Josh Simpson comes to Intermark Group with such an impressive background; we couldn’t keep it all to ourselves! Arriving straight from the Midwest, Josh brings a new perspective that our agency admires. Joining our account service department as chief strategy officer, Josh hasn’t skipped a beat as he jumps into working across the client roster on foundational brand strategy, implementing new planning processes, mining insights and collaborating with Intermark’s team to heighten our clients' possibilities.
Previously, Josh worked as a strategic planner with Carmichael Lynch for 10 years and BBDO in a dual strategic and business development role for eight years before joining Riley Hayes, a private agency. Talk about some great experiences! Josh’s brand history includes: Harley-Davidson, Mack Trucks, Famous Dave’s BBQ, Jennie-O, Minnesota Vikings, Formica, Caribou Coffee, Walgreens, Northwest Airlines, OfficeMax, 3M, US Bank and many more.
We are so excited for Josh and his family to start their new adventures here in Birmingham!
Now, let's hear from Josh himself:
Views from a new scene.
Hi. I just made a big move. After 20 years in Minneapolis advertising, I jumped at an extraordinary opportunity to join Intermark Group as a strategic planner. Extraordinary because I found an agency that both believes great creative is the most powerful brand leverage out there, and one with the chops, talent and resources to take advantage of the modern marketplace. Belief and action. A stunningly rare combo these days.
In marketing, words like strategy and insights are tossed around so much that they’ve lost meaning through the years. As a planner, I’m a bit of a simpleton. I believe my job is really all about drastic reduction. Taking all the stuff “out there” that can positively reshape a brand and boiling it down so teams can imagine something new.
To me, strategy is about choice. Now that we can create and unleash almost anything we dream, it has never been more crucial to choose the most impactful ideas. What’s my approach? This may not be a particularly unique methodology, but I know it is true of my personal strategic thought process.
Personal Space: First I work to understand a brand’s status and potential within the ebb & flow of its environment. I like to hear a client’s vision and passion for their brand. I like to get extremely close to the consumer and find creative ways to observe real-world behavior. Intimacy is amazing.
Piggyback: I then think about what’s happening in the world that could help us move the brand forward. Is there a relevant, attractive cultural phenomenon that we can draft behind? I like trends. But I like movements more.
The Alfalfa: So lastly, I work to bridge culture, consumer and client observations to craft both an insight and a brand idea for creative inspiration. I shoot for authenticity, simplicity and distinction. I want to help us stand out. Like the hair-lick on the kid from Our Gang.
On a personal note, Birmingham is beautiful. From a guy whose previous big move was from Central Midwest to North Central Midwest, the city is exciting yet familiar. To me, Birmingham captures the best of my Detroit hometown and Minneapolis. Like Detroit, there’s that cool community pride that only comeback municipalities exude. And like the Twin Cities, Birmingham is chock-full of genuinely kind people.
We discovered this within our first thirty minutes of arriving here. My wife had a bit of cold and was desperate for her go-to Airborne remedy. It was rather late and the hotel concierge indicated something called the Piggly Wiggly was closed. Right then a woman who was also checking-in pulled out a full-tube of Airborne and handed it right over to us. “Welcome to Birmingham."
Yep. This is the place. Plus your parking lots don’t have Titanic-sinking icebergs like this:
The family is psyched. New gig, new schools, new house, new people. Thanks for welcoming four huddled masses from Minnesota. This is home. Y’all-betcha!