After the Big Brand Presentation, What's Next?

What To Do With Your Brand Deliverables

Finally, here it is– the crisp, buttoned-up expression of your brand. Maybe your brand agency just handed you the final brand book, or the ad agency just sent over the finished brand campaign. Either way, it's a moment to be proud of.

But don't linger too long. In just a few weeks, days, or maybe minutes, someone – a customer, employee, or maybe a business partner – will need something, and you'll have to figure out how your brand helps you provide it.

Will you have what you need?

Your brand needs to inspire the creation of many different experiences – self-assessment tools, serial communications from nurture programs to social videos, and real-world experiences including trade shows, conferences, and sales meetings. Not to mention effective employee engagement programs and recruiting programs that connect with Millennials.

How can you make sure your teams get everything they need to develop distinctive brand experiences? In many cases, the standard deliverables – positioning statements, brand guidelines, or ad campaigns – won't be enough to do the job.

It's time to ask your agency for something different.

Sometimes an agency can't give you what you need because it's not what they do. More often, however, clients aren't asking for and agencies aren't offering the right deliverables. At PJA, we've radically evolved our brand deliverables to keep up with the need for agency and client alike to innovate experiences. Along the way, we've had to update the collaborative processes we use to develop them, too.

As a first step, here are some questions to consider asking your current agencies:

  • How can the brand deliverables you've provided inspire and guide original thinking about how I reach and engage my audience? Guiding expansive thinking requires different inputs than creating derivative expressions. And as an aside, wouldn't it be great to ditch that lame, old "logo police" label, and focus on innovation that drives value instead?
  • How can I use your brand deliverables to help drive behavior, not just communication? You'll want to be able to inspire teams to think about how your brand's unique point of view could be driving your uniqueness into everything from advertising and customer service to employee motivation, and the million things in-between. Do you have what you need to do that?
  • How can my brand drive marketplace change that will help my business succeed? A great place to start on this goal is to define the change you want to see. If you're just working with "grow brand awareness" or "change brand perception," you're going to need to dig deeper to set meaningful change goals. Oh, and be sure to ask how they'd measure your progress at using your brand to drive that change.

If the answers to your questions are anything short of exciting and inspiring, it might be time to re-think how you're working with your brand agency. Odds are your relationship just needs a tune-up. Maybe their scope isn't defined correctly, or you simply need to connect the right people in your own company with the right people at the agency. In some cases, you might need different skills, and will need to ask them to stretch and grow. If, after all that, you're still not getting what you need, it might make sense to look to other partners.

A great brand experience can only happen when you're actually thinking about making one.

Whatever the approach, get after it. A great experience is no longer optional – and your brand should be a key driver of it. Through their deliverables, your agency should play a significant role in inspiring the experience, no matter who is actually making it.

To learn more about PJA's "branding for change" approach to inspiring differentiating brand experiences, get in touch with questions, or ideas for future posts.