Brand strategy services
Face-to-face or remotely, this is where the process of discovery really starts for everyone. We’ll get to know your business inside out by asking participants numerous searching questions and facilitating thought-provoking activities. We invite you to consider your business from new perspectives, igniting fresh thinking and inspiring new ideas. We prod, probe, challenge, and discuss; in search of the compelling truths that will allow your brand to achieve three key aims: be authentic to itself, relevant and engaging to its audiences and differentiated from its competition.
All brands exist in the context of their competitive sector – so to uncover opportunities for differentiation, it is vital to understand what everyone else is doing. We’ll agree on a sample of competitors and take a long hard look at each. We’ll report back on what we find and share the insights gained – helping us all make well-informed decisions as the project progresses. As Sun Tzu famously wrote in The Art of War, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”
If you are planning how to get to where you want to be, it helps to know where you’re starting from. Sometimes the perception of an organisation’s leadership team doesn’t quite match that of employees, suppliers and customers, and it’s essential to establish where the gaps are. Frontline experience brings pragmatic clarity, and while truths can sometimes be uncomfortable, they can also unearth hidden opportunities and make a more solid foundation for future activity.
As businesses grow organically or through acquisition, the relationship between the parent company and its various divisions, sub-brands, products, or services can become confused and chaotic – and this lack of clarity can inhibit growth. Brand architecture is the considered organisation of these entities into a manageable and scalable portfolio.
Good brand architecture provides clarity for your audiences, enabling them to navigate a multi-faceted organisation or range of offerings intuitively. If the relationship is clear and understood, the positive perception of one constituent is more easily transferred to others. It also helps to optimise the efficiency of marketing activity.
These answer three fundamental questions for your business and brand, Why?, What? and How?
Why do you exist? And, although ESG devotees have recently commandeered the term ‘Purpose’, it doesn’t have to be particularly sustainable or altruistic, just authentic to you and relevant to your audience.
What are you trying to achieve? Your Vision articulates the change you aim to make in the world if you are true to your Purpose.
How are you going to achieve this? Your Mission sets out the actions you plan to take to make sure your Vision becomes a reality. We have developed a framework for answering this question that helps to make sure no sphere of activity gets ignored.
These articulate the answer to another fundamental question, Who? We see Values and Personality as inextricably linked, two sides of the same coin. Values describe what you believe in or the tenets against which you are prepared to be measured. Personality describes how you would like to be perceived and the kind of experience your audience can expect when they encounter you. Values can be declared as promises or a manifesto; Personality should be deduced by your audiences as a result of their interactions with your brand.
Positioning describes the conceptual territory claimed by a brand relative to its competitors. It should communicate what you do, how you are different, who you do it for, and how it benefits them. The trick is to make sure the metrics used to define your sector correlate with the critical factors that your audiences consider when making a purchase decision.
The right name can be the spark that ignites a truly memorable brand. It sounds easy, but it can be a minefield. Is someone else using it? Is the domain name available? How does it translate? A great brand name needs to balance strategic, creative, and technical factors. Rather than throwing darts at a thesaurus, we take a considered approach that acknowledges the seven genres of brand names and uses a SCRAM assessment tool to help evaluate potential candidates objectively.
Not all brands want or need a strapline, but a good one can certainly provide a hook to help fix your brand into the hearts and minds of your audiences. They need to be concise and single-minded, communicating the essence of your brand in the fewest possible words.
A value proposition is a short, simple statement summarising why a customer should choose your product or service. It communicates the most evident benefit customers receive by giving you their business. Compelling value propositions meet three criteria:
1. It’s specific. What are the specific benefits your target customer will receive?
2. It’s pain-focused. How will your product fix the customer’s problem or improve their life?
3. It’s desirable and exclusive. How well does it highlight your competitive advantage and set you apart from competitors?
We identify the key messages that should always be included in your brand narrative. They articulate the main features and benefits your brand offers its clients – there are usually between five and ten.
Frequency of repetition plays an enormous part in brand awareness, and research has shown that people need at least seven exposures to a message before they remember it. So, your key messages need to be repeated often. The clever bit is finding new ways to tell the same stories, so the experience does not become monotonous – but remember, while you live and breathe your brand every day, potential customers do not. Get it right, and your audiences will eventually have a clear and consistent set of associations that come to mind when they bump into your brand.
Get in touch