The Brand Naming Process

The Business and Brand Naming  Conundrum – Top Tips to Start you Off

Who needs Brand Naming Rules?

Professionals and creative consultants tend to use many of these rules because, while it may seem a name has sprung out of thin air, many a time, successful brand naming is the result of painstaking, soul searching work and research and an integrated brand naming process, the better to create a holistic brand and consistent branding. Because a name has very many functions, not least ‘recall-ability’, a set of rules have been evolved based on the most iconic names, branding and company brands.

I will go through these briefly but here’s the thing – the brand naming process should be seen as part of the larger exercise of Brand Development. Sometimes this process and the analyses involved in it gives rise to insights that can help to develop a suitable name, and before you ask, YES!! Names matter. As stated above, having the right brand name can help with brand building.

A hundred years ago, it may have been sufficient to just append any old name to your creation or startup, but the whole package matters these days, especially with more and more large and startups companies undertaking the brand development process. Simply put, to compete, all aspects of a brand, not least , brand naming, matter.

The Naming Process – in the background

Now, to  Brand naming. A marketing God, (perhaps THE definitive Marketing God, actually), Al Ries along with Jack Trout and his daughter, Laura Ries, determined ways to categorise marketing challenges in order create rules for developing solutions in the space for building a brand in some systematic way. There is no doubt that huge amounts of creativity are required to create great ideas within some structural frameworks and improve productivity. These rules in themselves, encapsulate the fundamentals and essence of the pursuit of great branding. There is an argument that the name of the brand is actually in itself the brand, i.e. the name is the brand. Personally, I find this a little simplistic BUT it is crucial at the start and there is no denying that once established, it’s very difficult to argue that Coke by any other name is still Coke, so you can see what the argument is based on. So, the name matters.

Brand naming process

 

Brand building is about positioning and highlighting uniqueness. Uniqueness or per Godin – positive good, helps to position your product and therefore brand at the start and the name is part of the establishment. Establishment = leading in a category + owning a word in the mind of your target segment.

To put it another way:

Positioning = owning a category that is > or equal to a word + resonance of the word you own in a customer’s mind + the belief that that word means everything they need it to mean in terms of all the benefits desired or believed + everything else that you do that is aligned to your business tenets and values that reinforce that position.

Naming Power – Beyond the Beginning

The name you choose then, for good or ill, (and it really can be and has been both), becomes irretrievably enmeshed with a target customer’s belief system, and their attachment and advocacy will spring from that. Ries argues that over time, your unique idea disappears, because it can be emulated. Your positive good can be diluted, duplicated and even replaced so that the only reason people stick with your offering is the difference between your brand name and the resonance attached to it, versus that of your market rivals. I would argue that it goes beyond just the name as a word, but what that name has grown to mean, signify and project. It’s easy to see that it is important that the name chosen is one that can be flexed in this way, with other things remaining equal. Ries also agrees that it’s the perception of the name that matters, and this is the ultimate goal, after all, of brand building.

Rules to live by – Top 9 Rules for Business and Brand Naming and Ideas

The rules below have been evolved, based on ideas from Ries, Trout and others, as well as our own experience and best practice. 

Rule 1. A new and unique offering should ideally have a new and unique name.

Rule 2. It should be short and snappy and easy to remember but be unique

Rule 3. If you already have an established company, avoid line extended names which are often meaningless, uninspired and lack resonance in a different category.

Rule 4. Use unusual words and spellings advisedly but do not automatically rule them out if a story can be built around it, especially if it meets the tests of rules 1,2 and 3.

Rule 5. Global audiences versus local markets – when it comes to what is easy to spell, pronounce and what is unique and unforgettable, consider who you are targeting. With increasing globalisation, these tests yield different answers than they may have even 10 years ago.

Rule 6. Create a shortlist

Rule 7. Test these names with existing and potential clients. Do some proper primary research and get feedback on the names.

Rule 8. Test initially in isolation – just the name but not without an offering context – make sure people know what the product/service/company is and does

Rule 9. Test again with at least an initial branding design context.

Great, you’re done. Your brand has a name that shows its face and personality to the world and reflects its vision. You’ve successfully completed a critical piece of your business’s branding!

Branding is a process that calls on all aspects of your business and brand identity, and the brand naming process is no exception. At all times bear in mind the power of a holistic brand in your brand-building efforts. A holistic brand is one where the primary values, cues and design elements are reflected through as many dimensions as possible and echoed in every channel for communication and interaction and this makes it a resonant brand. It’s worth it as consistent branding is so powerful, it can increase revenues significantly.

 

 

#brandnaming #branding #brandname #brandexperience #findaname #brandexperts

A name that fits gives your brand a face as part of brand building

Without a good brand name, yours might be a cool brand without a face.

