Our brand development framework & core services
We employ a best-practice brand development framework that reflects the three broad pillars or phases of strategic brand management.
This framework is comprised of six focus areas, each related to one of the pillars. Our core services are designed to help a brand navigate each of these areas. Collectively they form a complete approach to brand articulation and brand building.
Because every brand has a unique set of challenges, we tailor our services and the overall process employed to fit each client.
So in practice projects can range from the use of a single service, from any point in the framework, to a total program of brand revitalisation or creation. Within each service the choice of tools used and how they are applied are customised to the specific brand task at hand.
A brief outline of each service follows. We’re happy to provide more details on request.
Using various visioneering tools, we help senior managers to determine such concepts as a company’s ‘organising idea’ and ‘audacious goal’. The result is a rich outline of the brand’s core organisational principles and what it could achieve.
Far more robust and meaningful than traditional mission statements, a strongly expressed vision aligns and motivates all stakeholders, serves as a constant guidepost for strategic decision making and acts as a driver for step change thinking.
Brand Blueprint Development
The blueprint spells out what the brand promises in all its aspects, and to whom. It is here where decisions are made regarding concepts like ‘positioning’, ‘personality’, and ‘essence’.
We selectively use different tools such as brand archetypes, challenger thinking, convention breaking and imagineering to find the most impelling story for a brand to tell.
If needed, this is where consumer research is brought in. We identify the specific questions and work with research agencies to develop the most appropriate methodologies to answer them. This can range from exploratory work to gain fresh insights to the evaluation of strategic options generated from workshops.
Development of the most efficient and effective branding structure and principles to manage the relationship of the brand to its product portfolio, and to direct how the portfolio may be best presented to customers.
Taking into account both a brand’s current range and its growth opportunities, this considers the types of brand extensions the master brand will support and the need for sub-brands and other branding options.
This can include the provision of brand voice and imagery guidelines, archetype directions, and analysis of competitor equities and communications.
It may also involve collaborating with creative agencies to provide support for the development of an ‘on strategy’ brand idea, visual identity, advertising campaign or other communication option.
Brand Execution Mapping
Brand execution workshops focus on generating options for new and innovative brand initiatives and laying the foundations for an integrated marketing approach. This is achieved through applying cutting-edge brand activation principles and lateral thinking techniques to a brand’s aspired strategic direction.
Generation of medium to long-term change initiatives to grow and develop the brand beyond its current business scope. From key marketing and business strategies to enabling strategies for support functions.
This involves combining the brand vision and blueprint with critical trends in a cross-functional, ‘hot house’ workshop environment to drive breakthrough thinking.
Depending on business needs, additional brand development services can be incorporated into a project to enhance the outcomes of various core components.
Each of these may also be commissioned on a stand-alone basis. They include:
Brand Health Audit
Systematic and thorough review of current brand equity on a range of predetermined dimensions such as product performance, consumer connection and retail presence, to identify areas of relative strength and weakness to focus on.
This can involve management questionnaires, the analysis of existing information and/or internal and external stakeholder interviews.
Brand Stewardship Training
Coaching of internal stakeholders and external partners who will manage or influence any aspect of brand delivery to help ensure that a client’s organisation ‘lives the brand’.
Options include ‘Brand 101’ seminars covering basic brand concepts and principles, strategy briefings to engage and inspire, and interactive workshops to allow people to ‘road test’ how to apply defined brand directions to their own decision making.