Designing a Better Brand


Adapted from HOW Magazine.

A prospective client asks you, "I've heard of you guys. Tell me about your firm."
You give the wrong answer: "We're a full service integrated design firm serving a wide variety of clients."


Describe your positioning in:
-a sentence
-a paragraph
-a page

Decide what you're not
Standing for everything = Standing for nothing
Goal: not to appeal to a larger number of clients, but fewer.

Go beyond awareness
Name awareness does not equal brand equity

Discover your brand
It's already in your company in the form of natural strengths and core competencies

-What kind of clients have you been most successful in attracting?
-What types of assignments have you completed over the years?
-In what areas do you have superior knowledge or expertise?
-What do you do particularly well, perhaps better than most firms?
-What do you most enjoy doing? What do you hate?
-What target audiences have you come to know and understand?
-What distribution channels do you know best?
-What methods, approaches or philosophies is the firm known for?

Connecting value and audience
1) What value do we provide?
2) Who do we deliver value to?
3) How do we deliver it?

Differentiating position:
"We offer [your service] for [your market] by [your method]."

(This is hard because it involves giving something up)

Criteria for strong positioning
Authentic: an honest reflection of what the firm is capable of. Plays to the firm's strengths. Can have aspirational aspects, but only if the firm has the firepower to deliver on the promises.
Exclusive: It excludes as many prospective clients as it includes.
Polarizing: Appeals to only limited number of clients. It may even inspire controversy.

Match position with practice
"What needs to change in our organization for us to bring our brand to life in everything we do?"
Answer reflected in:
-place of business

Socrates said: "The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear."

Goal of successful branding: Be everything to somebody, not something to everybody.


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