Q: When does top-notch branding NOT deliver?

brandFirst, some background… We were recently engaged by a client to develop the branding for a start-up company in Northern Virgina — logo design, website design and development, brand messaging, corporate identity materials, etc. We always begin our professional process with a detailed questionnaire that we use to better understand our client’s needs and business model.

In this case study, our client is the CEO and a sophisticated woman with all the pertinent answers a branding company could ask. She told us her perceived target market, her target location, her mission, her vision, her income goals, etc. The target market was clearly defined and the concept well articulated — the usual competitor and client research would lead to an overwhelming endorsement of the products and services she was proposing to offer.

And then came the killer question that most branding companies don’t have the strategy expertise to analyze — what were the financial projections?

Since TRUE creative services has partnered with Strategic Practical Thinking — creating SPT and TRUE — we have the unique skill set to investigate this pivotal area of a company at a critical stage of growth and development. This fundamental tie back to the numbers is the critical difference between “business consulting & branding” and simply “branding” (it’s the Practical bit of Strategic Practical Thinking). As we explored the broader strategy here’s what we discovered:

  1. The “well defined marketing segment” was simply not large enough to sustain the overhead for the business.
  2. Further research revealed that a much larger adjacent market segment was readily available BUT they would not respond to the intended brand message or image.

As a result, before our client spent her precious investment dollars on improper branding, we redefined her market segment, modified the products and services and established a financial plan that was credible and but her on a path to success. This preliminary strategy consultation lead to a significant brand shift — including a new company name, refocused messaging, new image and interior design for the building, all tied into the website.

The outcome for our client — almost $1M saved in misplaced investment.

So, when does top notch branding NOT deliver?

A: When the underlying business plan isn’t fully explored

For more information on how to build a successful brand that fits with your business strategy please contact us before investing your branding dollars.

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