Ideation, Brand Creation, Brand Naming and Storytelling

BRAND ACTIVATION OR CHANGE
Create a new brand or rebrand

Ideation, brand creation, brand naming and storytelling are of course primary steps to realising an iconified brand.

The challenge and thrill of developing a new brand is one big reason we really love the work we do. Uncovering of layer after layer of possibility and the fresh opportunities it presents for expression and differentiation is something we never get enough of.With brand resonance in mind, we can help you create emotive, compelling stories and inspiring brand names.

The journey to make a lasting statement about your brand and creating a successful brand, starts with an idea but the purpose of the brand starts with your product or service offering. We work to pinpoint the relevant market segment and identify their unmet wants and needs in order to articulate a strong offering and pitch of about your brand’s value. Your brand’s message should encapsulate that value in emotional and benefit terms.

Ideation, brand creation, brand naming and storytelling are of course necessary for creating a recognisable and relevant brand identity. You may only want help with ideation, generating exciting concepts to build your brand around. Or you may want our help in new brand creation, and we will get involved in the whole process. Whatever you need help with to iconify your brand, start here.

new brand, rebrand, refine
Brand Creation

We start with the offering, define a purpose and create the story for new brand creation.

We exist to build brands and love to come up with great brand ideas and the attendant communications that will Establish emotional connections with customers through your purpose and uniqueness, then activate it through a seamless multichannel journey to build a distinctive image. Ideation, brand naming and storytelling are key parts of this process.

We want to create the next generation of iconic brands in all categories. Brands that are resonant, have attitude and swagger and really speak to their target market. In a highly commoditised environment, almost nothing is new, except perhaps in the world of emerging tech – more on that here.
But if almost nothing is new, differentiation assumes ever greater weight and positioning becomes pivotal; your business will live or die literally more or less to the extent that it is possible to find a position for it in the mind of your tribe. A great product has value but that value is ascribed by the position it occupies in the mind of the people to whom we seek to attract.

That leads to the next point and of equal weight – the ‘goodness’ of/in your offering ultimately comes down to perception, so it’s subjective. It’s predicated on what the target segment you are targeting feel about, see and receive the offering, how well your offering fits them and their ideas about the world they inhabit. Make no mistake, most people are never sharing the same reality as the next group of people. This more than anything, determines the degree to which your offering is seen as remarkable.

New brand creation is the process that serves to determine these and other very important factors. Call us, let’s create the next iconic brand. 0208 191 9008.

Brands that stand out through ideation, brand naming and storytelling

HEART YOUR NAME, BUY YOUR BRAND
Brand Naming

Brand naming is a very important aspect of brand creation or rebranding. They help consumers form attachments and associations and an apt name, a mnemonic moniker or a tribute tag, can all increase the possibility of gaining new customers.The names on their own of course do not do all the work. The background work on purpose and positioning are of extreme importance but the name can be a powerful catalyst. At the very least, it shouldn’t confound or create consternation so it’s worth thinking about!

Like everything to do with brand development, naming should be part of a larger picture and larger strategy. Here at Iconify, we are strategic brand naming specialists and ensure our brand naming processes is one that takes account of the  and not just of the owner’s view of the customers but also that of the prospective or existing customers. Does it lend authenticity and cohesiveness to the core ideas and presentation of your brand?

There are some critical steps to the brand naming process, gone into in detail below but it starts of course with the ideation process. Creative and  collaborative. It’s often thought to be a simple process and it is useful to have a view of the key points of the process.

Discovery

The Iconify team will get to know your naming team and understand where on the brand development spectrum the business as a whole. We’ll want to understand who will be involved in the decision making and ensure there is representation from those who are customer facing. We’ll be asking why the business exists is and drill into your objectives, who your customers are, what you and your employees consider the primary concerns your business is facing so that you can start to assess what your brand stands for and any existing issues that may need to be addressed as part of the naming or larger strategic brand issue.

  • What’s in a name? This depends on your lens. If you’re in this business for keeps, then it’s everything. It must be memorable, inspire emotion, perhaps a complex combination, in you as well as in your customers. It must convey something of your purpose and it should appeal to the people you plan to be in business with. Let’s help you do that.
  • Articulate and agree upfront what the name should help achieve and what aspects of the brand image and ideas it needs to reinforce. Clarity on whether you may be interested in a wholly made up name, something derived from a recognisable concept or a metaphor or nouns, perhaps. Some people have no ideas, some have several but setting your goals will help us get to the right place sooner.

Brainstorming

  • How to get to the name? We run workshops with leaders and nominated stakeholders in your organisation and evaluate available business and brand data to collaboratively develop ideas around which emotions, benefits and features can be developed.It’s not linear, it cannot always be structured and there will be several iterations, but like many creative processes that are strategically driven, it requires a building up concepts, paring back to the strongest naming ideas and really working with both heart and head. It’s fun but it’s challenging.With the right people in the room, it’s good to agree and discuss which words people feel describes your entire brand or parts of it, and explore psychographic prompts.

