The simple, or not-so-simple, process of brand discovery.

As of yesterday, August 24th, Amazon had listed 24,393 books on brand marketing ready for you to read (have fun). Al Reis has 22 Immutable Laws of Branding. Jack Trout emphasizes differential. And I recently saw a brand glossary from a nationally-known, prominent marketing firm that contained more than 50 brand terms and descriptors. Oh my.

Benjamin Franklin once said “There is nothing so absurd as knowledge spun too fine.”
I often feel we get dangerously close to that with all our brand philosophies, processes, descriptions and other beliefs.

From my standpoint, there are really only two things you need to keep in mind:

Step 1: State your singularity.
Call it your promise, your differential, or your brand advantage. Whatever you want to call it – state it. Clearly, passionately, and unapologetically.

Step 2: Prove it.
Hopefully, how you decide to describe yourself has resonance. Hopefully it is genuine, honest and authentic. If it does and it is, then this step should be easy. If it isn’t, please go back and do step one again.

Okay, I realize there is a process involved that gets you to step one, and in almost every meeting with a potential new client, I’m asked to describe ours. This is always a tough question for me to answer because I’m not sure our process is all that different from those used by other brand firms. Everyone visits campus. Everyone interviews. Everyone brings back raw material and adds it up. We do too.

BUT… there IS an obvious difference in our process, and it is US … the people conducting the process. Strategists AND creatives who will be doing the actual work. Strategists AND creatives who know what they’re listening for – a specific something upon which we can build a deep, passionate brand. A statement that is true and believable (the research/strategy part), has resonance and appeal (the creativity part), and most importantly can be supported (the client part).

Without the research part, the creative part won’t have foundation. And without the creative expression, the brand won’t have appeal and will never become a story. And without client support, it will never be realized.

Our process starts in data and research and ends in a creative brand expression that you can use. Tomorrow. Because the expression will be one you can easily wear.

And our expression will always be a true expression of you.

Learn more about the strong brand positions Elliance has claimed for colleges and universities around the country through its disciplined, and simple, process in higher education marketing and branding services.