Choosing a brand company. Safe may not be best.
By Tom Dougherty
At the risk of sounding self-serving, let us just say this: Stealing Share is not the right brand development company for everyone.
As a leader of an organization, you are always looking for ways to improve your business through top-line revenue growth, expense reduction, productivity improvements, channel efficiencies and the like. As a marketer and communicator, you are always looking for a way to effectively get the message out to both internal and external audiences.
As a leader and a communicator, you have certainly examined your organization’s brand to improve your business and you may have even come to the conclusion that your brand is dated, lacking meaning in the market, or too similar to the brands of your competitors. Whatever you believe your brand issue is, you have realized your organizations brand is not as effective as it should be.
Perhaps you are looking for outside help. It may be time to hire a brand firm. But choosing a brandcompany is not easy.
Advertising agencies are often included when choosing a brand company
There are some extraordinary advertising agencies out there. Agencies are expertly utilizing a variety of media and mediums to put forth messaging and entertainment in hopes of persuading consumers to purchase their products and services. Whether it is a viral television advertisement for a consumer product or an expertly designed sales brochure for a B2B company, agencies are in a constant battle of one-upmanship. (Read more about ad agencies here)
They are not brand development companies. Advertising agencies do great creative work. The problem is that they believe they can solve everything with nice pictures, viral videos, social media, and slick production.
Make no mistake. There may be a time for all of those things. But if you believe your brand is the problem (and it probably is) and your agency or one you are reviewing gives you a presentation about how they can help your brand and shows you a reel of creative work, they are really not interested in your brand. They are interested in the creative execution. Hire a brand company. Or at least talk to a brand company.
Your brand cannot be helped and strengthened through creative executions alone. Some agencies may say they do “branding” but to them it is really just a buzzword they use to open the door to do the creative work.
There are also a great number of “brand companies” and branding firms in the market as well. So many that it may be confusing when choosing a branding company. Many of these companies mean well and understand that brand is something that can be used to improve business. However, too often the results of their brand work can be an innocuous tagline or brand promise that overly emphasizes the company and does not reflect the prospect, lacks differentiation in the market, or isn’t strategically developed to actually increase market share.
The latter is the only reason to engage in a brand development process in the first place.
The crux of what kind of “branding” your organization chooses to do is really up to the decision makers of the organization. Some organizations seek nothing more than to have someone tell them that they are doing a really good job and their problem is just that their corporate image is a bit dated.
Others believe that their only problem is getting prospects to “see” that their products or services are great. Still others are looking for the most painless solution to their perceived problem and are unwilling or unable to enact organizational change.
If you fall into one of these categories, then most advertising agencies and brand development companies should be able to devise a way to accomplish these goals.
In those cases, Stealing Share would probably not be a good fit for your branding needs. (Read about our branding company competitors here)
Who are our clients?
One of the first questions we are asked when a client is in the process of choosing a branding company is about our clients. Therefore, if you are still reading this, you believe there is opportunity for your brand to do more for your organization, and you know that in order to improve you have to change.
One of the first things we tell prospective clients is that if you choose to work with Stealing Share you will get your nose bloodied. We will tell you that your organization has issues that go beyond a simple marketing or execution exercise. We will identify and bring into view organizational quagmires that prevent the organization from running effectively. And we will probably tell you that your understanding of your target market is either wrong or incomplete.
But we will also tell you how to fix and capitalize on these issues as well.
What we do
Our process does not always have a pretty picture or slick ad campaign at the end. Though we can do those things, they are not the destination of our work. Rather, we will give you a strategic roadmap to address both internal and external audiences to utilize your brand to provide maximized meaning and direction.
If you have the desire to bring more meaning to your organization and desire real organizational change that will better resonate with your target audiences, give us a call if you are the kind of organizational leader who needs to steal share.