1. An understanding of what a brand really is. Boil down all of the hype, all of the industry jargon, and you get down to one simple thing: A promise from the company/organization to its constituency.
2. That brand is communicated in three ways: Visually, verbally, and most importantly, through the actual experience of the constituent.
3. If the brand promise is not fulfilled, then any marketing effort to promote the brand will fail
Thus research’s primary goal is to mine through the internal and external perceptions to achieve a factual offering from the client. The facts are the keystone of a brand message. Taken into context with the constituency’s needs and wants, competitor offerings, recent market trends, and some old fashioned spin, and you have all of the elements necessary to begin branding.
There’s definitely a process involved, but there’s also a little bit of art, a penchant for marketing. The ability to message is invaluable. Then you have to have an artist who can visualize the brand, communicate in a compelling way that moves the constituency (ies). When it all comes together, it should motivate and compel the target audiences.
OK, enough brain dump on the esoterics of branding. We’re busy now, but I still have my eye on the big picture. The last thing we need is to come out of the funnel in February and not have any business because we were too busy fulfilling. So tonight I prospected on the Internet, targeting one of my weaker “sister” agencies. I’ll keep this up until I have about 40 of these leads, then I’ll begin marketing to them.