Back to the Beginning

If not already done, there should be a process of securing the brand image and values through the purpose, principles, proposition, position, and promise of the brand and the fundamental brand strategy around this. Brand naming relies heavily on being able to keep or discard naming ideas based on their resonance to previously articulated brand strategy and brand personality. This phase is critical as the outputs from it power the brand naming process and make it easier to streamline and get the most value out of, particularly in terms of defining the customer.

Naming Rules

Trout and Ries have outlined excellent and enduring rules around naming and once there is clarity on the strongest ideas and momentum on them, it’s time to start applying those rules.

Define the target audience using personas

These should already have been clarified in previous brand strategy phases and if nor, it should be done as soon as possible. When a candidate list of names is created, we will need to test them on your target consumers.

Brand naming tools and aids

There are automated name generator tools available. They have interesting results but they cannot intuit what lies at the soul of business like yours, the way a creative consulting team like Iconify can. They uses algorithms that will not ask the questions nor capture the responses from your brand naming team that are intrinsic to coming up with a fantastic brand name, so we do not refer to those tools in this section and we do not use them. The tools we use are strategic tools that allow the polishing and perfecting the list of candidate ideas of brand names that have been collected to aid the analyses of you and your competitors’ brands in the context of naming.

Name Testing and Due Diligence in the Brand Name Selection Process

  • Once we have refined the list of names and have a short list, it is time to test them on personas developed and chosen and consider the locations within your brand, using this name will operate and compete.
  • Trademarks – should you trademark, can you trademark and will you ace infringements with the name you choose? We will help to make these necessary checks to ensure the name we choose is secure.

Choosing a brand name

When all is said and done, this is the goal of the process. To choose a name that will help you change the game.

Sometimes, one name is the clear winner, when rendered in print, in writing, different colours and contexts, the way it sounds, whether it can be mispronounced, the meaning etc. At other times, there are contenders and we go through the process with you to get to a point of clarity and consensus on the name to set all your store by, literally. Where possible, dependent on the goals set at the outset, ascribe recognisable meaning or references.

Get in touch today for an initial consultation

If you need help to get started on your band creation or naming journey, we’d love to help. Click here to leave your details and someone will get back to you.

Engaging People, not buyers
Storytelling

We believe in storytelling as a great tool for getting to the heart of your target audience, one that will captivate and convince them. This is especially true in the new brand creation process or in a rebranding.

Your story is what your audience loves to believe about you based on their perception of your brand you build in their minds. It’s the story they love to believe about ‘why your product’,  the story they want to believe about what it does for them. It’s the story that drives how your product makes them feel and the intangibles that make them feel the way that allows them to believe your story. No two individuals are the same. No two individuals feel the same about everything or see the world exactly the same way.

How can you tell them a story they both believe? That’s the job. Let’s do it!

There are few critical considerations:

The ideation process is obviously a key part of storytelling and this is  a collaborative process we undertake with your team.Keeping the struggle that your offering helps your consumer with in focus and top of mine creates interest and drama, while using emotion about the benefits your brand delivers to connect, telling it at a psycho-graphic level to create the hooks all humans are looking for as a prompt to engage, help to reach your customer.

Branding

We start with the offering, define a purpose and create the story, brand identity design of logos to look and feel and other branding assests, we consider your verbal identity too
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Research and Positioning

Conduct wide ranging industry and competitive research and data analytics to direct targeting and positioning profiling for your offering and provide clarity for marketing
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Strategic Analyses and Insights for Brand Strategy

Analysis of uniqueness, current market dimensions to determine opportunities, SWOT and identify gaps, new methods and insights
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Something from nothing for everything
Ideas and New Concept Generation

Ideas are catalysts for the deployment of huge potential, not least during new brand creation. Finding the idea that encapsulates your difference and ambition for your brand, that can engender brand passion and has the stamina to stay sustainable, is precious. The ability for that idea to be easily expressed is also important but the process needs to be accessible and done in as open a manner as possible. For new concept generation and capturing ideas, we focus on the big picture and workshop the best ideas with your teams and test them. The mission is to describe it visually as well as literally, in order to touch and move, influence and inspire or provoke and divide.

Excellent CX as Reputation Management Strategy

Why Strategic Customer Experience is a Gift for Reputation Management 

While studying for my first degree, the theme of better customer service (not customer experience yet!) was a recurring theme, concerning earning customer loyalty and market share, although not so much explicitly in the context of reputation management. There was a massive upsurge in the 90s of paying lip service to customer service as a competitive vehicle. That ethos seems to have waned considerably as service seems to be decaying in places we used to expect it, and yet it’s never been more important.

