Big thinking that benefits at every stage
Worried about big ideas being held ransom for big fees? Don't panic.
The way I run brand positioning projects is modular. These 12 modules are each designed to deliver their own value. You can hire me to work on any or all of them according to your business needs. The more modules we cover together the more value you get.
You're in control.
7: Perception mapping
9: Brand truths
10: Coach brands
11: Singleminded proposition
12: The promise (or strap-line)
Module 1: Why, why, why?
This is about finding answers. The format is informal and is a cross between a meeting and a workshop with a summary at the close.
We meet (usually for half a day) and discuss important things such as: Why you do what you do? What do you do? How you do it? And for whom? What are your ambitions? What do you want to be doing more of? What’s stopping you?
The value: We'll establish real Objectives, Obstacles & Opportunities. And based on the facts that we unearth together, I'll create a proposition that aims to communicate the value you deliver for clients (even at this early stage). It's best to test this and validate it with more research (see modules 2, 3, 4 & 5) but it'll be a great start in explaining your 'why'.
Module 2: Customer journey research
Let's look at what you’re saying now and how you say it. This covers how you manage your customers’ journeys from setting their expectations to what they experience of your product and the service you give. I’ll look at your brochures, advertising, website and social media if you have them.
The value: This helps you understand whether your existing communications are working, whether you're missing opportunities and what to do about it.
Module 3: Research with your people
I’ll speak to your people if you have a larger team. This completes the picture that Module 2 starts. There will be people who deal with your customers from enquiries to sales and are involved in what you actually sell. Speaking to them ensures that I hear what's real, not just what sounds good in the board room!
The value: This ensures that future work on explaining your 'why' is a genuine reflection of your business and your value not a just marketing fiction!
Module 4: Research with your customers
I'll speak to your customers to find out more: Why do they use you? What do they think you offer? Who they’ve used in the past? Why they switched? How you compare to others?
The value: Do your customers actually buy from you for the same reasons you think they do? Experience tells me they don't and that's why this work always fascinates my clients. And by the way, this work is a great foundation for valuable content such as testimonials and case studies.
Module 5: Competitor research
This starts with a look at competitors’ websites and an overview of their social media activity on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (you may request alternatives). Findings are presented as a PDF with annotations and include relevant visual reference.
The value: Get a clear view of how your competitors are communicating their value. Whether it's too close for comfort or there's clear space to communicate your difference; this is vital to understanding how to engage your audiences.
Module 6: Overall review & summary
In light of the insights gathered from Modules 1-5 we revisit the Objectives, Obstacles and Opportunities discussed at Module 1. We discuss what has changed and how the details unearthed influence the picture of the value you deliver and the audience you’re interested in.
The value: This ensures that there are no surprises and that nothing has been missed.
Module 7: Perception mapping
Based on the research already done (steps 2, 4 & 5 really help) I map your position relative to competitors. This is done in terms which are relevant to your business as it is today. e.g. I might position you on one axis according to service level (premium to economy) and on the other expertise (specialist to generalist). The more detailed the research the more clarity we can bring to the perception map.
The value: This helps clarify space in the marketplace you may 'own' and it helps set a course for future communications.
Module 8: Values
Again, based on what I now know about you, the way you operate and who you’re targeting I can draw up a set of values which genuinely reflect your business and the interests of your customers.
The value: This is a great start for shaping future communications and establishing a genuine, believable tone of voice for you.
Module 9: Brand truths
These are three short, written examples that illustrate what people can expect of you. They might be paragraphs or individual sentences but they offer an insight into what’s important to you and the value you deliver in the real world.
The value: These are a great way to build a tone of voice for your organisation and show that your 'why' is real.
Module 10: Coach brands
These are three examples of organisations which have had a similar journey or overcome similar challenges to yours.
The value: It’s good to know that other businesses have dealt with similar situations and to see how they’ve handled them (and borrow some of their techniques!).
Module 11: Single-minded proposition
The one big idea which will set you apart and shape your communications. Throughout our work together we will offer our insight and experience helping to shape a proposition (a guiding principle, if you like) which informs how you communicate and with whom. This is an opportunity to take stock of everything which has gone before and with a bit of space and clear heads make sure we’ve not missed anything. The proposition should be tested on materials your audience sees to ensure it holds up. We can talk about what is used and how it's tested.
The value: This keeps you (and everyone in the organisation) focused on what's important. It's a reminder of how to behave, what to say and who to engage.
Module 12: The promise
This is your promise of value to your audience. It’s a few words which capture the essence of what you offer. It answers the question ‘why you?’. For some, a strap-line isn’t necessary, but for others it helps start a conversation and helps to set them apart from competitors.
The value: It's the start of your story. Sometimes it sets the scene, elsewhere it may provoke response, but it should always be of value.