Our Branding Philosophy
Our Branding Process
Despite being a relatively common request, our clients rarely require rebranding. Rebranding requires the abandonment of the essence of what a brand stands for and starting from scratch to build an entirely new brand. A total, encompassing rebrand can be both costly and risky and should only be undertaken with the greatest caution.
More commonly, our clients require a brand realignment as opposed to an outright rebranding strategy. Over time, their brand identity may become misaligned, or lost its way. Their brand presentation may have gotten out of step with their market, their market has evolved, or they evolved naturally, and no concerted effort to align their brand had ever previously been undertaken.
Our brand realignment process consists of seven steps. Depending on the size of the project, the budget, and our client’s objectives, each step can vary in length, cost, and deliverables. However, all seven steps are executed for any brand realignment project.
Step 1: Brand Architecture
During this stage, we explore the visual and verbal language of your brand and its relationship to any other existing or potential brands owned by you.
Step 2: Market Research
The market research step is a discovery phase and involves analyzing your offerings and the market in which you compete. Market research extends to domains such as customer analysis, competitor analysis, comparisons of unique values and sales propositions, what attributes makes it excel over competitor offerings, and how it solves your customer’s wants or needs.
Step 3: Positioning
The positioning process is one of the most important and often overlooked aspects of branding. Understanding that your brand does not live on your letterhead or website, but instead in the minds of your customers is a difficult leap for many of our clients. Nonetheless, your brand holds a position in the memories of those you interact with based on their collective experiences with your product or services. Positioning is the process where we locate your current market position, evaluate if you need to reposition, define how we will communicate your position, and plan to protect your position.
Step 4: Brand Definition
A brand definition is a true statement about what your brand stands for. It describes what you offer, why you offer it, how your offer is meaningfully different and better than your competitors around you. Defining your brand includes determining the unique benefits your customers can count on, and the promise or set of promises you make to all who work with and buy from your business. It is during this step that we collaborate with you to develop your mission, vision, values and brand promise.
Step 5: Name, Logo, Tagline
Now we come to the part where most of our customers thought we would start, creating the highly visible elements of your brand identity such as a name, logo, and tagline. Some clients ask us to jump headfirst to this step and forgo all other aspects of the process. We do not recommend doing so and believe it is our job to educate our clients on the importance and value provided by the other steps, as well as the dangers of forgoing them. If our brand realignment process appears to be more than you or your firm were considering, we invite you to discuss your concerns with one of our branding experts.
Step 6: Brand Launch
This step involves the internal and external rollout of your brand. Brand rollouts have a lot of moving parts and most be well planned if you wish to execute them successfully. After all the work that went into realigning your brand, it is important that the impact doesn’t get diluted by a poorly executed launch.
Our brand launch plans include developing the brand realignment story, scheduling all release dates, and designing and executing a communication plan to get in front of your desired audience.
Step 7: Manage, leverage and protect your brand.
This step is where we provide the tools you will need for the “care and feeding” of your brand. Since brands are developed through the collective experience that customers have with your organization and their products and services, it is crucial that you maintain consistency over time. By developing brand guidelines, you will be able to ensure a consistent brand experience.
To get started on a brand realignment for your company or organization, contact the Tampa Branding Specialists at Absolute Marketing Solutions today.