DAVIDSTOLBERG CW • CD • STRATEGY 

© 2019 David Stolberg. All rights reserved.

DSTOLI@OUTLOOK.COM | 415-302-3424

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STRATEGIC WORDS

Answering the, "So what do we do again?" question.

 

When you move from copywriter and creative director to agency owner, you think about a client's business in different ways. Over the past five years, I've found myself taking on the position as strategist as well as writer, collaborating with both clients and planners to map out why and how companies speak about themselves. Words truly do matter in mapping out a value proposition that truly differentiates company A from all the rest—do it right, and you can turn competitors into also-rans. Below are a sample of clients that I've assisted with strategic thinking, message mapping and uncovering the elusive "why" that drives go-to-market success. 

Capturing the win-win of Impact Investing.

 

Impact Community Capital is a pioneer of impact investing, which has exploded in recent years. Think of it as capitalism with a soul. What Impact does is originate and manage investments that reward institutional investors with impressive market returns—and at the same time, drive capital from Wall Street to Main Street to fund affordable housing construction. Impact came to Rule of 3 with no clear understanding of their mission, the unique value they offered, the messages that might resonate with their audience—even which audience to prioritize. Through months of immersion, strategizing and wordsmanship, we developed the messaging foundation upon which the Impact brand was reinvented—from logo to website to thought leadership to sales enablement. We landed on a simple theme: 'Positive Returns' for investors, for communities, for all.

After months of strategic back and forth,
we landed on an executable positioning for Impact Community Capital.
Monetizing a clear biotech advantage.

 

Every year there are dozens of high-profile E-Coli scares and oftentimes deaths that result. Cruise ships head back to port with sick revelers. Cannabis excited about legalization, don't realize that a third of all Cannabis crops are tainted with microbial bugs. And yet the testing for this agricultural safety is still done using technology over a century old—Petri dishes. With a biotech breakthrough, PathogenDX has created DNA-based testing technology that identifies 50 known pathogens and delivers results to labs and businesses in just 6 hours. We took the science here and helped a biotech upstart identify its value (safety at speed) and create the strategic foundation for a total brand refresh. Our work resulted in a simple (and purposely non-clever) tagline that summed up the PathogenDX message to the world: Setting the standard in DNA Testing.

The challenge was to listen closely to the science-speak
and then turn it into user-friendly communication. We did just that 
to help PathogenDX tout "a new standard in DNA testing."
The Creative before the Creative.

 

Before the designers start pushing pixels and the writers start writing pithy headlines and the social media gurus start drumming up irresistible content, words often get the goosebumps going. Whether this final stage of strategy is expressed as a brand manifesto or an elevator pitch, I've penned far more than my fair share. And loved doing it. This is where a writer can shine.