Research, create, integrate – together we develop your brand and help you celebrate it.
Your brand is more than what you say it is, it’s what they say it is. It’s the perception of your employees, customers and clients. The first impression people have of your company. Comprised of more than just a logo or visual design, your brand is the way you behave and the feeling others have when they engage with your company.
While origins are in the public relations world, our founder quickly realized the importance of foundational brand development. She began telling stories of clients who had not spent time thinking about what their company stood for, believed in or valued. Without a strong sense of who you are, your marketing communication efforts quickly become fragmented and tactical. From small businesses in Milwaukee to global brands reaching millions of consumers, the best brands are built by first identifying their “why” and then deeply understanding their customers – their needs, wants and desires. The intersection of the two is the essence of what makes your brand special and different from your competitors.
Through careful research and informed planning, our team will define a brand that is true to who you are, consistently shared and brought to life with every interaction.
If you’re an established company, you have a brand. You just may not know what it is. That’s where we can help. Our brand strategists conduct both qualitative and quantitative market research to identify what customers think and believe about your brand today, and pull out insights that give clues to areas of opportunity for growth.
Brand architecture describes how a family of brands relate to one another. When your company’s family of brands are well organized, this architecture helps your communications team to develop messages that are clear and supportive of the overall parent brand.
Whether you’re on a mergers and acquisition track or research and development is pushing you toward a new market, brand architecture will help clarify each brand’s place and its relationship to your overall brand. Ultimately, this creates a roadmap that guides how your brand can scale in the future.
We work with our clients to create a strategic plan to develop, launch and truly weave your brand into your organization. Through in-depth workshops with your leadership team, focus groups with employees and customers, industry research and insight gathering, we carefully work to understand who your audience is and how they perceive your organization.
Together, we draft key components of your brand strategy including mission, vision, values and guiding principles. This stage allows us to identify your brand archetype, your company’s tone and personality. It’s the most critical work a company can do in the marketing communication space, setting the tone for everything to come. We test language and messaging throughout the process to ensure accuracy and desired results.
Once defined, we bring the brand to life – for your employees, stakeholders and customers by envisioning how to operationalize your brand – suggesting programs, strategies and initiatives that will demonstrate you are who you say you are.
After all the work to define your brand, consistency in communicating it is crucial. It creates a sense of confidence and familiarity among your audiences and reflects a commitment to quality. A deviation in phrasing, the slightest distortion in your logo mark’s shape or the wrong color can reflect carelessness and unprofessionalism. That’s where the brand standards and graphic standards come into play.
We develop brand guidebooks that are used thereafter by anyone developing communications because a clear, consistent style strengthens your reputation and image, enabling you to realize your company’s vision. Graphic standards provide the technical details and guidelines – such as colors, fonts, photography style and more – that inspire creative team members to bring your brand’s personality to life.
Engaged employees can be your greatest asset. Clearly communicate what employees gain for bringing their skills and experience to your organization and you will attract and retain quality team members. To make your organization an employer of choice that appeals to both current employees and prospects, we combine retention and engagement work (“I’m committed to my employer”) with attraction efforts (“I’d love to be part of that company”).
A Deloitte Insights Survey found that 82% of survey respondents believe that “culture is a potential competitive advantage,” yet only 28% admitted that they understood their company’s culture well.
That’s why we start our process with research to gain an understanding of culture – the way people work and behave in your organization. From there, we define your employer value proposition – what employees say they value most and how the employment experience measures up. Finally, we develop an employer brand strategy – a plan that maps out how your company can market the employment experience to attract and retain the right people to work for you.