How we get your messaging and brand just right

Our first step is to help you define your objectives. We pose questions and integrate the answers with research on your business environment to help you refine your thinking. We then summarize our research and conclusions in a Statement of Objectives. Once you have reviewed and commented, the document guides all subsequent decisions.

Once your Statement of Objectives is approved, we recommend messaging and a communication strategy geared toward the results your organization wants to achieve. Your strategy incorporates tactics for reaching your target audiences through a variety of media over a specific time.

The Messaging Committee

We ask clients to put together a Messaging Committee composed of representatives from various departments, key stakeholders and final decision-makers. An effective number for the committee is approximately eight people. The messaging process starts with a kick-off meeting to articulate your organization’s desired future and to define key messages, parameters and expectations.   

The group dynamic of the Messaging Committee yields several benefits:
  • Comprehensive and thorough viewpoints of how your organization is perceived and what messages need to be communicated to your audiences
  • Consensus and acceptance among stakeholder groups via the committee’s group dynamic
  • Resolution of conflicting directions or parameters to keep the process on track
  • Idea-sharing across your organization and field, bringing valuable feedback to the committee and creating widespread buy-in
  • Richer, more creative results through the magic of collaboration

The step-by-step messaging and branding process

Step 1: Laying the groundwork

In the first meeting, the Messaging Committee discusses and clarifies:

  • Key messages
  • Conflicting directions or parameters
  • Main and secondary objectives
  • Measures of success

We also gather research about your organization and market using your own and outside data.   

Step 2: Developing the plan 

Following the meeting, we prepare a report summarizing what we learned during the first meeting with the committee, stating key messages, objectives and expectations. Committee members review and comment on the report. Based on the comments, we edit and resubmit the document until approved. Once approved, this document is fleshed out, tactics and media are suggested and associated costs are estimated; all creative solutions are then judged against this one standard for the rest of the project.

Step 3: Creating a range of solutions

Based on the approved plan and budget, we develop visual and verbal solutions that communicate your brand and key messages.  For branding—or rebranding—campaigns, we present several creative options and discuss how each option would relate to your brand positioning and key messages. For messaging, we demonstrate how your messages might be visually and verbally expressed across a variety of media. Typically, we present three to five solutions to your committee with all members present. Again, group dynamics guide your committee in reviewing the creative solutions.  Refinements are made where necessary and the creative solutions are resubmitted to the committee for approval. 

Step 4: The visual presentation 

You don’t have to guess or imagine how your finished project will look or feel—we show you. At this stage, we present a series of layouts with all artwork and copy in place just as they will appear when they’re printed or go live online. With print, we provide a paper dummy—an exact prototype of the final piece for you to hold in your hands. 

Step 5: Producing final artwork 

We work with copywriters, web developers, photographers, illustrators and other professionals to create final artwork for the selected media. For a new logo and/or tagline, we’ll supply electronic graphics in a variety of formats and options along with brand usage guidelines. For all communications vehicles, we carefully manage all facets of the process, through delivery of the final products.  

The result: A strong and memorable brand 

By carrying through all brand elements across your communication materials, you’ll have a unique and memorable brand. All printed and digital material will share one identity, convey one set of consistent messages and stand out from the bustling crowd. Each component reinforces the others and together they tell the world who you are, what you stand for and what you want them to do. 

What makes this method work?

There’s nothing magic about it—just good listening, deep experience and a profound respect for your budget, timing and organizational goals. See how we’ve done it for others….