What is Brandfluence?

In my last blog, I provided a really simple definition of strategic branding, the process of closing the gap between who your organization is and how it’s perceived through the eyes of your stakeholders.

Let’s take it a step further. How do you close the gap? We’ve developed a tried-and-true process of developing an organization’s brand, and we call it Brandfluence™. It’s a five-phase process that takes you from beginning – the situation analysis – to end – the implementation of your brand plan and its evaluation. While the process comprises a set of methodologies and tools, we use them only as needed for each of our clients, customizing the process to each specific situation.

Here’s a brief look at each phase.

The Situation Analysis begins with an intake session with your marketing team. We want to know what you’re doing, who your target audiences are, what’s been working for you, and more. We’ll also want to take a deep dive into your marketing materials, including your website. The phase is complete when we provide you with our progress notes.

Next comes Focused Conversations, a series of one-on-one interviews with your executive team, selected employees and stakeholders. It’s qualitative research aimed at learning what people inside and outside the organization believe about you and your competitors, what matters to them as your executives, employees and target audiences, and what they believe makes your organization special. We summarize our findings in a report.

Phase 3 is the Brandfluence™ Session. Based on what we’ve learned in the first two phases, we come to the session having prepared an analysis of your primary competitors’ brands, a positioning map so that you can see where your brand fits vis-à-vis those of your competitors, and a brand SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis.

At the session, we present these and then take you through a series of exercises designed to help you determine:

1) the attributes that describe your brand,

2) who is the dream customer – that single audience critical to your long-term success, and

3) what your brand promise should be, in other words, the story you want to communicate both internally and externally.

Our takeaway from the Brandfluence™ session allows us to enter Phase 4, which is Brandfluence™ Plandevelopment. The plan includes our strategic branding recommendations for your name – yes, sometimes we recommend an organizational name change – tagline, identity, key marketing messages along with internal and external campaigns and launch timelines for each. The plan is accompanied by graphic identity guidelines for message consistency.

Finally, it’s time for the Engagement Phase, when we implement the marketing and advertising plan. Along the way, we look at how it’s going and how we’re doing. This phase also includes campaign evaluation.

If you’re better at looking at things visually, here’s a Brandfluence™ graphic.

Relish brandfluence