These days, the focus goes, rightly, beyond customer service to consider the entire Customer Experience, how the customer or client of your business experiences all of the elements that make up your brand at every stage of any transaction with your company. These transactions accrue into positive building blocks for favourable brand reputation and strategic reputation management. Identifying all the touchpoints your customer can possibly have with your brand, products and staff and having a strategy for influencing and planning how every interaction is handled is the very essence of it. I think of CX as CXE – Customer Experience and Engagement because the opportunity for engagement, to get information, feedback and ideas from the customer are where the magic really happens.

Why Leaders show care about Client and Customer Experience

We build brands to differentiate but also to build a reputation, against which hopefully a premium can be applied and repeat custom and advocacy can be extracted. The brand sets itself up, makes a promise, delivers it, delights and builds and reinforces a reputation for quality, reliability and other great things. More than ever the opportunities that lie in fostering and nurturing great customer experiences should not be squandered. With more choice than ever available to customers in some domains, CX is ever more relevant and the thinking behind how CX is implemented can make it transformational. It can make it a gift for reputation management.

Transactional to Transformational Thinking – the value of CX

Transactional thinking would limit the scope of CX. Clients and customers when purchasing are not purely acting on calculated algorithms for buying into an offering. There is a great deal going on in hearts as well as minds. However, viewed logically, the purest person to person service element, usually post a purchase or immediately preceding it, and generally as an aid to that sale, actually occurs quite deep within the relationship/purchase funnel. The added value is in everything else leading up to the sale, and after that, you ideally want to exercise some influence over. You want to have the privilege and access of speaking into the spaces either side because when you factor in desirable brand love and loyalty, it’s instructive that conversion does not end with the person who has bought, as they can help you convert others. This is the power of favourable reputation and an opportunity for reputation management.

 

why cusomer experience is a priority for business leaders

The goal of CX is delight – attract, engage, nurture and delight

Putting CX at the heart of Projects

Leaders and staff should have a clear view of their roles and responsibilities in sustainably and successfully delivering customer experience (CX), but it should be ultimately driven by brand strategy. CX can be the arbiter of your brand values and perception. Bearing out and translating the purpose and the values the business espouses through CX buttresses and validates your customers’ perception of your business. Reputation Management starts here. Credit is gained and credibility advanced that indemnifies a brand in terms of sustainable brand reputation and reputation management. Now, it’s been my experience through numerous Change Programmes, that there is generally limited consideration of the programme’s risks and impact to the brand and the business’ ability to consistently meet customer and clients’ expectations. This is because they are often driven entirely by internal, operational factors, external triggers tend to be obligations to and duress from regulators and monitors but I believe customer experience is an equally legitimate driver. Reputation Management is not something that’s only addressed in the event of an adverse event, like savings, reputations must be shored up against rainy days.

I think this should change. Even when it isn’t the causal factor for a programme, it absolutely should be part of the standards and metrics by which that programme is deemed a success. It, therefore, follows that demonstrable improvements to the processes and operating models delivering high-quality customer experience, or at the very least, strong evidence that it is not put at risk or degraded, should form a primary part of the business case.

If projects were incepted with an eye on the customer and transformation focused on making things better for customers and staff, that is if PEOPLE were actually valued and central to the impetus for projects, very possibly, less oversight might be needed as businesses would be policing themselves according to their own stated purpose and values. Hmm!

So…..where is the problem? What could go wrong? Ahhhh, yes. Of course.

When there is no visible commitment to those stated values.What an indictment that is on the way we do business – it means that whenever a customer’s experience of your brand fails to bear out your values, you may be seen as only paying lip service, as inauthentic. The worst of it, of course, is that your customers can see and sense the disconnect. Of course, they can, they get it a sense of it through the entire experience! That’s it – the whole point.  If you are talking about customer experience but not really considering satisfaction of customers and motivation of those who deliver the services that form the experience, you are just paying lip service to customer experience, much the same as people did in the 90s. And your customers can tell!

Reputation Management - Secure your brand's reputation through exceptional customer experienceCX Matters

If you don’t think this matters, I give you Aldi and Lidl. If the leading supermarkets were listening, they would have known and acted on the customer data that Aldi and Lidl have exploited, as Tesco have only just recently started to do hence this update to the blog. It’s taken several years to mount this offensive, but apart from anything else, the customer experience at Tesco was obviously not sufficient to sustain the custom of those with an option to go elsewhere. Tesco’s reputation has also suffered considerably in the past decade an effort to refocus on customer needs might have aided their reputation management. As it was, it appeared to make them more vulnerable to incursions by the challengers.

Other sectors are not exempt. The banking sector sees challenger banks popping up. I give you Tide and Monzo, reported to have deep satisfaction amongst customers. They are starting with a commitment to the customer experience and meeting needs that the existing banks do not, even though they say they want to. It’s amazing when you think about it.

