Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Hey Temple community! My name is Allison Silibovsky and I am a senior here at Temple studying Advertising and Media Studies and Production. For the Summer of 2021, I had the honor of being welcomed to the nest as the newest finch of Finch Brands! I was in their strategy department as a Brand Strategy Intern where I was able to work on clients who sell everything from cupcakes to an MBA degree to even a good old fashioned mattress.

Finch Brands is a marketing and brand consulting firm located in Center City, Philadelphia. While they do offer services that are similar to a full service agency, Finch focuses primarily on the research portion of advertising. Finch has been around since 1998, but unlike many of their competitors, it was not really until the COVID-19 pandemic that they skyrocketed in market growth and popularity. When you are conducting secondary research you name all the table stakes and differentiators for the competitors in that category, and one of Finch Brands’ main differentiators was the use of their online, long-term primary research set-up, called an insights community. Since Finch was already adapted to conducting research online they were able to continue their workload at a much higher pace than most agencies, many of which had to adapt themselves to this new virtual work on the fly. This allowed Finch to expand their company tremendously by taking on bigger and more clients.

My position’s main responsibility was to conduct all of the secondary research for my clients — and let me tell you, that is a lot of research. I received my big project (that I would solely be working on) during the second week of my internship. By the end of that month (only 2 weeks later) I was finished… or so I thought. After meeting with my supervisor to present my work, I truly realized how much more research was needed. A panic went through my body as I asked the dreadful question, “When would you like this project completed?”. To my surprise, she said, “Early August should be good”, basically giving me over a month to finish it. I’m sure my face of shock and confusion at that answer was what prompted her to explain that she would like me to become an expert in the entire category and know everything about this industry I was working in.

During my time in school, most of our projects have had a very fast turnaround. “I need it in a week (four days/end of day/by 12:00pm).” School projects were so fast-paced that I thought this timing was normal in the industry, so when I was told I had such a long period of time to get this project done I was truly shocked. But after getting into it (for the second time), I started to understand how forcing me to have the extra time really took my work to an awesome level. I took my time thoroughly researching each competitor: understanding their sponsorships, their social media trends, and even why they chose to brand themselves with a certain color palette. I read articles and reports discussing trends to expect in the upcoming years. I even calculated some year-over-year and market growth percentage numbers. What started as a 20-slide presentation showing the key points that each competitor focused on turned into an 80-slide presentation containing not just key points, but also social media analysis charts, market growth graphics, trending topics, company merging information, and more.

Now that I am at the end of this project, not only can I say my supervisor and team are proud and grateful for my work, but I am proud of the time that I took to truly get into the research and own my secondary analysis project. Most importantly, this long and in-depth research presentation made me realize that the “slow and steady wins the race” motto does not only apply to the rabbit and the hare, but also to the advertising industry — to making sure the job is done right.

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