August 13, 2019

Meet Ryan Bonner: Our Newest Brand Strategist

Ryan Bonner, Brand Strategist, Push10

We’re excited to welcome Push10’s newest Brand Strategist, Ryan Bonner, and highlight how he applies his unique skillset to set our clients up for success.Ryan brings an extensive background in both brand strategy and content marketing coupled with a wealth of agency experience to our team. Ryan has over five years of experience in the agency world writing and strategizing for brands like American Red Cross, Spartan Races, Independence Blue Cross, and more. In his mind, there is no such thing as a boring brand, only a boring marketer. And Ryan believes the best way to make brands come alive is through compelling and authentic storytelling.

I recently had a chance to sit down with Ryan and was able to ask a variety of questions to learn more about his experience to date, as well as his goals in his new role as a Brand Strategist at Push10.

If someone were to ask you, “what does a brand strategist do?”, how would you respond?
That’s funny you say that, my friends ask me the same question all the time. A brand strategist is someone who can analyze a brand, any brand, outline its competitive landscape, understand the key stakeholders involved and then provide tangible and tactical recommendations for improving the brand. It’s important to note that the recommendations must be actionable. Insights without actions attached to them are meaningless.

In your role as brand strategist, what is the breakdown between creative and strategic thinking?
It’s half and half. It’s definitely more lopsided in the beginning of a project, with much more strategic thinking required. In a project’s infancy, I’m mostly analyzing existing data and/or creating a research plan to find data we don’t have yet. But as the project moves forward, I tend to lean on both my creative and analytical skills. It’s a lot of push and pull in an effort to find the right balance to solve our clients’ problems.

How does your background in copywriting and degree in English help you in your day to day?
Being trained as a writer, there’s a natural inclination to be observational – noticing people and the way they interact, what they value, what they want. It allows me to look at challenges past their surface value and dig into the root of the issue. Identifying motivating factors which cause people to operate the way they do is hugely important in my role as a brand strategist.

In your opinion what is the future of brand strategy? How do you see the position evolving?
I think the internet will continue to level the playing field by reducing barriers to entry for a lot of new companies. Emerging companies will have more access to resources that were previously reserved only for larger ones with more capital. Even today, there are tools like social media listening, where we can easily find out how popular something is in a certain area amongst a certain population. I can then take that data to help lay the groundwork for a clients’ content marketing strategy. Tools like this will continue to improve in both functionality and affordability.

How do you prefer to work? 
I like to listen to music while I work. Like everyone else here, I have a music background and I find it helps me get my thoughts flowing.

What are a few of your favorite things to do in Philadelphia?
I love Chris’ Jazz Cafe, The Mutter Museum, and The Philadelphia Athenaeum.

What do you do outside of work?
I play soccer, I’m a hip hop dancer, and I’m looking to get published in a literary journal.

Favorite place to eat
Mi Lo – it’s affordable vegan! If you can believe it…