So, dear business case owners, sponsors, C-suite people, transformation programmes should not lead to a deterioration in staff morale and customers’ perception of the brand. Therefore, business strategy and change should absolutely have dependencies on your business brand imperatives and benefits realisation must be within the context of meeting or exceeding customer brand expectations. Even if it is not the causal factor for the programme, it should be in there somewhere! There should be, on every programme board and Steering Committee and Executive Committee etc., somebody who has responsibility for Brand Standards and CX. There, I have just created that brand new role. Feel free to use it because it’s critical, now more than ever, to focus more on people – both in and out – and ultimately serve your brand better.

Internal Customer Brand Engagement #Part 2

With CX ever more important, recognising the potential of your staff in mobilising a brand experience that is aligned to business goals means that the customer experience journey must begin with internal customer brand engagement, i.e. with your staff. Getting your staff to be brand whisperers, avid advocates and a fundamental part of your brand power is so important for building and sustaining a resonant brand that internal brand engagement should form a core component of your company’s brand strategy.

It may seem possible to ignore it now, but in the long term, those who will win will require brand authenticity which will be carried through a strong image. If this falls at the employee front lines, it will create havoc for sustaining brand image and therefore the equity in your brand. Established brands already do some of this and may worry about it less because they can throw hundred of millions a year at advertising. Businesses without the resources or inclination to do this must focus on cultivating brand loyalty from within the business itself.

As discussed in part 1, your employees are more than just stakeholders, they are your people, they are the also members of your tribe. And they are powerful. They really see what your business is about and are a part of weaving whatever magic external stakeholders see. They are also more forgiving when things go wrong, if they feel part of things, and valued. They will fight for your ideals and they can show the appreciation and commitment on behalf of your business that elicits brand love and loyalty. It is important never to lose sight of this or seem to treat them with contempt or disregard. When people feel they are valued, especially in the workplace, they are more productive and loyal.

As discussed in Part 1, if, as internal customers, they do not buy the brand, if as internal customers they do not believe in your proposition, if they do not help your business play your position, they cannot sell the brand, they cannot influence people to buy into your proposition and certainly will not act to defend your position. You need to give them the tools.

The first part of that is to win them over, like you would and should, your customers. Win them and keep them. They need to stay engaged in order to help achieve the business objectives and correctly portray and reinforce the brand’s image. They are the one factor of continuity in the customer experience and CX chain that cannot be replaced.

Achieving all of the foregoing naturally must be backed by strong values-led policies and practices. What often happens is that for HR purposes, how to give as well as get the most out of people as individuals are often not considered holistically. Many such initiatives are HR Driven – read regulation and legislation driven,  meaning the approach is often focusing on covering the back, understandably, of the employer. It starts and ends with HR requirements and risk management protocols. These are crucial but they are not everything – it means that the talk is on point but the walk is or maybe non-existent, with and cognitive dissonance setting in straightaway.

The faultlines crack open and the cracks get wider daily until the experience your customers are led to expect bear no resemblance to what actually happens to them when they engage with your brand. This is a huge shame and an avoidable one. There needs to be an additional approach with your internal customer at the center of the process to help to propel brand engagement that can impact growth.

Internal Brand Engagement - Retain, Inspire, DeployBelow, we broadly explore some key considerations for internal brand engagement.

 

Engaging your Precious People

  1. Know what your people ‘look’ like, what they value and understand and endorse their world view. Then find them, recruit them, train them, reinforce, nurture and retrain them. Always keep in mind how critical your staff are to the overall CX.
  2. Find the leaders and give them the right tools. Identify those who prefer not to lead and expose, refine and utilise their strengths meaningfully and visibly. Lead them all fully, accountably, honestly, transparently and respectfully. Make your people proud and empowered keepers of your brand values and approaches and make sure that this maps to the regulations on how they work. An integrated approach is required and should also have as participants, HR, Marketing and Legal, with parties that are focused on the internal Brand engagement.
  3. Have a clear and transparent risk and exception framework for when things do not go to plan. Build and maintain trust but be watchful for those who are no longer feeling engaged or involved and ensure there is a plan in place for remedying situations like these. Understanding what is causing apathy or stress may help businesses isolate early on where something is not working well in the business, but having and showing a sincere interest in the employee will influence and help optimise the process you adopt for this process.
  4. Prioritise people. If and when a transformation is required for the organisation, the impact on people, their comfort, confidence and security must be considered as a high priority when putting options in play and when choosing and implementing a new operating model, implementing new business systems and platforms. How will a new system affect their working lives, how does it change their ability to give the best experience to the customer?
  5. Have a customer-centric orientation in your organisation. Prioritise CX. Be outward-looking, not insular. Let people understand and believe the importance of the customer and the organisation’s wish to truly serve them and reward them by keeping the brand’s promises.
  6. Employees must be made to feel included and valued and an internal brand engagement framework should be considered as part of any (CX) Customer Experience Remodel.

