It’s called common sense.
Before we started Rethink, we had a chance to sample a lot of traditional agencies’ strategic approaches. Most had catchy, trademarked names and a lot of complicated, cumbersome steps.
We believe that sound strategy is at the heart of all effective communication. But we also believe there’s a simpler way to create that strategy.
Our process involves three simple steps:
Before we start any major project for a new retainer client, we talk to as many people as we can. We begin with a series of stakeholder interviews with key people in your organization. This means more than just the marketing team.
We also talk to your business partners, clients and customers. If needed, we’ll hold focus groups or do other quantitative research. Often, we hold informal groups in our boardroom to get a sense of where our clients stand at the beginning of a project.
We’ll also collect as much relevant data as possible. This can be different depending on the client but it will always include a thorough audit of your brand online and in social media. Our analytics experts will also assess how your brand stacks up against your competition in key customer measures.
After our learning phase, we analyze all of the information and hold a “brand summit”— a one-day meeting with the core agency team, the marketing team, and senior management.
At this meeting we discuss our findings and potential strategies— as well as things like brand personality, timing and next steps. These are summarized in a simple document we call the Roadmap. It tells us where we are, where we want to go, and how we want to get there. Everyone signs off on the Roadmap before we begin a project.
At this point, our thinking is still “media neutral.”
Any shop can whip up any old message for a product. We believe that the best brands are much more than a one-off campaign, flashy banner or a catchy tagline. Best brands are more like a movement, with a clear set of values and a personality that comes through at every point of customer contact.
We want people to feel passionate about our clients’ brands— and to be able to spread the movement through word of mouth. This means creating communication that gets noticed in the first place. And in many cases it also means touching every part of our clients’ businesses— from store design, to online experience, to staff training programs.
There you have it— now you know our secret. Feel free to share it. We think the marketing world could use all the common sense it can get.