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The highest performing brands are built from within; based upon the relevant and unique strengths of the organization and informed by target audience research. These foundational building blocks of a B2B brand strategy are put in place by some of the most experienced brand strategists in the industry.
Brand strategy begins by developing a brand positioning platform. The rungs of the platform are created in a specific order, building upon one another.
From the brand research conducted, we identify an organization’s Distinctive Strengths, which form the basis of its competitive advantage and the ability to meet customer needs. Brand Pillars are the foundational truths that build on those strengths. These drive relevance and differentiation for a brand, supported by authentic proof points. An organization’s Brand Personality is a set of descriptive words that collectively characterize the brand and define its key traits. Brand Positioning is a central statement that articulates the core elements of a company’s brand strategy. Lastly, we create the Brand Essence—a brief, inspirational theme encapsulating the core ideas and emotional heart of the positioning strategy. All together, these elements represent a brand’s positioning platform.
By clearly identifying the common ground between an organization’s strengths and what customers are looking for, we can create brands that matter.
Why does your organization exist? Where is it going, and how will it get there?
It’s important for organizations to convey the answers to these questions to customers—and even more importantly, to their own employees.
We lead clients through the process of developing Guiding Statements—Purpose, Vision, Mission, and Values—a process we developed based on working with CEOs and CMOs across the country. In our experience, this process is both revealing and powerful, helping organizations build stronger connections externally, with customers and their industry at large. These statements also serve as a north star internally, helping current and prospective employees understand where they fit in and how they’re making a difference.
Brand architecture is the way an enterprise manages the relationships between its brands, products, and services in the market to most effectively reach customers and maximize business advantages.
Some businesses’ brand architectures are simple and relatively static. However, when significant changes occur—such as high growth, reorganization, product breakthroughs, mergers, or acquisitions—the picture can become murky or unwieldy. We help organizations take a fresh look at their brands—corporate and product brands—and re-create the architecture based on current factors and future directions. The goal is to enable all stakeholders to have a clear, current picture of how your business is organized and what you can offer them.
With the brand positioning platform in place, the focus turns to developing language that communicates the brand in a way that’s simple to understand and resonates well with stakeholders.
We first create an overarching corporate narrative that speaks universally about the brand. This language takes various forms, such as the About Us section for a website, along with boilerplates for press releases, elevator speeches, and FAQs. We then develop messaging that very specifically speaks to the needs of key audiences we’ve identified in our research. This language is finely crafted for such stakeholders as customers, investors, channel partners, and both current and prospective employees. Taken together, this content serves as the messaging blueprint for our clients and their communications partners, such as advertising and PR agencies.
Once a new brand is formalized, how do you set it in motion? As with any meaningful journey, you start with a roadmap.
A brand roadmap is a two- or three-year plan for operationalizing the brand—creating rock-solid linkage between the brand strategy and the organization’s business strategy, and then measuring for performance over time. Early in this journey, we conduct leadership training to ensure consensus and consistency at the top levels. Other milestones include collaboration with HR, Marketing, Corporate Communications, Sales, and other key departments to solidify their roles and help them plan their activities in a logical, proven cadence.
We’ve found this methodology invaluable to successful brand rollouts and brand maintenance.