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How We Think

A brand strategy needs to be an idea.

Strategic Point Of View

Too often the internal mission for an organization (or brand team) is not connected to how it wants to be viewed by its consumers so the employees’ day-to-day actions are not aligned with the desired reputation of the brand. This results in a confused and inconsistent brand image. A Strategic Point of View solves this problem by offering a focused, meaningful and differentiating idea that acts as both the mission internally and the positioning externally.

A clearly defined Strategic Point of View should drive all of the company’s decisions, not just those related to communication. It should determine what you do — not just what you say.

fish jumping out of waterDifferent Is Better

We believe that what makes you different makes you better. In fact, many studies show that the most vital characteristic of a powerful, financially successful brand is differentiation from its competitors (Y&R Brand Asset Valuator, Stern Stuart). Yet recent studies show that in fact, very few brands are really distinct from their competitors (Ernst & Young, Greenfield Online/Copernicus). So while everyone acknowledges the importance of differentiation, almost no one achieves it.

We think that’s because innovation is left out of the strategy development process. To be different, a brand needs to be guided by a compellingly original strategic idea – an idea that provides the compass and inspiration for distinct, consistent behaviors and execution in every dimension of brand experience.

We have designed a strategy innovation process to help you merge analytical rigor with original thinking to ensure greater differentiation at the center of your business strategy.

Making A Values Connection

Advances in brain science are starting to challenge many of the old tenets of marketing and brand strategy. We are learning that the most powerful connection a brand can make is on a values level. Brands that clearly articulate and live up to a values system create more profound loyalty, are more elastic and support higher margins. Some of the most powerful brands in the world – Apple, Nike, GE and Virgin for example – work on this level.

A great brand can help consumers add meaning to their lives by creating a sense of greater personal expression and self-definition. It can only do this when it makes a values connection by linking the brand to ideas of fundamental importance to people. Moreover, making a values connection can also forge a more differentiated brand strategy.

Insight & Synthesis

Our synthesis model is one of a few innovative constructs that are central to our approach. It illustrates how we strive for deep insight in each of three vital areas: the company, the consumer and the product/service itself. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of analysis in each of these areas but the real power of our model is in the way we use it to find a single powerful idea at its center. Finding one powerful idea at the center is difficult, but that very process of re-combining insights (synthesis) is the essence of creativity.