Make good, strategic, rational decisions about your brand
By Peter Lyall, Director of Brand Strategy, BBN UK | 2 min read
The fundamental challenge that we have when applying reason to the subject of brand is that great brand is great emotion. And this gives us a dichotomy, which is neatly summed up in a strategic principle that I apply called, ‘Make Thinking Visible’. Without the rational, in-depth, analytical, left-brain approach, it is hard to have the right positioning and messaging associated with a brand in a creative, emotional space. One would have thought it would have been much simpler, just come up with a great idea that feels about right, and because it feels about right, therefore it will be. However, that’s not the way it works.
We try very hard to put our brand orientated thinking within the context of business strategy, and we have many tools specifically designed to do that.
Consistent with our BBN partnership and using a number of tools that have been proven over the years, there is no doubt that discovery, whether it be qualitative, quantitative analysis, focus groups, interviews or whatever it happens to be, is essential to understand exactly how a brand should be positioned and how decisions should be made about the brand.
Where BBN partners score over others, is that we try very hard to put our brand orientated thinking within the context of business strategy, and we have many tools specifically designed to do that. In particular, we set out to gain a deeper understanding of what the corporate intent is, whether through differentiation or positioning or whatever, to ensure that the brand story is consistent.
BBN is very well positioned to do this because, as we operate at executive level, we can, apply our Brand Asset Management (BAM) toolkit, to corporate branding story development. However, we can also apply such logic when BAM is being used at the product or service level, where the use of the toolkit is appropriate to ensure that the brand story is relevant for the marketing strategy for this particular product.
Nonetheless, what is of particular interest is the personas of our clients. In our sphere, where many of them are professionals, whether engineers, accountants or indeed, lawyers, they like a degree of rationality or logic in the assessment of some of the subtler positioning elements of their brand, even around personality. Historically, they have tended to be Anglo-Saxon, male, and probably 50+. However, this profile is changing, and we’re now dealing with more individuals who are in their 30s, and as digital natives, while they appreciate logic, analysis and sound reasoning, they’re in a hurry. They believe that their businesses are in a hurry, too. Their customers want prompt action. Over analysing, being overly analytical takes too long in their eyes.
However, this is where technology brings the outputs of our left and right brains ever closer together. Today, we can now apply a rational analysis of creative concepts in real time through analysing client engagement, digitally, generating feedback in the B2B space as we would, were it in B2C.
Many of those of sharp mind and sharp wit have tried to articulate the seemingly conflicting roles that emotion and reason play in developing thought. Lord Byron who had much to say about many things, said it best:
“Those who will not reason are bigots, those who cannot reason are fools, and those that dare not reason are slaves.”
Our job in today’s creative industry is not to be bigots, fools or slaves, by merely applying equal measures of reason and imagination in tandem.
To learn more about how BBN could help you make strategic decisions about your brand take a look here