How to create a successful, authentic brand
Picture this: You have an ailment and ask me to cure it. You briefly describe what’s wrong and expect a personal treatment and therapy regimen. Then you think you’ll be back in tip-top shape in no time at all.
What’s wrong with this picture? Sounds simple and efficient, but is it the best approach? Why or why not?
What’s missing are collaboration, discussion and collective decision making. A doctor can’t tell you what to fix until you take the time to discuss, in detail, what needs fixing. You might need to undergo some additional exams, and once a regimen is prescribed, you’ll need some follow-up. Every individual is different. So taking the time to work through what is and isn’t working is imperative in curing what ails you.
The way a doctor improves a patient’s health is similar to branding, or rebranding, a company. Like an experienced physician who’s gained years of insight, Spring13 has over 20 years of top-notch industry talent, expertise in strategies that work and are effective, as well as cross-channel knowledge. What we don’t have is you, and your critical input. A brand needs to be built with authenticity at its core. And the only way to build a successful, authentic brand is if the people leading the company are involved (or they trust someone implicitly to provide this type of critical, company-specific direction and information).
Stay involved in every step of the creative process
Having worked with many busy, powerful executives, I have come to realize that often when they hire a firm to help rebrand their company, or redo their website, there’s a sense that the work can be done with little input from key individuals. Successful creative work, however, requires collaboration and engagement. We need to gain an understanding of your company’s personality, what you’re trying to achieve and what you do well and not so well. This takes your involvement and feedback in every stage of creative development. In 20 years in the advertising business, NEVER have I seen any piece of work completed and finalized in the first round. Creative development is always an iterative process—and critical to the success of the work is what your company can provide.
The takeaway: Breakthrough creative work comes from the combination of exceptionally talented creative people and the brains behind the companies they’re creating for. We’re merely the vessel—you hold the critical keys of information. So the next time you’re thinking about hiring a creative firm, please be sure you can take the time necessary to share your input so the work will be the best it can possibly be. If you don’t have the time required and there’s no one in the office you can give the authority to, you might just be better off getting that Kinko’s down the street to give you what you need and save yourself some jack.