How to stay out of the “me too” brand zone
Let’s face it, your clients and prospects are time starved. They’re “weeding out” the extraneous in their lives. And if they don’t understand immediately why you are relevant to them, then you will be deemed a commodity and quickly forgotten.
It’s a function of the primal part of our human brains, which are always scanning the horizon for things, solutions and people that can solve a “pain” or us help achieve something we’re dreaming about. So our brand strategies must take that primal part of the brain into consideration. Those that understand the head and the heart naturally excel at marketing. It’s why we continually see inferior products and services succeeding because they have superior brands and marketing.
But take heart, you do NOT need to live in that commoditized “me too” brand zone. With some strategic decision making and commitment, you can separate and elevate whatever it is you are branding.
Why brand strategy consulting helps
Once you accept that stellar marketing and sales skills alone do not ensure success and come to accept that success starts with your brand strategy, it will change how you look at everything in your business. Your brand is an important business asset that needs to be leveraged and protected. And through your choices, you are either enhancing this asset or undermining it. But the good news is you can work on your brand one piece at a time. And once the brand strategy is clear, the right marketing activities will become abundantly clear.
How brand consulting works
So how do we do we help our clients brand or rebrand their organizations, causes, products, services or programs? Typically we work with you in three key phases:
- Discovery and analysis
- Brand and marketing ideation
- Developing the right plan
Phase 1 | Discovery and Analysis Phase
This is the phase where we dig in to understand you, your business, the competitive realities, existing strengths and opportunities. The discovery phase involves in depth interviews with your employees and customers, homework assignments for the leadership team and an unbiased marketing communication audit and review of any data you may have about your customers or industry. This phase is SO important because we are literally discovering strategic options that we will jointly ideate around in phase two.
Phase 2 | Brand & Marketing Ideation Phase
This is the phase where you and your key stakeholders come together for a brand retreat, usually one full day. Think of it as creative brand ideation and strategic marketing planning. During this phase we synthesize and share the findings from the discovery phase. And we use these findings as context for a brand creative summit.
During our day together, we focus intensely on 4-5 key topics that we agree to in advance. Sample topics include: brand promise, brand positioning strategy, core message, audience segmentation/personas, brand personalities, brand renaming, and others. And we leverage a variety of exercises to coax the best ideas, everything from mind mapping and writing exercises to vision boards and collage making. You don’t have to get everything “perfect”, it’s simply a time and place to explore far and wide the brand and marketing topics most relevant to you.
Phase 3 | Developing the Right Plan
Once we have our strategic thinking crystal clear, it’s time to get it down on paper, before we forget it! The type of deliverable you will receive is ALWAYS customized. No cookie cutter plans or boilerplate templates.
Often many of our clients need a full Brand Guide to flesh out the strategic and/or graphics details of an extended brand family. And still others will also need a Brand Experience Plan to hone the actual customer experience they deliver. And still other clients may really need a pure Marketing Communications Plan outlining their inbound and outbound marketing activities for the next 18 months.
Whichever scenario sounds like you, we will always deliver what will serve YOU the best.