There is plenty of evidence that positive work cultures where people feel safe and valued and able to grow to make them more valuable to the business in all kinds of ways. If the future for brands who want to be icons lies in customer engagement and optimised CX, it makes infinite sense to begin and maintain a process of internal customer brand engagement.

The Internal Customer makes CX successfulEvery team member should feel important, valuable and feel they have the capability to perform their role and be happy to have responsibility for doing so.

So, what’s stopping you turning your people into firebrands for your brand? Treat them like they want to be treated. Long term success depends on it.

Positioning Strategy

perceptual positioning
Own your position

Your product in a competitive landscape will not reach the heights your business needs it to without a deliberate, structured and clear positioning strategy. This would have as its objective to create an ownable position in the mind of your segment and all the steps required to do so.

Finding a territory to own

Creating the impetus for the prospective customer to carve out a position for your product requires that messaging targeted at them hold meaning, reward and heightened desire for the kind of fulfillment they would derive from the product. Words have meaning as well as power and the sequence of the words that will create the right triggers and parse the correct connotations must be researched and deployed.  The ultimate objective will be to differentiate and create a perception that the product meets wants and needs their prospect might knowingly or unknowingly possess.

Research and Data Analytics

A market positioning strategy is built on business data and seeks to compose the precise chain of words to balance concepts of differentiation, distinction, and similarity in a unified brand-narrative. It is a long-term effort to solidify the identity of a company, and its products or services, in a unique space within the minds of the target audience. It is an organized attempt for a brand to set itself apart from the crowd and influence the way their target audience perceives them. There is value in this process because it allows the maximisation of the segment and creates clarity on unmet needs.

Positioning Strategy

Competitor Analysis

Repositioning

Discovering uniqueness and comparison to competitors in the current conditions are critical for positioning. Company culture, communication and conviction must coalesce around the agreed positioning principles across. A long term view is critical.
Who are you competitors? What are their objectives and what do they do that is clever?  How will they respond to your attempts to meet customers’ needs? What can they not do well? Research is critical to positioning and we help leaders through this rewarding process.
If there was never a positioning strategy in the first place and the product has been left to grow organically but is now constrained or your business has plans to fundamentaly shift its focus and offerings and try to penetrate a new market, repositioning is necessary.
Market Penetration
Targeting and Positioning
Misunderstood brands signal oblique and incoherent positioning and is often a result of never attempting to own a position or identify the people for whom your product should be a first choice. You find them, and then, they see you!
Targeting and positioning takes time and commitment but is very much worth the investment to set your brand apart in your audience’s perception. This is an opportunity to show the needs and wants that only your offering can meet in a particular way. Defining your business’ purpose and identity provides a psychological hook for target customers with how your business can meet their specific needs. It allows you to make a promise that emotionally as well as rationally connects you to your audience.

Brand Ideas and Concept Generation

ideas for the long run
Winning Ideas

Are you launching a new product or contemplating a line extension that will need a new brand? Do you believe that your business will benefit from re-positioning or rebranding? For this and many other scenarios, idea generation is indispensable, and is indeed central to successful new brand development and certainly to positioning communications

Idea generation at its  best creates impetus and hope and mobilises people. Brand creation, positioning step change, innovation at heart – all require ideas generation. We will assemble focus groups and conduct knowledge gathering and discovery exercises and polling to facilitate brand development. As a creative team, we also value discipline and techniques that help us get up to speed on what the challenges the client is seeking to counter with our services and also methods for validating the potential of those ideas through brainstorming exercises people from diverse backgrounds.

barnstorm or brainstorm
Creative Workshops

Our workshops are key to our Creative Practice and central to brand ideas generation. A primary part of our creative process, we come alongside you to generate brand and product names and stories, line extension concepts, marketing campaigns or even for rebranding or repositioning through group processes like brainstorming.
We tailor the format to your company and endeavour to have broad representation. Workshops are critical to our communication with you and your people  to get to the core of your company’s purpose, vision and mission in the short and long term.

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Group Processes

Focus Groups, brainstorming and sample polling
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Research and Data Review

Bespoke research and study of data to mine for insights and ideas validation
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Content and Thought Analysis

Test and validate ideation
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Collaboration

Stakeholders and customers working through ideation to resolve problems
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Discovery and Personal Interviews

Ideation on positioning, brand communications and exploring ‘unmet needs.

