Branding: Three Strategies to Refresh Your Brand
If you’re thinking about rejuvenating your brand in 2006 and you want to hire outside experts to help with the project, you have the following three choices, according to Marty Neumeier, president of Neutron, a San Francisco-based branding agency, and author of the new book “The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design” (New Riders).
1. Outsource the branding strategy to a one-stop shop that’ll handle work such as advertising, PR, product design, Web design, promotions, events, exhibits, research, packaging and more. Neumeier notes that today’s one-stop shops usually are either multi-disciplinary firms or holding companies comprised of specialist firms.”The advantages of a one-stop shop,” writes Neumeier,”are an ability to unify a message across media and ease of management for the client.” The drawback, however, is that the various disciplines gathered and controlled by the one-stop agency generally do not constitute best of breed, he continues.
2. Use a brand agency. In this model, you would work with a lead agency, usually an advertising, strategy or PR firm. That firm then assembles especially for your project a team of specialists and specialist companies. “The brand agency leads your project,” writes Neumeier, “and may even act as a contractor, paying the other firms as subcontractors.” Advantage to this model: You can use best-of-breed subcontractors gathered by the brand agency to unify your particular message across various media. Drawback: You give up a lot of control to the brand agency.
3. Use an integrated marketing team. In this model, best-of-breed specialist firms are selected by you, the marketer, to work with your own internal marketing staff on what Neumeier calls a”virtual superteam.” Members of the team are then coached by your own in-house design manager. This tactic puts you, the catalog marketer, in the driver’s seat. Advantages include a unified media message, best-of-breed specialists that you hire, and internal stewardship, which means brand knowledge accrues in-house. Drawback: “It requires a strong internal team to run it,” writes Neumeier.