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Apr 4, 2019    Burn Book

Don’t Act Like You Like Me: Authenticity in Advertising


Double Cheeseburger Occasions

When I roll up to a drive through and meet an overly-enthusiastic employee at the window, two things cross my mind. One is that this individual is extremely passionate about fast-service and ill-advised eating habits. And the other is that they hate their job, hate me, and are trying their very best not to show it.

While I’d love to do something for these people, tell them to break that headset over their leg, hop out the window, and go live the life they want to, I can’t always assume the situation they’re in. So instead, I try my best to be as polite as possible, gather my assortment of sauces, and pull off with my bag of delicious regret.

Fortunately, for our Austin digital design firm, Rock Candy Media, we have jobs that don’t suck. In fact, our jobs are pretty freaking cool. We get to work with people who are as passionate as we are and brave enough to venture to the ends of creative collaboration for a singular purpose. That purpose being kick-ass work that emanates not only a company’s message, but the attitude and energy of the people behind them as well.

We love getting these brands and companies to where they want to go. But we love the process even more. In addition to being a brand content and design agency, we specialize in curating a  mixtape of marketing services including search engine optimization, public relations, website design, ux design, website development, email marketing, social media strategy, search engine marketing, brand identity, creative copywriting, influencer marketing, and marketing strategy.

But it’s not all butterflies and rainbows. Not by a long shot. This process can get gritty, wires can get crossed, and emotions can flare.

Reciprocating the Real

In most situations, for most people, when the kitchen starts to get too hot they try their best to mask it, bottle it in and put on a front to maintain face. But we’re not most people. As an Austin growth agency, we keep it real or we keep nothing at all. It’s a ‘no Plan B’ attitude.

While we expunge our authenticity as powerful as possible through our work, our CEO and owner of Rock Candy Media, Annie Liao Jones, is the epitome of this attitude and our company culture. Never has Annie interacted with a client any differently than the way she interacts with her employees, family, or friends. And it’s one of the reasons clients and companies enjoy working with her so much.

Her unfiltered, unapologetic voice drops bombs in conference rooms. Seismic bombs in the form of growth hacking and brand positioning that carry a force that extends beyond any whiteboard or slide presentation. New employees tend to be left with their jaws dropped, awaiting a combatant, shocked, or baffled response from clients. But to those young employees surprise, the clients respond with the same energy initiated by Annie. Her on-demand campaigns drop out of her mouth like she had it planned, but it’s innate with her, and if written on paper the market rate would be $15k. During ideation, this leads the team to come up with brilliant ideas on how to market for a new industry takeover or a new product launch.

Eventually, you get used to the way she conducts herself and even learn how to reciprocate the energy and momentum to create brilliant ideas of your own. And if you can’t get used to it, chances are you’re not going to last long. Whether you’re an employee or a client. Because Annie isn’t changing for anyone, nor is the Austin advertising agency she operates. We may grow, but we will never adjust or accommodate. It’s why we’re anti-template growth hackers and the envy of advertising agencies everywhere.

Authentic Interactions and Monumental Results

As an Austin design and branding agency, the authenticity that Annie emanates is crucial when marketing for a company that is ready to go all in on category domination. Imagine your brand as hot concrete that you build and shape to portray a message or story, and as it hardens, becomes more difficult to reshape or change.

If you’re not authentic and true to yourself at this stage, then there is a large chance that some way down the road you’re going to start having differences or misconceptions about your brand. Ideas you’ve built that you no longer believe in. Or never really did.

By understanding the life of a business owner, her bootstrap mentality is how we are used to thinking. And by listening to the client, we create brands that are not only authentic to our client but become more authoritative. If this is something you think you’re capable of, don’t waste any more time, and start expressing the thoughts that you feel strongly about. She tells prospects in sales meetings she will push them to own it.

If you need some guidance in seeing the truth, or just want to work with an agency that takes ‘keep it real’ to a whole new level, we might have someone you can talk to. Brace yourself though, words here are not minced. We tell you how it is, how it could be, and how we as growth hackers are going to do it. Let’s get started.

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