Cohere isn’t simply a branding agency and during my time there I wasn’t simply a copywriting intern. My name is Julia Brumbaugh, and I’m a senior advertising major with a concentration in copywriting. This past semester, I’ve been a copywriting intern for Cohere, a small agency with big plans. I have gained so much throughout my internship, even though the whole concept and dynamic of working in an agency was shifted with the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak, it was one of the best learning experiences.
Before this experience, I always had a curiosity for strategy, because strategy is the foundation for great creative strategy, except I never got the chance to delve in. As a copywriting intern, I also worked heavily in the brand discovery, research, strategy and brand development, as well as copywriting. I got to try on and walk down the runway in many different hats.
When working in the discovery section of branding you work through hours of market research, competitive analysis, surveying, and target audience development. Most of my experience writing copy thus far has been for brands and companies that already have a clear tone and voice to which you adapt your writing voice to fit. Except with branding, you are creating and developing that voice. To understand what voices to explore it all starts with research.
Strategy and Branding Development
As a copywriting, your words look different in branding than when writing campaigns. Sometimes, you will never again see the words you write when the work is finished. Except, the words you write are the foundation for crafting a solid brand with a clear voice. Your writing goes to creating a brand positioning, messaging, story and narrative development, brand concepting, brand identity, and of course the strategy for further creative production.
Though, at my time at Cohere, I did get the chance to have my words seen–writing and working on brand collateral, web development, signage, and print & digital campaigns. The thing with branding is that you need to create a full package to make sure the brand is set up for the long haul. I worked on writing the website for the Rittenhouse Spa & Club, wayfinding and signage for the DiBruno Brothers, and dipping my toe into HipCityVeg advertising, amongst other brands that aren’t known to the public just yet but will definitely be well known in time.
At Cohere, I got to wear many different hats and learn many different sides to writing and branding. Whether that was the nitty-gritty hat of discovery, the clay/moldable hat of brand development, or the feathery hat of writing campaigns and brand collateral. This internship has opened new doors for me. My heart will always belong to copywriting, but I’m not defined by just that one area of work. I enjoy wearing different hats.