Why Your New Brand Won’t Hit the Ground Running

By Ida Cheinman posted 09-07-2015 10:39


It wasn’t long ago that organizations developed their brands in a vacuum, separate from thinking about their overall marketing strategy and execution.


This worked because the translation of a brand across various marketing and communications channels used to be much less complicated.


Branding agencies would perform research, develop insights and create a brand platform, brand identity and a series of initial applications, such as collateral and a website. From there, companies could either internally, or through a separate firm (or several), take these key pieces as cues for developing additional sales and marketing materials.


As long as each marketing piece looked the same and told the same story, the brand remained cohesive.


Adding to the simplicity, the lead generation strategy had a very short and predictable path: read our ad or brochure > visit our website > contact us. Not many places for the customer to get lost, right?  


Today, not only are there many more channels and touchpoints, but also there are multiple behavior paths a customer might take before engaging with your organization – and lots of places to get lost along the way.


The branding agency that doesn’t do design, or the branding and design agency that doesn’t do marketing, puts your organization at a disadvantage. The reason? A brand built brand built apart from execution, in a marketing environment where both brand strategy and execution are critically intertwined, will not be built to hit the ground running.


Here are the three primary reasons why you need a brand communications team that does it all.


Because Content Is the Driver


Today, demonstrating subject matter expertise is far more effective than even the most impressive list of products or services. And in the new digital reality where most marketing channels are based on sharing knowledge, it’s easy to see why content is the fuel that powers the marketing machine.


This means that everything in the branding process – from the design system to the types of marketing materials to the communications mix and more – must be conceived and built in a way that supports the organization’s content strategy. In other words, the content strategy must be a central consideration in brand building, not an add-on.


Because Experience Is the Facilitator 


The well-designed user experience is both a means of reinforcing the brand message to the customer and a means of facilitating that customer’s journey along the complicated matrix of brand touchpoints and content offers.


For example, if the branding firm that creates your brand is also expert in online marketing, your company’s brand strategy will be executed seamlessly online.


The alternative is having different firms execute each part. That’s where either costs skyrocket or your brand gets disintegrated.


  • Costs skyrocket because you have to ask the team that developed your brand to consult with the marketing team that’s executing in order to ensure that the integrity of your brand is maintained at every level.


  • Your brand gets disintegrated because you can’t afford to have your branding agency involved in execution and the marketing team doesn’t understand your brand at the same level and, therefore, is unable to properly safeguard it.


When you work with a branding agency that’s well versed in the entire lifecycle of user experience, your brand will be much stronger at every customer touchpoint.


Because Results Is the Problem Child


The final reason you need a multidisciplined branding firm is the very reason you might be considering branding in the first place: better results.


But here’s the truth: branding alone will not change anything because getting results has become more complicated, too.


It’s not just that there are no straight lines from brand touchpoints to engagement and purchase, it’s also that today’s marketing is more of a nonlinear conversation than a direct sales pitch. Inspiring that conversation and managing it well is difficult. It relies on a strong brand and a strong marketing strategy that’s skillfully executed.


Therefore, you need a branding firm that is equally skilled in marketing strategy and execution. If there’s even a slight disconnect between brand, strategy and execution, the conversation either won’t get started, it won’t be the right conversation or it will fall apart midstream.


Any branding firm that promises you results from brand development alone – from simply putting a “strong” brand out there – is either kidding itself or is very removed from how marketing is done today.


Of course, while the new rules of integrated marketing have made things more complicated, in a way this new model also has made the decision of what partner to bring in easier to make. In just a few preliminary conversations with prospective branding firms, you can begin to see who can talk the whole game and who can handle only the first quarter.




Let’s make sure your organization’s brand can hit the ground running. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about the connection between brand strategy and development and marketing execution. Call 410-732-8379 or to learn more about our strategic approach and the value we place on outstanding design.