Industry and Competitor Research

DRIVEN BY DATA
Research and Analysis

Homework and first things first, so industry and competitor research is critical. Thorough and honest analysis of your business will help immeasurably for targeting and positioning. First we establish your purpose, your current position and then we start to review how you meet customers needs.When we are across the core facts, we are now in position to begin competitor analysis. The overarching and guiding framework for this is obviously data on the industry and sector as a whole with a clear view on where you and your competitors currently fit.

We will help do the same analysis of competitors to gain a thorough understanding of who they are what they do and as far as can be ascertained, how they do it. We’ll help you do to the research to understand who the players are, what their objectives are and their resultant strategies as well as their capabilities. We apply traditional competitive position analysis to understand where possible power and opportunities lie.

This process of industry and competitor research will help to determine which strategies we should pursue for your business and even help to identify possible gaps in met needs, read possible opportunities in unmet needs.

Research

Data Analytics

Targeting

MARKET PENETRATION TOOLS
Targeting
Businesses must identify the people for whom their product should be a first choice. You find them then they see you!
Planned and organised targeting takes time and commitment but is very much worth the investment to set your brand apart in your audience’s perception. This is an opportunity to show the needs and wants that only your offering can meet in a particular way. Defining your business’ purpose and identity provides a psychological hook for target customers with how your business can meet their specific needs. It allows you to make a promise that emotionally as well as rationally connects you to your audience.

Summary of industry and competitor research

 

Business environments and brand status aren’t static. It is absolutely necessary to understand the industry and how it is changing. You need to put yourself in a position to make informed decisions about the direction in which the business should go and to understand your positional possibilities in the competitive landscape. These issues and more are the purview of industry and competitor research. The fundamental value in this process is learning enough to determine not just the strengths and weaknesses in your business but where the  opportunities and threats are and even whether there are opportunities in the threats. Are there changes you can adopt may yield robust returns?

Changing tastes, influences and lifestyles mean everything is a moving target.Good strategy is dependent on good data thoroughly analysed, properly interpreted. To launch new products or brand, or even new communications strategies, industry and competitor analyses are necessary to get clarity on what, who and where you should be targeting. To understand past and current trends in your industry and to help to anticipate demand and lifestyle trends and changes in your operating and economic environment. These act as a basis for decision making for long range planning and business strategy. These are complex processes and it makes sense to get help with it, especially skilled and independent parties to review sector and industry reports, paying attention to the currency and relevancy of the data  and profitability factors. It may be necessary to test or validate the data.

We can help you undertake competitor analysis allows you to review you competitors and their objectively definable competitive strategies and analyse their  strengths and weaknesses to help you pinpoint where your possible uniqueness lies or what needs to be changes in your product, ofFer, benefits and or message to stand out and be more competitive. Porter’s 5 forces is one of the key tools we use in this process. Competitor analysis helps to expose, using a wide lens the general assumptions and objectives as well as the limitations of competitors and can act as a guide to predict their behaviour – this is important to know how they will respond to your advances and incursions on the market. Kit Needham’s guide gives a good view the process outputs.

Brand Image and Identity

Proposition and Position
Perception and Promise

Brand image and identity are core elements of your brand expressed in branding artifacts, look and feel that helps your business convey strong signals about who you are and why you do what you do.

Brand Identity

Brand identity refers to the look, feel and recognisability of your brand and is a key component of but not the same as brand image.
Recognisability and reliability are crucial but the true power of branding is in its overall image. But the look and feel, your colors and message,  these are all components of your visual brand identity. They do not encapsulate or represent your brand, nor do they represent your purpose or relevance. Other brand services we offer, deal with those aspects that do. We work with you to understand, project and encapsulate the relational triggers you want to engender and help you emotionally and psychologically engage with your target market, that is your tribe.

Connecting Purpose to Position to build Proposition

Building brand image and identity is a layered effort. When we seek to create a brand, our focus and yours must be to create a position and proposition that resonates with your tribe, in such a way that you are part of the fabric of their lives, their wants needs, their ‘go to’ lexicon. It’s easy to surmise when standing the shoes of your tribe that your brand is ultimately what your tribe believes it is. The magic is setting out to create and project a position, promise and proposition that they believe, accept and apply as you intended. Your proposition, as much as possible, needs to arouse passion in your tribe, and it needs to sustain it. That’s what the strategy we discuss with you is about. That’s what the research you commission with us should help to ascertain, affirm, confirm, and that will help to mobilise your tribe.

Your target segments realised

Your tribe are the people who are believers, connected to your brand, your business offerings and to an idea and position that resonated and which they then opted into. Your identity then, is part of the image that the tribe has chosen to relate to, interact with and even grow with.

