We are often asked to help a company build their brand, i.e., increase their sales. Simple enough, right? It’s like losing weight, getting your PhD, climbing Mt. Everest, finding gold at the end of the rainbow, riding a unicorn on a windswept beach, hitting the winning homer in the bottom of the 9th with two outs and two strikes…you get it. Building a brand rarely happens overnight. As a matter of fact its so rare that it happens overnight that I can’t think of a good example at the moment. And, as we all know, damaging your brand can happen overnight, see United Airlines, the 1970’s US Auto Industry, Communism and Hillary Clinton. But building a trusted, needed and desired brand takes lots of time, hard work and guts—just ask Southwest Airlines, Chick-fil-a, Amazon and Honda. From great design to fantastic customer service, the company that really wants long term success understands what’s at stake, what the risks are and how much work must go into a successful branding campaign.
Recently, we began work on a company’s national branding campaign that has 3 primary audiences (consumers, industry experts and potential franchisees). Therefore, we needed to design and message in a such a way as to appeal to all and alienate none. This ain’t easy stuff! Every color, every font, every word and every placement matters when it comes to doing this right. But, we also have to be wary of getting bogged down in the “paralysis of analysis”. Research, primary and secondary, is great, but it’s not everything. A well seasoned advertising pro should be able to use their background, training and instincts to cast a vision for success. Otherwise, what are they getting paid for? Being bold is just as much a part of branding as is researching the preferences of the target market. Not only has our client loved our branding campaign for them thus far, but target market response has been very positive as well. Still lots of work to do, but the foundation is set and along with our client, the message has been tried, tested, and honed for future success. Check em out at vehicledna.net.
We’re not naive though and we completely understand that at the end of the proverbial brand building day, what is really going to matter is that our client is committed to putting out the very best product and service they can over a sustained amount of time. We can strategize, design, write copy, brainstorm, cheerlead, admonish and rebuke, but it’s still their decision on what they want their brand to be.
We’ve had to do the same with our brand, Navigation Advertising. We’ve been in the same market for 20+ years and we’ve had our ups and downs like any other company. Despite a few typical weaknesses ad agencies tend to have, we’ve maintained some very important aspects of our brand. We do great design work on-time and within budget. We communicate with our clients consistently and we’re always looking out for their best interest. Has every client been thrilled with our work? No, but we’ve eaten a few bad cheeseburgers at McDonalds and had a few less than great plane flights on Southwest too. The real test is long term, sustainable and consistent branding. We’re committed to it—both for our client’s campaign and for our agency.
Maybe in our next blog we’ll discuss how brands and the age of social media thrive and dive!
BTW – Uber and Pinterest are brands that were never mentioned on Oprah’s book club, but gained massive awareness seemingly overnight.
If you’d like to know more about serious brand building, give us a call.