Brand Therapy

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All of our clients go through a Charrette™, our unique planning process that brings all disciplines of the client to the table to help determine brand direction. My partner, Steve McKee jokes with clients that it is their “Brand Therapy.” There is a bit of truth in his joke in that most of our clients actually benefit in ways in addition to the marketing plan. Working together allows people from very different disciplines combine their individual perspectives into a much more synergistic effort. It’s no surprise this process tends to bring synergy to the company’s other operations as a side effect.

Another interesting thing about our planning process is how much clients enjoy it. This fun factor is a huge part of effectively uncovering the little gems we need find to do effective branding. It is very enjoyable to watch a group of diverse personalities with different agendas let their hair (and their guards) down and be honest about what they think and ultimately get on the same page.

Being in agreement is very important to my partners and me. We believe open communication is critical to keeping us moving forward. It is pretty common to see small agencies with owners who are islands. Perhaps they co-exist because they need one another’s expertise. Sometimes they barely communicate with one another because philosophically they are not in agreement. By avoiding communication they avoid (they think) conflict. They may not even want to work together, but they must for survival. This avoidance doesn’t diminish conflict; it just displaces it in the form of internal chaos.

When an agency’s partners share a common vision they think as a unit. Each looks out for one another even at the expense of their own personal goals. In fact, true partners share one another’s goals because, like in marriage, you are “one.” The result is good for clients, employees and ultimately, success.

If partners have a common goal they choose clients that fit that goal. I know of many agencies that struggle with this because one partner desires a certain type of account and another feels the opposite. When partners share a common goal, employees know what to do in every situation. The agency’s behavior with all clients is very consistent. The work of the agency becomes very consistent also. If your goal is to do good creative all of your clients will be ones that appreciate it.

Having fun is so important to doing well in this industry. It only happens when you really know who and what your agency is trying to be. That focus permits more creative thinking. Everyone expands his or her thinking. Risk is not as scary when they are not punished for taking a risk to achieve greatness. They’ll continually do flips and twists because they know the trampoline is firmly planted below you.
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