Developing brand image and identity is about, among other things, raising resonance. Resonance is invaluable for building these emotional connections. The emotional connections are in turn priceless as they help your brand to stand out. It helps your message to cut through and earns you advocates, evangelists and supports who help create a tribe for your brilliant and beloved brand. In the battle for supremacy, perception, not true superiority is key. Perception of your brand’s attributes engenders a trust in your product, its attributes and delivery that differentiates your brand and means your tribe will never consider other options because they have convinced themselves. Your brand image is the perception, the intangible qualities of product and delivery that your tribe believe about you – the causes you celebrate and fight for, the values you represent and the wants and needs you meet that are all emotional and psychological.

Brand Identity vs Brand Image

Visual and verbal branding is where identity diverges from image – the tangible elements – the look, feel, colours, graphics, logo, music or signature tune – elements that allow  your message to cut through with the strength and efficacy of someone saying your name. It’s a visual signature on the promise your tribe carries in their minds,  like the face and voice they put to a loved one. Using features of your product and the purpose if your business and the intersects with your target markets desires,  artifacts are identified that reflect and bolster the brand’s narrative and create handles for your tribe to utilise in interactions with you. We will help you create identity guidelines that facilitate consistency in all your business’s brand artifacts.

Powerful identities are born of compellingly communicated purpose, proposition and promise that allows your customers to carve out a position for your brand. To distil this, we work directly with ambitious leaders,as part of your team with our people and trusted partners to deliver all the dimensions necessary to this work. Working with us means getting access to a number of other verified suppliers and services and we provide full and transparent project management, taking the time to immerse ourselves in your business and fully understand your business.

Building perceptual tethers
Brand Image

Your brand image is the perception, the intangible qualities of product and delivery that your tribe believe about you – the causes you celebrate and fight for, the values you represent and the wants and needs you meet that are emotional and psychological.

Branding

Build Your Brand Equity through Integrated Brand and Website Development Services

When you are ready for full service website development services that go beyond the basic and execute on strategy from telling a story to impactful website design. and with the twin objectives of impact and performance, we’re the agency you need to call.

It’s got to do more than look the business, it literally has to be the business. It’s got to help your business make an impression, its content has got to be compelling and from the get-go, it must be designed to be found, convert and appeal to your target market. You don’t want just traffic, you want the right traffic. That’s about strategy.

Imbue your business with everything needed to build your brand equity with a consistent brand and web presence, with our branding and website development services.

Creating a great brand requires great design but it needs something more. It requires capability, consistency and connectedness with all your brand assets. Your brand assets are a representation of your values, identity and position and so everything that represents the business should align, including your online presence, starting with your website. Creating a strong, branded website is about more than just about logos, it’s about the consistency of look, feel and messaging. Impactful website design is key but ideally, your website should also be responsive and performant.

Integrated branding starts with a strong purpose, aligned with your principles and business strategy in ways that position your business and brand experience uniquely in the mind of your customer. It requires great and targeted design. It doesn’t end with building a brand asset or creating a website. Whether it’s rand identity design or website design, the same considerations apply.

But, by designing a strong brand and developing a credible and robust web presence, using both great website design and development services and aligned messaging, we can help you build a brand reputation to be proud of. Click on the links below to get more information or call now to discuss on +44(0)20 8191 9008 or contact us now to arrange a consultation and join the new generation of brand stalwarts.

We can provide a full service website development.

Build your Website and Online Presence

Turn your ideas and dreams into a powerful design and compelling reality. This helps build your business, online presence and brand equity.

Using a change agency to create your website and online presence has many inbuilt advantages, not least deep technical and software development experience, paired with project and risk management skills. When it comes to creating your website, our website development services look beyond the facade of the business and into challenges and opportunities to promote not just your web presence but other aspects of your business. For Web Design and Development, we start with structure, ensure we deliver a responsive website that’s good for mobile and designed to be high converting. When it comes to your social media, we strive for design excellence and consistency.

It’s worthwhile investing in the website’s functionality, and make it high performance and highly optimised right from the outset. To design and create a powerful website in these turbulent times requires a focus on impact as well as looks.

We provide full service website development so  to create your professional website, we can customise or go fully bespoke, and to keep your business looking and being professional, as part of our website development services, we will provide ongoing support and troubleshooting for your website, ensure that security is established and safeguarded and take care of your updates.

We recommend and can help you to implement peace of mind hosting for your valuable web collateral. With our strong technical and integration capabilities, we can provide handholding with other digital initiatives, integration with your CRM or ERP and other proprietary software.

High Performance Websites - Audit, Architecture, Capability

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Website Design and Development - Customised or Bespoke

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Digital Presence and Promotion plus Digital Transformation

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Technical Integrations and Software Development

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Full service website development services and website design that speaks not just to who you are but who your customer is

Speak to the people you serve, whoever they are

Delivering Critical CX – the fundamental brand purpose

Leading companies are adding new talent to support a digital operating model. To develop sharp insights using digital tools, procurement teams will need data science and analytics expertise.

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