If you’ve seen one rock, you’ve seen them all. All rocks are the same and yet, all rocks are different. Same goes for logos, brand identities and websites. (Heck, same for clients and consultants for that matter!)
They all do more or less the same thing. And at some point, every company, whether a startup or legacy company needs some kind of “rock” – a mobile rock, an icon rock, a website rock.
Working in brand strategy and messaging, I’m typically brought into a rock project at one of two junctures:
In the beginning, during the “I think we need a new rock” phase. Here the client senses that their brand, their positioning, their messaging, has fallen out of sync with the company’s own evolution and/or that of the market. This conversation is one I love having with my clients. It’s refreshing when a client has their head up and is paying attention to the shifting sands around them.
The other scenario, just as common, is at the “not the beginning phase.” Which is to say they’ve asked a graphic designer or a web developer to bring them a new rock – and it’s not going well.
As the vendor earnestly presents rock after rock, only to be told by the client, “no, that’s not really the rock I was thinking of…” frustration builds, budgets dwindle and, well, my phone rings (hopefully!).
Too often not enough time and energy is put into defining the project – and I’m not referring only to a creative brief. Deeper work is often in order. Companies – brands – need to get very clear on who they are, what they stand for, and the very reason for their existence. They need to be able to articulate the essential values and benefits of their products and services. THEN, they can write effective “job descriptions” for the marketing and communications tools they need.
The process of working through all of the accumulated assumptions, beliefs and other baggage (especially in the case of legacy companies) has huge value across the life organization – and not only as a short term precursor to a new logo or website. It’s like a fog lifting. Now everyone in the organization – including outside vendors, partners and customers – can see clearly where they are and where they’re heading.
In short, they know exactly what kind of rock they need, from mineral content to weight, so everyone knows exactly where to look for it.