It’s a question we get all the time…usually from clients trying to trim a proposed budget.

It’s OK, we get it.

Brand work…in this economy?

Let’s talk through some different terms to help our understanding. We like to humanize brands, so related human features are included for extra visualization.  

·  Brand: Your untouchable beliefs (heart + soul)

·  Branding: Your name, logo, visual identity, verbal identity (face, body, voice)

·  Brand Marketing: Your campaigns and customer experience (clothes, tattoos, accessories)

Your branding and brand marketing will have components that evolve over time (and they should).

Your brand is the beating heart of your company. It’s not something that should change…or be without.

I’m not a doctor, but I don’t think you can live for long without a heart. Unless you are my great aunt Ruth, who I’m pretty sure didn’t have a heart, surviving solely on hatred and cigarettes. Love ya, Ruth. Well, I guess she did have a heart, it was just black and shrunken. That was her brand, and it was not changing.

Returning to the question at hand, what you need to ask yourself is if you understand your company at its core.

·  Those untouchable beliefs – are they documented? Is it in a way that causes an emotional response?

·  Is it shareable with your internal team so they understand what you’re all about?

·  Is leadership in agreement?

·  Is it documented in a way that captures what makes your company different than its competitors?

·  Does it come through in your branding and brand marketing to the world?

·  Have you even thought about these elements?

A brand workshop + brandfolio buildout help answer all of those questions. This isn’t an easy project – it requires research, insights, direction from a great agency partner, and DEEP creative thinking. While it varies from brand to brand, we include a sample of the following in each buildout:

·  Brand Traits

·  Brand Archetype

·  Category Definition

·  Core Pillars/Values

·  Mission + Purpose

·  Brand Pyramid + Brand Essence

·  Missioning Statements

·  Key Brand Messages

·  Brand Story

Brands that generate STRONG awareness and loyalty have clear definitions of what makes them the brand they are. Their marketing efforts may change over time, along with team members, but they always capture the unchanging BRAND elements in work. Tactics, platforms, consumer wants, products, services…these all evolve. A strong brand is consistent at its core. Think of Disney. Imagination + wonder is its heart. Those haven’t changed in 100+ years, even if Space Mountain now features a Star Wars storyline.

So, to answer the blog’s question – why does my company need a brandfolio? – we’d ask another question: Do you have the heart for it?