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We are all in service of brands
Tom DenfordJan 24, 20232 min read

Reminder: We Are All in Service of Brands

Brands Deserve Better Media

A weekly column from @tomjdenford



As marketers and advertising professionals, we all play a role in the media industry, and that role is to provide value and growth for the brands we serve. It is worth remembering that we are all in the service of brands, sometimes in media it is easy to forget that and media then becomes a complex financial engineering exercise, far removed from the brand manager’s hopes and dreams. 


We have seen increasing concern in the industry that media is not fulfilling the needs and ambitions of the brands that it is designed (and budgeted) to support. Over the last decade, the media industry has struggled with a weakening reputation, lack of transparency, and a loss of trust from consumers.


However, one thing that we can all agree on is that brands will continue to be an essential asset for successful companies. Remember, brands are not just logos or advertising; they are a company's reputation, personality, behaviors, customer experiences and aspirations. Brands are complex phenomena built up in many layers over time.


While brands might sit on our balance sheets, it is important to remember that brands are not really owned by the company, they exist solely in the minds of our customers. Mostly rent-free. That means that everything a brand says and does impacts how customers feel about it. 


Media budgets add up to a ton of money, typically the largest expense in marketing and should be considered a powerful investment in the brand. If the creative message is what a brand says (and how it says it) then media is how our brands behave in the world. Media decisions matter to brands. 


However, over the last decade, we can acknowledge that the media industry has not served brands well. In the future, we need to commit to a strategy of better quality media for brands. This means doing fewer but better things in media, being more selective and considerate about how a brand shows up in the world through media investment, and being more conscious and considerate of the partners we work with. The entire ecosystem of media must be engineered to be in service of the brands we love and cherish as marketers.


As we begin the new year, let's remind ourselves that we are all in this industry to create value and growth for the brands we serve and love. Let's commit to a strategy of better quality media for brands and work towards creating a more positive and trustworthy reputation for the media industry. By doing so, we can be an amazing force for good and create a brighter future for everyone.


When brands flourish, we all win. 




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