Throughout the years of running a branding agency, I’ve seen a huge change in attitude towards our discovery process. In the beginning, clients seemed reluctant to pay us for them. For example, they would say things like “Why would we pay you to learn about us?”
As time went on, a paradigm shift occurred.
Early on branding was Corporate America’s best-kept secret. Fortune 500 companies dominated markets with their tactful storytelling and compelling design. Now almost everyone has access to this knowledge thanks to the accessibility of the internet and social media.
Furthermore, these platforms have opened the gateway into the minds of marketing experts. For years now, thought leaders like Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Larry Kim have been hammering the power of branding into the minds of their followers. And now this wisdom is being devoured and implemented by almost every entrepreneur on the planet.
Fast forward to today, we have some clients that choose us specifically for our discovery process.
We consider our Discovery Phase to be the most important piece of our process. We believe that in order to effectively communicate a company’s story we need to clearly understand it from the inside out. Furthermore, we must understand the brand’s purpose, beliefs, and goals so that we craft a brand language that resonates with its target audience. None of this is possible without discovery.
To refer to this phase as ‘Discovery’ doesn’t quite capture the true value of this process. However, discovery is a word that everyone is familiar with so we’re sticking with it for now. Contrary to common belief, the real benefit of discovery isn’t for us. It’s our clients who benefit the most. Most clients come to us when they’re trying to find meaning in their organization or recenter themselves. More than anything, our workshops are like a religious pilgrimage for their brand. Afterward, they emerge like a monarch butterfly exiting the cocoon with purpose and direction.
Over several years and hundreds of workshops we’ve refined our recipe for success with a very unique blend of spices we call Brand Seasoning. Every single branding project begins with an immersive Brand Seasoning Workshop designed to take our partners from chaos to clarity in a few short days. We’ve even developed a proprietary tool kit that helps make the process interactive and enjoyable for everyone involved.
Our Thinkbook is a unique style workbook that sets the tone for proper brand thinking and helps us define an organization’s brand essence, language, and positioning in order to help it build a strong foundation for successful identity.
A brand archetype is a universally familiar character or situation that transcends time, place, culture, gender, and age. Archetypes have been used in mythology for millennia. In branding, we use them to identify a company’s overarching persona for the purpose of helping brands more intimately connect with their audiences. Once defined a brand archetype becomes the compass for everything the does and says. Nike, for example, is the quintessential “Achiever” archetype. From its namesake being the name of the Greek Goddess of Victory to its slogan which embodies the winner’s mindset, everything Nike does is guided by its Achiever Archetype.
Our interactive Brand Archetype exercise helps our partners identify their own brand’s archetype to be used for branding and marketing.
BRAND PERSONALITY CARDS
Similar to their inner circle, most people choose brands that align with their own personality and values. Our personality defines how we speak, dress, and act. It’s not much different for a brand which is why this is such an important exercise that helps us further define a company’s persona.
BRAND FRAMEWORK CANVAS
Inspired by Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” methodology our 3’x4’ Brand Framework Canvas is an interactive exercise that helps our clients define and document their brand essence. This becomes the heartbeat that pumps purpose and meaning into every single brand touchpoint.
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.Simon Sinek
Failure to plan almost always results in mediocre results. Sometimes people fly by the seat of their pants and get lucky but luck is not a very sound strategy. Even the best poker players in the world don’t count on luck to win.
Every organization we have worked with has benefitted immensely from self-discovery and strategy. Proper planning and strategy can yield fantastic results. The results are never the same for every client but every project has is own unique goals and challenges. Here are just a few of the most common outcomes of a great strategy.
Someone will be in touch very soon.