Q&A With Gary J. Nix, Founder & Chief Strategist the brandarchist: strategy as a service
Kat Gordon is a Creative Director turned social change entrepreneur who has been named "Visionary of the Year" by Advertising Age and one of "30 Most Creative Women in Advertising" by Business Insider. 12 years ago, she launched The 3% Movement to spotlight the enormous underrepresentation of women in creative leadership. Through the movement's events, research and culture consulting, female creative directors now account for 29% of the industry. Kat lives in Napa Valley where she coaches creative leaders and hosts creative retreats. She has two young adult sons and a Black Lab named Trixie.
KG: For those in our community who haven't had the good fortune to meet you, can you tell us a bit about who you are and what your fascinating title -- the brandarchist -- portends?
GJN: I am a marketer by trade and strategist by choice with an approach that prioritizes a business's brand first because that is the point where consumers connect best. The idea of my consultancy, the brandarchist, was born from being exhausted by the status quo method of execution. While said status quo can serve as good enough marketing, approaching a company's needs from the perspective of maximizing execution or going for the win feels like a better way of doing things. Thus, I combined a brand-first approach with the concept of anarchy—something often viewed as a state of disorder due to lack of governmental control but is really a way of organizing modeled to represent concepts such as community and interdependence—to build strategy differently.
KG: You describe the advent of the Web as a different kind of Industrial Revolution. If you had to assign just one sentence to Web 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, how would you define each stage?
GJN: Technological advances brought to business and society, namely the internet, have defined the fourth industrial revolution. And the internet is experiencing its own evolution as we speak. The most ubiquitous parlance used to describe the direction the web is going is as such: web1—read-only; web2—read & write; and web3—read, write & own due to decentralization. Considering all these things, it is easy to understand why there's an abundance of opportunity and fear.
KG: You shared with me that your initial response to the idea of Web 3.0 was one of disbelief and distrust. What's changed and what stayed the same?
GJN: In my experience, much of the initial conversation around web3 was about leveraging it to make money, quick money. It felt like droves of individuals were running to Clubhouse, promising that they could tell you how to get rich quickly with NFTs and crypto coins, and the high volume of discussions regarding things that sounded too good to be true was entirely too much to deal with, especially in a world disrupted by a global pandemic. Thankfully, I started seeing people I know and respect talking about structurally learning about web3—from the ecosystem to the instruments within. Observing web3 as an environment and learning about how the tools within can and should be used sounded similar to how I view and develop brands, which made this iteration of the internet so clear to me.
KG: Let's talk about creators. How do they fit in Web 3.0 and how can we as media makers/brand storytellers ensure the widest range of creators prospers?
GJN: Interestingly enough, many people assign the term “the creator economy” to web3, although it was used often in the days of web2 because of all of the creativity we have seen from the abundance of creatively talented people on this planet. However, the decentralization of the internet creates opportunities for people to create and monetize their content in their own online environments without the need to use more prominent, often social, platforms. Now that media makers and brand storytellers see that there are other creators who can tell stories that are at least as compelling as, if not more compelling than, ours, our job is to compensate them adequately and not step on the stories they have to tell. They come up on our radar because of their creativity and ability to establish meaningful audiences of their own. At this point, it’s not even about ensuring creators prosper—they already are. It is about partnerships and fair business practices. We need to pay attention to this new, budding ownership economy because the days of colonizing other creatives’ content must end.
Here's where you can connect with Gary J. Nix and the brandarchist:
Company Website: thebrandarchist.com
Gary J. Nix on Consciousness Leaders: consciousnessleaders.com/expert/gary-j-nix/