Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bring the brand specialist in upfront

I hear it all the time and have been there too. The designer and the corporate marketing communications team (let's assume the typical setup - not integrated) are brought in at the last minute to "finish the job" on a project by "getting the word out". Nobody has consulted the marcom team to see if the project makes sense from a marketing perspective, is appealing to the customer, may have pitfalls, etc. And they think the designer is just there to slap a pretty picture on top, no need to coordinate with the strategic message or the overall brand. Lots of time and money wasted this way.

How to get over this if you are drawn into it?

1. Be honest - ask questions, raise specific concerns.
2. Stick to your core competency. Don't question the business model unless you have the technical knowledge to do so.
3. Partner with the designer if you're organizationally stovepiped. Get on the same page.
4. Do the best you can. Focus on simple, clear, credible messages about the project, even if it is not perfect.
5. Use and build a network of brand supporters to promote better brand alignment in the future.

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