When businesses want to make a change to their website or marketing collateral there’s often a deeper problem that needs to be looked at first. A new website, for example, may not be the answer to your problems and it may be something else that needs to be addressed first. Only through insight and research will you truly know what the right plan of action is, so it’s worthwhile doing your own due diligence on your comms before you engage an agency. If you are unsure what the problem is or what action to take, then you can always engage an agency like us to provide an audit on your communications. This would provide you with the necessary actions you need to make.
Never go down the path of design for design sake; that’s a waste of everybody’s time and a waste of your budget too. You should always work strategically and whatever the budget is, that’s exactly how we work. We want to ensure that insight leads the direction of the change or the recommendations we present. How thorough we go through our processes is variable. The scale of the business, the budget and how much initial insight and research already exists are some factors that will alter the cost. If we’re merely filling in the missing gaps for example, then that’s going to be a lot cheaper than us having to gather all the insights from scratch. The cost can vary from low thousands to tens of thousands and there’s never a one size fits all approach. You may already have a robust brand strategy in place and simply want creative ideas for how the new brand could be implemented visually and tonally across all touch-points. This would subsequently reduce the fees an agency like ours would charge as the initial research and analysis phases have been done.
The key point we are making here is that there must be insight and a robust strategy in place, otherwise your brand and marketing will be less effective.
Strategy first, implementation second.
You cannot produce an effective brand or campaign without going through a strategic process first. This is fundamental to the success of your business and all marketing. As we are able to apply our methods and approach to any business of any size it means we get to work closely with many different types of people, such as CEO’s or Managing Directors, Brand Directors or Marketing Managers and it is really interesting how people’s view on brand differs. Sadly not everyone understands what branding is or means, they can’t see beyond the logo, pretty pictures or website. If you want to understand what branding is and what it means for business click here.
Your business, aka your brand, needs to appeal to the right people. Those people are the ones that will inevitably be buying your product or service and therefore your brand/business has to appeal to them.
When you embark on the branding journey with us, we will always involve your audience in the process because what they think about you is vitally important. We’ll also involve the key stakeholders and staff and combine insights about the business that will then be used to form the direction of the project and, in turn, the output we produce.
Take a step back and don’t get too attached
Like art or fashion, design can be very subjective and people will have their own opinions. This is fine, everyone’s opinion should be valid but it’s important to always remember one thing; the opinion of your audience is more important than your own. Just because you personally don’t like the colour red for example, doesn’t mean everyone else has the same mindset. The research and insight gathered from talking to your audience, staff and stakeholders combined with an understanding of your marketplace and what truly differentiates you, is what dictates the brand and should never be quashed by personal opinion. It is important that regardless of the position you have within an organisation that you don’t let your own personal preference and feelings be a block to the process. Try and always put yourself in the shoes of your audience; make compromises where you can.
Validate your brand and launch with confidence
Presenting the proposed brand strategy and (or) creative ideas to your audiences for feedback is an effective way to protect yourself from failure. Acting on any negative feedback before formally launching will enable you to have the confidence that the new or refreshed brand or campaign is going to be effective and there are many ways you can do this such as:
- Set up and run your own focus groups with customers, prospects, stakeholders and staff
- Share the work with a specialist research and insights company that will gather impartial feedback from your target market
- Use global online platforms such as Attest to de-risk your brand launch with people, as you work through the process.
Help is on hand
Branding is your business, the two are the same thing and that is the most important thing to remember when having marketing conversations. In order to achieve success with your business, the brand needs to be right and it can only be right if you let insight lead the process. With our ‘5 steps to define a brand’ methodology clients can rest assured that our work is not only beautifully executed, it’s effective too.
If you want to find out about our process and how it can help you make informed decisions bout your brand communications then contact us today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org