July 09, 2019

Before You Brief, Understand Your Brand.

So you’ve started a new brand and now you’re ready to dive head first into creating ads and marketing materials to get that all-important initial exposure. It makes sense; if people don’t know about your brand, why would they buy from you? But before you let the fumes of a new venture take over, it may be worth taking a step back and really defining what your brand is and what it stands for.

After all, how can you brief a creative agency to create your marketing collateral if you yourself don’t know the parameters and guidelines of what makes your brand unique. It may seem logical to leave this part of the process to the marketing experts but if they don’t know the purpose of your brand and what objectives it wants to achieve, your marketing campaign will seem headless and just be an arrow shot in the dark.

Understanding the DNA of your brand is crucial before you even think about marketing. A solid brand identity is the foundation for developing customer loyalty, customer retention, and a competitive advantage. It is about taking a deep dive into your brand’s personality, values, and tone of voice before you start screaming about it from the rooftops.

So which parts of your brand should you have down-pat before you start briefing an agency? Let’s dive in…

Your Purpose

In today’s world, having a purpose goes hand-in-hand with launching your brand. You can’t just exist for the sake of existing. You need to be in business for the greater good. Now, I’m not saying you have to save the world. What I am saying is that your brand needs to have a purpose that positively impacts the lives of the people around you. For example, if you’re a financial institution, you don’t have to be in business to end world poverty. Instead, make your brand’s purpose about empowering financial literacy through educating your customers. Understanding your brand’s purpose and making it clear to the creative agency at the time of briefing will ensure that your brand’s values are front and centre of any and all customer communication.

Your Point of Difference

Having a solid brand purpose that differs from that of your competition is a great place to start when you’re thinking about differentiation. To ensure that your marketing efforts cut through and get the attention of the audience, you have to put your point of difference front and centre (even in your creative briefs). Whether it’s your process, product, or service that is different, your marketing needs to make it loud and clear. To guarantee that your point of difference doesn’t get lost in translation during the briefing period, make it a point to mark it as a top priority in your written brief and make it a mandatory element in any resulting creative work.

Your Personality 

This is something crucial that needs to come across clearly in all of your communication and your creative briefs. Your brand’s personality is the one thing that can make or break your customer relationships. Consumers nowadays want to support and buy from brands that exude humanity. They want to know that when they interact with your brand, they’re interacting with the humans that are behind the name. What better way to show off your humanness than through a distinctive and relatable brand personality? Figuring out your brand’s personality is a great way to explore a different avenue for making your brand stand out from the crowd. Do your competitors speak only in a humourless, jargonistic tone of voice? If so, clown around a little and use a cheeky, approachable brand personality to resonate with the audience.  

Your Brand Language

One of the best ways for your marketing to stand out from the crowd is through the language you use. Not only can you sound different from your competition, you can use your language to accentuate your brand’s personality; therefore, killing two briefs with one stone. Having a set and distinct brand language that is highlighted in the written brief guarantees that your creative agency gets the message and tone of your advertising exactly the way you want it. This will also make it easier for you should you change creative agencies, as the brand language will act as a guide that ensures consistency regardless of who’s working on your brand.

So there you have it, to almost secure success for your marketing campaigns, make sure to have all these components of your brand perfected and included in your creative brief.

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