Thought Leadership

The social-first brand

Callum McCahon, Executive Strategy Director & Partner at Born Social introduces the agency’s latest white-paper exploring the four key elements of tomorrow’s great brands.

Callum McCahon, Born Social

Executive Strategy Director & Partner


A few years ago, we released a white paper called Brand Building on Social Media. It made the case that social media *can* build brands, but in most cases it doesn’t, because the fundamental rules of brand building are usually thrown out the window.

Since then, that debate has started to move on. There’s a wider acceptance of the role that social channels can play in driving genuine brand growth.

So, we felt it was the time to move that thinking on one more step, and take a look at how, we believe, the great brands of tomorrow will be built. Social has changed it all: we now live in a distributed, decentralised, and fragmented world. The prevailing narrative is that this has all made it easier than ever for brands to succeed. The barriers to entry have been well and truly demolished.

In reality, the opposite is true. Strong brands need to be one cohesive, consistent, coordinated entity, harder than ever to achieve in today’s world, when so much lies out of their control. It’s not just about what they say, it’s what the people say that carries more weight.

But whilst it’s harder than ever to build strong brands in the social age, the upside of doing so has never been greater. How do we do it? Timeless truths still apply, but we need new interpretations to succeed in new environments. These new interpretations will form the building blocks of tomorrow’s great brands: Social-First Brands.

Our latest white-paper The Social-First Brand explores the four key elements of tomorrow’s great brands and how brands of all shapes and sizes can adopt the approach.

Visit Born Social’s profile to download the full report, The Social-First Brand

Guest Author

Callum McCahon, Born Social

Executive Strategy Director & Partner,


As Executive Strategy Director & Partner at Born Social, one of the leading social media agencies in the UK, Callum McCahon oversees the strategic output across the agency for some of the world’s most exciting brands. Callum plays an integral role in developing the agencies offering to keep up with the ever changing world of social. He's known for applying the timeless truths of marketing in new and exciting environments, and his white-paper Brand Building on Social Media was widely shared within the industry, proving that social can be used for long term brand growth, not just short term results. More recently, he has published The Social-First Brand, a blueprint for the brands of tomorrow. Callum has been featured in Campaign’s 30 under 30 List, and has been published in The Guardian, The Drum, Campaign, Digital and WARC on the role that social media plays in brand building.

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