Your brand’s ideal brand positioning can be discovered through three-prong research methodology we call “Sweet Spot” brand positioning. The result takes the guesswork out of your messaging and will guide the revitalization of your brand often resulting in a updated logo, elevator pitch, taglines, jingles, soundtracks, brand names and visual identity systems. Together these create a multi-sensory experience that reinforces your value proposition at every touch point to each of your primary audiences.
As a branding agency, Stearns provides a comprehensive mix of marketing and creative branding services to help companies to revitalize brands and create brands from scratch. We believe each brand has the potential to create brand affinity among its constituents. Our job is to help find the ideal brand positioning and communicate it with creative and integrated marketing communications.
Client Realities are those financial, cultural, structural and technological parameters that define your organizations capacity to compete at any given point in time.
Customer Needs reflect what your target audience is looking for in the way of a product or service solution. The ideal solution needs to be something valuable and important to the target.
Market Dynamics include competitive forces and other industry driving trends, technologies and industry standards that define the terrain in which your brand participates.
Sweet Spot Positioning
Your brand position is in the minds of your customers and other target audiences you wish to influence. Your position is relative to other competitive brands and offerings that compete for that position. The first step in any brand positioning exercise is to determine where the brand is now. What space does it occupy and how does it compare with other choices.
Criteria for Sweet Spot Success:
- Compel Purchase (benefits worth paying for)
- Brand Affinity (attributes consumers like the brand)
- Longevity (a position worth defending over time)
Asking a brand to occupy a totally unique position in its category is both naïve and worthy. Naïve, because so many brands in any given category want to occupy the ideal brand position. Worthy, because a brand can never achieve top brand status if it doesn’t push itself to do so. One approach to sorting out the branding challenges is to focus on the development of a Sweet Spot. This can be found at the intersection of Customer Needs, Market Dynamics and Client Realities.
The brand research we perform varies by client and assignment. For companies who wish to revitalize their brand or validate a re-positioning, the Sweet Spot Brand Positioning exercise requires several types of research. To define the Client Realities and Customer Needs, executive interviews and focus groups are the most common mythologies. To gain insight about Market Dynamics draw from the interviews and focus group and then often conduct a comprehensive website evaluation and utilize secondary industry trend research. It is important to create a 360° view of the company’s current position with employees, customers and channel partners to create the most compelling brand position going forward.
Visual Brand Identity and Logo Design
The visual brand identity process begins with a comprehensive client briefing to fully understand and establish the objectives and parameters of the assignment. Any existing elements of name, logo and signature are analyzed for merit and brand equity value. How the identity fits into existing brand architecture or the development of a new revitalized brand is thoroughly explored.
Many clients come to Stearns for a Brand Makeover. This typically involves conducting interviews with key employees, customers and vendors to better define their ideal brand position as expressed as a Sweet Spot. From there we often develop an updated logo, complete visual identity, high-level messaging, tagline, new website and a marketing communications program.
Once the naming objectives and strategy are approved, the process begins by developing a list of important name attributes from client input and category research. In some cases, interviews or focus groups among the target audience are beneficial as a starting point.
Brainstorm tracks are created and a process of “structured brainstorming” develops a wide range of candidates to be considered. Word combinations and refinements yield candidate names for client review and a short list upon which preliminary trademark and web URL searching is performed. Word roots and phonemes are explored, contrived names built and common names examined, depending on naming strategy and project budget.
Final candidate names, which must serve as global brands, can be assessed for multi-cultural acceptability and screened for cross-lingual vulgarity. Upon final selection of a name, consideration is also given to tagline and slogan generation, as seen appropriate.