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BrandMETTLE, An Agency Launched to Fight Ageism in Advertising

Posted January 13, 2017

Agency leaders, Amy LaGrant and Matt Brown announced the launch of BrandMETTLE, a full-service advertising agency created with a sole focus: “Our sole focus and passion is what we call the Experienced Consumer,” says LaGrant, “not ‘Seniors’, not ‘Boomers’. The ‘Experienced Consumer’ encompasses four generations of the discerning, diverse 50+ consumer.”

“As a gerontologist, I have had a passion for fighting ageism and authentically communicating with this large and influential audience,” LaGrant added.

BrandMETTLE’s approach applies to building brands and marketing strategies for categories such as: healthcare, financial services, housing, travel and leisure, and consumer packaged goods, where the Experienced Consumer accounts for 70% of the spending.

“My life mission is to make lives better,” states Brown, “so the opportunity to build an agency dedicated to the Experienced Consumer was just too exciting to pass up.”

The agency’s launch comes at a perfect time as the aging of baby boomers and the longevity phenomenon creates the need for more agency talent to focus on this underrepresented demographic, the press release explained.

DIVERGE talked to LaGrant and Brown to find out more about this new agency and their unique focus:

Where did the idea to start, this agency come from?

The agency idea came from a shared passion for the experienced consumer and making lives better.  It might sound trite, but we are both genuinely trying to change the world.  The fact that the experienced consumer covers four generations and is underrepresented, provides an opportunity to do just that. Of course, we never overlook the importance of a chance meeting of two agency veterans at just the right moment! Check out the blog as it shares the story of why we launched. https://www.yourbrandmettle.com/about-us/blog/

Can you explain the story behind why you chose this name?

The word “mettle” means to show your worth or value.  It comes from the days when stone dressers would be hired to grind down the stones used in grist mills. Upon being interviewed, they would be asked to “show their mettle”.  Which meant, showing the bits of stone that was embedded in their hands from years of their labor. Show your mettle means to show your worth. We wanted our name to be synonymous with demonstrating value and experience.  We believe that is important when understanding and talking to the consumer group that we serve and their lifetime of experience.  It also is reflected in the experience of the BrandMETTLE founders, with nearly 40 years of combined experience building and launching brands.  And finally, what brand manager doesn’t want to show their brand’s worth to this influential consumer.

How important is diversity to your agency?

Diversity is extremely important, one key mission of the agency to fight against ageism in advertising. Break down the misconceptions of aging as a decline and negative occurrence and value the importance of age and experience in society and our consumer marketplace. Plus, understanding the differences culturally of the aging population and how best to serve those differences.

What makes you unique?

At the core of our uniqueness is the idea of the ‘Experienced Consumer’. We bring that uniqueness to clients in two ways.  The first is through the insights behind our brand building process – acknowledging that there are intervening factors in the decision making of the experienced consumer and that their lifetime of experience is worth a unique strategic approach.  Second, is in our execution – we want to be the purveyors of authentic campaigns and marketing tactics that eliminate ageism and deliver compelling content and visuals that connect consumers with our client’s brands.

Are there are any current projects you are working from?

We are currently working on building brands in food & beverage, travel & leisure and housing.  Just a few of the key categories where this consumer represents 70% of the spending.

Future goals?

We want to help bring knowledge and understanding of this market place.  We believe we can help brands, large and small, develop relevant and compelling communications to this audience that will help these generations feel like they are represented and no longer invisible in media and marketing. Our hope is that we are able to create a rising ocean of awareness, in which all ships rise.  We don’t want to be the only agency representing the experienced consumer, but we are more than happy to be the first!

Additional thoughts?

One of the key elements in the current marketing to the older consumer is Ageless Marketing—the idea to keep the message ageless to not offend the older population and not alienate the younger customers. But in this effort, we have lost sight of the value that age has—experience, maturity and evolution of us as customers. By being ageless we are not acknowledging the physical changes, maturity of our brains, and the life events that we have earned—by being ageless we are saying that age does not matter. To avoid being ageist we say ageless—as we do in the battle of sexism rather than say we are sexless creatures we appreciate the differences between men and women. Let’s do the same with Ageism and celebrate the differences of old and young, and respect the role that each one plays in our society.