside of a Twitter chat.
#brandchat was a weekly online chat for many years, and its founder, Maria Elena Duron, posted themes and questions four Wednesdays every month. But, some months had a fifth Wednesday, and on that day, there was no planned structure—only a bunch of free-flowing conversations. In one of those instances, someone who was used to the structured version of #brandchat asked what was happening, and another participant said that what was happening was like “brandarchy.” My eyes widened as that was the first time I heard that term, and I asked the person who said it if they were going to use it. They said no, and I started researching if and how I could use the concept; it matched my non-traditional entry into marketing, my aversion to the status quo in industries, and my distinct point of view about defining what a brand is and how important a brand is.
Absolute serendipity! So, as you’re defying the norms of the marketing industry, what are your agency’s long-term goals?
To begin, growth. More clients, more staff, more chances to show off and show out. But I also tend to have very lofty goals.
Ultimately, I want this agency to create a legacy: to be a starting point for the next class of industry leaders, to be at the forefront of changing how the industry operates, to bring directional change to the concept of brand loyalty, and to elevate the meaning and necessity for connection between brand and consumer. I’m not saying that I and those who work with me are the only ones with this philosophy—but I am saying that we are part of the smaller group that proves that our approach works and then gets followed by bigger entities who tend to get a lot of the credit. That’s OK, though, because we prioritize great work above credit. While recognition is appreciated, affecting positive change is always appreciated more.
That’s a great philosophy. Now, on your website, you advertise that your agency provides strategy as a service. Could you tell us about that?
Our first goal in using that term is to manage expectations. We are strategists. It’s not a limit to what we can do—it is a spotlight on what we do best. Furthermore, it positions our notion that a sound strategy is the foundation of all successful marketing programs. To us, our offer of strategy as a service includes the systems and frameworks that we’ve built, education and training for when the marketing landscape changes, change management strategies for businesses to use, roads towards meaningful innovation and the like.
We are a service provider and we know that the best strategies encourage a holistic approach to all subsequent executions. Our job is to lay the groundwork upon which your short- and long-term successes can be built.
You’ve discussed the need to prepare for changes in the marketing landscape. This is especially relevant now as web3 is the future—should we be scared?
Many people already seem to be. And we get it, change can be scary. However, we no longer have time to be scared. We need to get ready, and that doesn’t mean jumping on trends or simply testing ways to execute. You need to have a strategy ready, and in order to do that, you need to understand what web3 is as well as its pros and cons.
Part of the fear regarding web3 comes from partial and incorrect information—a significant amount of which comes from the race to get rich off of it. As marketers, we continually see entities trying to win the race to revenue. Yes, making money is crucial to business and a perpetual, ultimate goal. Yet the key to success is constructing the right path to making money, and this iteration of the online landscape, web3, has already disrupted many of the systems we know (and possibly love).
We saw something similar at the onset of web2, and now all of that is “normal.” Thus, we should be way more scared of falling behind than focusing our fear on web3.
Alright, so after we push aside the fear, how can businesses prepare for web3?
Educate yourself on the space. All departments need to upskill, but since marketing is all about figuring out the who, the how, the when, and the why, anyone with marketing in their remit must learn about this up-and-coming version of our digital lives. This answer may seem oversimplified, but the journey of a thousand miles always begins with one step.
Instead of worrying about or being intimidated by all of the information on web3—and there is a whole lot of it—start at the beginning. Gather good information, form meaningful questions, connect with the sources that have the answers. That way you’re not only being educated on how to prepare for web3, you’re learning about how the space will affect what you do specifically—and that makes it matter more.
That’s great advice, and the brandarchist has an upcoming workshop that can start this educational journey. Who will benefit most from your upcoming workshop?
Literally anyone who has responsibility linked to marketing activity at a company can benefit from this workshop. With that being said, this workshop is designed for the individual marketing professionals or the small businesses that don’t have the financial ability to invest thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to start this educational journey. That may sound like hyperbole, but I’ve been lucky enough to work at places that saw the value in spending thousands of dollars in educating their employees and know how much that can cost. I’ve also been the marketer out on an island, expected to know everything without any assistance getting the necessary resources. So, we designed a workshop—one where there is learning and conversation—with plenty of value and plenty of access for those who need it.
If a business’s marketing leader can’t attend your workshop on October 11 and 12, what should their next steps be?
Register at the introductory price and catch the recording at a later date. You won’t be able to contribute to the conversation, but at least you’ll have some good information. An even better alternative is to set up one-on-one time or a separate group session that can be customized even better for you.
The key is to accept that you have to learn about how web3 will change the now-existing systems on which we perform our marketing activities. As a long-standing, active member of the marketing community, I feel a responsibility to distribute helpful information instead of hoarding it, and I am adamant about doing my part. So, let’s get together and get more of us up to date. We don’t have to play catch up, let’s be the change!