Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Branding Masterclass – workshop review

Guest post by Paul Phedon, director at http://www.blogger.com/www.sx-media.com

  • How do you define what your brand stands for?
  • How do you know if you’re branding reflects your business and your values?
  • How can you brand and branding work effectively in delivering maximum value for your business?

These are typical questions that I’m frequently asked and was a key theme to a recent workshop I ran on November 16th 2010 for Interiors and Lifestyle Futures.

Paul Phedon and some of the brands he has worked with at S&X Media

Branding is a vital component of marketing and developing and leveraging your brand is an important component of any marketing strategy.

I’ve worked with and for brands in developing and managing brands..... and now a partner with a communications agency, so I’ve had some experience in understanding how brands and in particular branding are central to marketing activity and can deliver real value to a business.

Working with companies within the Interiors and Lifestyle sector, this session looked at challenging that perception and providing an insight in how brands and branding are relevant to any scale or sector and how it can deliver maximum value and return.

The workshop took companies through a 4-stage process in developing a brand: Discover, Define, Design & Deploy.

The Discover phase provided an insight into how businesses can determine what they stand for and how to focus on what makes their brand unique. This process should consider any available research and also consider appropriate market/social trends, business planning and strategy. Involving key stakeholders is important to ensure there is buy-in from the start of the process too.

The insights acquired from this phase provide the content that can assist in Defining the brand. I’ve seen brands defined using various different models - but in essence they all do the same thing. A typical brand model for capturing your brand definition should include:

Attributes – what your brand stands for
Promise – what your brand offers
Source of Authority – what makes your brand credible?
Personality – tone, values, approach
Essence – core single brand idea or key words

Successful brands have clarity, consistency and focus.

The Design of the branding can then be created to deliver and reflect your brand values and essence. During the workshop we investigated examples and case studies which demonstrate how branding is far more than ‘just a logo’ but considers elements such as photography styles, visual assets, typography, tone of voice and considering the touch points. The acid test for any strong brand is to still recognise the brand even if you cover the name!

This touches on an important question - does your brand have both rational and emotional appeal? Brand’s that deliver both are often the most successful through greater consumer engagement and loyalty.

Finally, once your branding is in place – it needs to be Deployed through the marketing mix. Traditionally the mix has included the 4 P’s, i.e., product, price, place and promotion. That feels too limited for today’s challenging environment so the session investigated the 8 P’s of the mix to develop a more comprehensive approach to marketing. The 8 ‘P’s include:

• Positioning – owning a position in the market
• Product – and how your product range is segmented and targeted
• Price – links with positioning
• Place – including online and B2B
• Promotion – much broader now with the impact of digital communications
• Planet – where does your company sit in terms of ethical trading and
sustainability?
• Profit – where to focus for maximum return
• Planning - for success

The session gave delegates the opportunity to apply information and guidelines through practical working groups, using a couple of the companies that were involved in the workshop as case studies.

Companies left the workshop with details on the whole brand development process and guidelines to develop a holistic approach to brand marketing and communications.

“I now know where we are goingStrata Group (Window & conservatory manufacturer)

“Gave me new ideas and direction” Purefine Bullion (Gold products)

“I valued the interaction with other businessesFairfield Displays (Contract display & lighting)

Event Location
Millennium Point, Birmingham

Workshop Content
• Understanding the role and value a brand can deliver to build your business
• Understanding what makes branding successful
• How to build and articulate a brand
• Crafting a positioning/proposition and essence for your brand
• Defining the relationship a brand wants with its consumers/customers

To make sure you don’t miss out on our other events and workshops – including when we next run the Branding masterclass workshop – please email us at info@ilfutures.co.uk