Nobody ever built a statue to a committee, so the saying goes. The coerced opinion of many, rarely warrants hours chiselling away at a block of granite – yet the results can be startlingly similar – what once was a strong mass can become weak if you don’t know what you’re chipping away at.
So when it comes to the business-critical-business of sculpting and building a brand, do you want a master sculptor or a chisel-wielding army, guided by their own subjectivity?
The importance of stakeholders and steering groups, should not be forsaken, their wisdom and experience is hugely valuable. Without it, an agency’s concepts and propositions would be nothing more than naive and unfounded; unjustified stabs in the dark with neither rhyme nor reason to back them up. This insight is key to our process, and becomes the foundation for creating solid brands that support the strategy of a business, providing resilience for both growth, and the challenges of tomorrow.
The difference between insight and opinion however, is vast. Insight is the fuel that drives a brand project, whereas opinion can wrong-turn and sometimes even breakdown a project. That’s not to say opinions are not valued or welcomed. They just have to exist within the structure of a larger vision.
By defining a brand vision with real purpose, you arm yourself with a manifesto for every decision. From everything we say to everything we do, it’s all based upon the higher purpose. And funnily enough a strong vision works best with a visionary to leading it. An unenviable and largely thankless task, their job is to keep things on track whatever gets thrown in the way.
A show of hands for a brand visionary normally yields no end of willing victims, alas there’s usually only one suitable candidate: the CEO. By working with them to ensure the brand vision aligns with their strategy for the business, we create a fertile environment for the brand to flourish – one which can now welcome wider input on the finer details and day-to-day workings.
“If you want to kill any idea in the world, get a committee working on it.”
It’s with this approach where your real competitive advantage emerges, a same-page unity driven business-wide by someone who really knows what’s best for the business. It’s where the first real communications challenge arises also; how best do we rally the troops to get behind the brand? A clear communications plan is essential here, outlining the essence of what we’re trying to say paired with the most valid tactics of how to get this out there. Once armed with the comms plan, the brand champion can drive the brand within a solid framework of messaging that communicates the core vision to all parties, internal and eventually external.
With a solid business-wise manifesto in place, strength in numbers aids the cause – both by getting behind and living the vision – it comes to life through the actions of many. I call this approach community over committee, and it delivers a value truly greater than the sum of its parts.