Laying the groundwork
Whether you are launching a new business, product or service, or rebranding an existing one, clarity is the key factor for success. Clarity creates interest, grabs attention, and calls for action. Both your clients and employees will better understand and respond to your mission and purpose.
Gaining that clarity requires insight and understanding into what truly drives your business. (And it's not your products and services!) We call it "finding your pivot point." Once you know it, you can build your brand around it, create a following, command a premium. Then life becomes more enjoyable. People around you, customers, staff, vendors, begin to "get it." When you are clear, everyone else gets clear, and you find yourself in a different space... no longer battling the competition, but leading your company in new and innovative directions. Once you identify the key stakeholders for your branding process and determine your project budget, it's time to dive in.
Collect background info
The branding process begins with a meeting of the key stakeholders. This is where you tell us the "state of the union," and just where you stand now in the process. You may have some ideas and thoughts already formulated. There might be names that you loved but couldn't use for various reasons (i.e. trademark conflict, the domain was taken, etc.) Or you may just be at a complete dead end, wasting too much valuable staff time.
In this meeting, we discuss the recommended timelines and milestones. You can also forward PowerPoint presentations, creative briefs, business plans, and any other supporting documentation that would help explain and convey your marketing objectives.
At this point, we're here to listen, gather, and ask lots of questions.
step 06 - refine
Reviewing and refining
It's often in the discussion of the brand names that the team gets the "ah-ha!" moment. Someone will share a new twist or insight that transforms a good name to a great one. Or one name sparks a train of thought that leads to other possibilities. That's the purpose of this process, to help find and define the essence of the brand. Once in a while, a name will pop right out, but more often, one or two of the names begin to rise to the top and make more sense with each discussion. The "story" behind the brand will begin to emerge and the name will gain traction.
step 08 - develop
Developing the marketing platform
Rather than stopping with a name, tag line, logo, and domain name, we'll work with you to develop a marketing "lexicon" or language set to further enhance and support your brand message. For our client TKO Surgical, it was about standing up for their clients, championing their cause, and being in their corner. For our financial planning client Freedom Peak, it was about "reaching for your goals," "climbing higher," and "gaining a higher perspective." By developing this language set, you will be able to create a more meaningful and congruent brand message, one that highlights your core strengths. This gives your brand message more substance and makes it more engaging and believable. It also helps when it comes time to write headlines, ad copy, and web content.