My most recent client interactions does nothing to dispell my long-standing opinion: branding projects are typically done incorrectly from the start, because the wrong premise is used.
First, if a brand isn’t developed in such a way that it makes perfect sense to SAY OUTLOUD TO SOMEONE ELSE, it’s wrong and should be re-developed. An example is Fidelity and their “Turn here.” campaign. If you said to someone over there, “Hey, why should I care about Fidelity?”, and they answered by saying, “Well, because…turn here!”, you’ve justifiably run in the other direction.
A brand isn’t a tag line only; a brand has to do with a differentiated and positioned OFFER. Ask the same question of the online insurance brokerage, Select Quote, and they’d say (as all their advertising reminds us), “You should care about us because We shop. You save. That’s their offer to us.
What’s Volvo’s offer? Safety. What’s Walmart’s? To Save money and live better.
Do you notice how simple and conversational these are? Do you see how they are explicit offers to their audience?
Once an explicit and differentiated offer has been made, the brand can then be used to unify the entire organization to Think, Speak, Act, and React according to the brand positioning. This is also called getting everyone on the same page.
Trust me - hardly any branding companies actually understand how to do this, especially the Speaking part, where everything should begin. And unfortunately without it, a brand is guaranteed to underperform.