To develop custom brand and marketing solutions for clients, you need a process. Often times, we jump in without thinking through the necessary stages:
Explore: Through a combination of primary and secondary research, the you need to survey the client’s current situation, including strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities in the marketplace as perceived by customers, employees and partners. This stage will also include a review of the client’s core values, brand positioning and competitive advantages.
Envision: Building on the findings from the Explore stage, you will need to make clear strategic recommendations that support the client’s vision and goals, while incorporating the experience and perceptions of the people interacting with the brand. The recommendations will align with each stage in the client’s experience cycle—from customer acquisition to retention. During this phase, you will develop rough concepts to establish a direction for messaging and creative.
Execute: This is where the rubber meets the road. Working with client, you produce the final tactics and creative direction. Depending on client needs, these tactics may include a mix of online, print, broadcast, direct, environmental, experiential and guerrilla initiatives.
Enlist: Involving the folks inside the organization is a necessary, but often overlooked part of a successful brand development process. To engage employees in the new brand and empower them to make good brand decisions, you need to develop and implement a communication and training program for your most valuable brand assets, your people.
Evaluate: Now that you’ve build the platform, you need to test it. For the final stage of our process, you have to watch, measure and evaluate the results of the branding campaign. Based on the results, you can then make recommendations for the next steps to improve program performance or maximize new opportunities.