Never Stop Chasing
By Kristen Fellhoelter
When I started at Jacht as a Brand Strategist, I was asked the same kinds of questions: “What is a brand strategist? What makes you good at it? How do you become better at brand strategy?”
In order to answer these questions, it’ll help to understand me a little bit more. Advertising was not my first idea for a career; when I was in the second grade I was determined to be a storm chaser. While other kids wanted to be firefighters or princesses, I proudly announced I was going to chase tornadoes when I grew up. Little did I know that at a young age, I was creating my brand.
In second grade, you choose a career because of how your young mind perceives it; the jobs of your family members and what your friends want to be when they grow up can influence your ideas. But for this eight-year-old, those perceptions were meant to be ignored.
I wanted a career that was out of the box. I wanted something that was different than what everyone else would do, but also something that would make a difference
Storm chasing isn’t easy. You spend hours researching and strategizing to find the best conditions for tornadoes. You take the chance and spend even more time driving to the location, only to sit and wait for all the variables to produce an outcome that you have no control over. Sometimes the conditions won’t work in your favor, and you drive away, with hail dents in your car and a bruised heart; thinking of all the things you could have done differently. Nonetheless, you learn from this failure, and you get back up and keep chasing. Because one day, all your knowledge and strategies will lead you to the most magnificent storm.
As I grew older, my interests and talents changed, and I realized storm chasing was a passion for me, but not a career. However, my love for creative strategy started from storm chasing.
Storm chasing lead me to a creative/brand strategy position for the moments: the enlightening moments when I discover new information and apply it to my projects; the heartbreaking moments when I do everything in my power, but the campaign is flat; the determined moments when I won’t let a setback get me down; but most importantly, for the moments when everything goes together, and I create a strong campaign that gives everyone goosebumps--the same feeling I got when I saw my first tornado.
That’s the beauty of my position as a brand strategist and storm chasing; it’s the partnership of creativity and strategy, and the blending of our imagination with the reality of following through with a plan.
It’s different. It’s complex. It’s challenging. But that’s strategy, and I’m good at it because I never stop chasing.