Hi, I’m Zane

I help brands develop their identity and express it through memorable concepts and copy.


Work



I’m a creative problem solver with over 10 years experience at big brands, small brands, tasty brands, inedible brands, super serious brands, sorta-funny brands.

Nowadays, I specialize in startups and market challengers.


Client quotes:
“Zane's ability to jump in and quickly create impactful, immediately usable work is every creative director's dream. Specifically how he helped us take dissonant insights and turn them into a solid, strategy-lead manifesto and multiple brand video scripts for performance marketing.” Reed Schmidt, Creative Director, Guava

“We hired Zane to help us reposition the brand with a new verbal identity and personality. He has a very thorough strategy process which really got to the essence of who we are as a brand. The collaboration and communication along the way was excellent. He truly exceeded expectations.” Gregg Hemphill, CEO, Nexbelt

“His ability to tie creative thinking to consumer insights, trends/culture, and our marketing objectives was unmatched by any creative I have ever worked with. It was always clear where an idea started and how he got to the final product.” Gina Colonette, Senior Social Media Manager, Philips 


My values:
Curiosity. The act of learning and unlearning is like sunshine for the mind. Curiosity keeps me aware, humble and open to new ideas.

Adaptability. I’m gonna let Lau Tzu take this one, “A tree that cannot bend will crack in the wind. The stiff will be broken; the soft will prevail.”

Belief. You can call me Ted Lasso because I believe in belief and that the customer notices said belief. Trickle down belief-onomics.








Verbal Identity


   After years of trial and error, I’ve landed on a method. 

    The north star: From the strategy, create a system of consumer facing language that makes the brand distinct from competitors (salient). Connects with your consumers’ unmet needs (persuasion). While scaling with your business growth (consistency). 

    A good set of guidelines is essential. Or else, your Verbal Identity might become another one of those shiny strategy documents, stored away in a sad-blue desktop folder. “It was a mighty fine document” they’d say, “but then we forgot how to use it. RIP” ... Let’s not let that happen. 

What a typical Verbal Identity includes: 

Head and Heart
  • Vibe 
  • Vision 
  • Values 
  • RTBs
  • Benefits 
  • Promise 

Arms and Legs 
  • Brand Copy
  • Product Copy
  • Consumer Personas
  • Meta Descriptions 
  • Copy Guidelines 

This all starts with a conversation about brand strategy. Do you need that, too? 







What the Flip








An audacious new take on the transformation of property, possessions and people.
    What the Flip is a online show that is being pitched for TV. In partnership with Dean & Co., we created a personality-packed verbal identity and brand that brought Ellie Greenberg’s sassy self to the surface. 





Our strategy discussions lead to the refinement of the show’s core story, audience and values.
     We documented these fundamental charactersitics (along with others) and mapped them to obejctives that would help Ellie achieve her goal of successfully growing her social audience and eventually pitching her show.  


I wrote scripts and copy that appear in show and play a supporting role in social, digital and OOH environments. 




Branding and copywriting for entertainment is fun and I missed it!
   It had been years since I wrote for an entertainment brand, with A&E Networks and History channel being my previous experience in the category. What I enjoyed the most was learning a new character and creating language that was authentic to her, which I hope connects with her audience. 





Mosaic









 A historic district with a historic set of problems. Vacancy. Security. A lack of identity and a lack of pride.  
     We developed a vision for a real estate destination that will bring together all of the unique elements of Long Beach to forever change downtown. Through brand emersion sessions with our CRE clients, we helped them achieve this vision with the development of The Mosaic.



 One element of the branding process was the creation of a storytelling lens.
    Together we thrive is the filter through which we pass every aspect of the brand story. Through various themes and consumer touchpoints, it promotes community pride. It embodies our mission in a succinct and relatable way that allows our consumer to make this story their own.





This is just the beginning for Mosiac!
  I will be updating creative as more aspects of this project go live.





Pallaby







The idea for a business existed, but there wasn’t a name or identity. 
    Through market research provided by the start-up team, along with my own competitive and company audits, we developed their story. 





We landed on language that hints at positioning and values.    This ‘knowledgable partner with the consumer’ mindset is at the core of their product offering and their desire to develop a wide range of wellness services (such as free televet visits for members).  

We established a supportive and approachable everyman persona and tone of voice.   The brand strives to be honest, modest, relaxed and playful. No frills or gimmicks. The type of person that would make a trusted dog sitter. 


In taking the brand to market, we built off of the identity and had some pup-loving fun.
    While the brand is serious about dog health, it allows for relatable and playful expressions of love, quirkiness, happiness; experiences and feelings that pet owners cherish. 






Smarter 







By 2030, the US population will fit the definition of “super-aged” – more than 20% will be over 65.
  This group is largely disengaged with technology at the cost of their health and happiness. They face personal, complex barriers that require attentive, in-person care to overcome this disengagement with tech. Smarter was created for these people.

Not only are older adults left feeling disconnected and even invisible, there is a generational strain at play.
    Their children find themselves juggling careers, families, social lives and the needs of their parents. They don’t have the time or skills required to help their parents. Leaving the children to feel guilty, inadequate and resigned.



The brand wants to be a trusted source of knowledge, like the tech-savy younger family member. Someone who is also caring and understanding. 
   Working with their research and the founding members, we positioned the brand and developed this helpful persona.

 



Examples of messaging that captured the brand’s value in a variety of ways.  
   I find that writing divergently and sharing an array of value messaging helps us have productive conversations before we set any rules (e.g. should it be “older adults” or “older people?”). 



Tagline dilemma.
  The clients liked both of these as potential taglines. Which do you prefer?  


Mark