A blend of strategic vision, ideas, words and images, your brand is often communicated in split-second interactions with clients and prospects. That’s why it’s important to entrust it to a specialized agency such as Carpenter Group.
Whether you’re building a brand from the ground up or refreshing an established one, we’ll expertly guide you through the process by:
- Gathering intelligence and conducting brand research
- Developing a brand strategy and positioning your company among competitors (may include brand architecture, product naming, nomenclature and messaging)
- Creating a verbal identity — a value proposition and core messages
- Designing a visual identity, and expressing it vibrantly and consistently across touchpoints
- Crafting visual and editorial guidelines that enable all communicators to use your brand consistently
Your brand is ultimately brought to life when audiences experience it. We have the capabilities and skills to rigorously define your brand, help you test its effectiveness, and adapt it to changing environments to evolve as your firm does. In addition, our public relations partners can help you to actively promote your brand, business and offerings throughout media channels.
The strategic and creative brand experts at Carpenter Group:
Develop brand strategy
Today’s competitive landscape is more crowded than ever. Your brand needs to resonate with audiences — be authentic, represent you accurately and foster an emotional response. That’s why starting with a brand strategy is so critical.
The first step is discovery. Think of discovery like an archeological dig — sifting through conversations, media, marketing materials and research. It often includes:
- Interviews with client touch points and leadership across your firm
- Quantitative and qualitative brand research — focus groups, interviews and surveys
- A communications and marketing audit
- Client experience/case study review
- Audience identification and segmentation
- A competitive brand audit and review of the industry
- Social media and media scan, and/or social listening
This information enables us to create and substantiate a brand strategy that considers your business goals and future direction. Once finalized, your strategy will provide direction for brand development, marketing activities and competitive opportunities over the long term.
Create brand positioning
A company, product or service’s positioning is its unique value proposition or benefit, which defines it within its market. Positioning sets the tone, communicates personality and establishes style.
Successful financial and professional service brands clearly define their positioning and convey it through the experiences they deliver, their product and service models, their business approach and their culture. Whether your brand is established or just starting up, local or global, consumer facing or B2B, Carpenter Group brings years of experience required to position it. We’ll work toward a brand positioning that is credible and differentiating, will resonate with your audiences and can be sustainable over the long term.
Articulate a messaging platform
Often thought of as an elevator pitch, messaging provides succinct, distinctive responses to basic tenets — who you are, what you do, and how you are different. But, depending on the situation, it can also go deeper to address different audiences, capabilities, product benefits, and issue/solution alignment.
Once established, the spirit and tone of a messaging platform — and often the words themselves — are infused through all the branded content you create. That’s why messaging is such a critical part of how we work with clients to create a brand. It’s also a reason why we focus on proof points to messaging claims: Proof points ensure your messages are valid and blend top-down vision with bottom-up truth.
Create a brand name
A memorable brand name has the power to define a category or achieve a simpler mandate, such as fitting into a product family as a compatible extension. Regardless of your goal, naming requires specialized capabilities and typically follows a methodical process.
- A brand naming brief sets the stage for exploration
- Brainstorming ideas across genres, themes or concepts
- Culling down possibilities
- Legal and copyright review to determine availability in your industry
- Trademarking or registration
Having named a wide range of companies, products, services and platforms, we understand the value and importance of a brand name, how to select a memorable and distinctive one, secure entitlement and launch it.
Design a visual identity
A visual identity should capture the essence of your brand, and immediately express its personality and style. A strong, well-crafted logo complemented by typography, imagery, graphic elements and colors, create a stand-out look that is proprietary to your company.
Designing these brand elements to differentiate you competitively, ensure longevity and implementation across the enterprise, business verticals, product lines, regions and audiences and types of media takes sophistication. That’s why Carpenter Group’s knowledge of your industry, business, audiences and goals is critical. We apply a rigorous, multi-step approach to designing, developing and fully realizing the visual system and applications. This enables us to deliver on your positioning, communicate your personality and values, and be suitable across your business.
Produce brand guidelines
The success of your branding depends upon how consistently it’s carried out across communications and over time. This is why we create comprehensive brand guidelines to help your team of marketers, agency partners, content creators and external vendors understand the purpose of your verbal and visual brand assets and how to use them. This document captures:
- Your company, product or service story
- How to write in the voice of the brand
- Your core messages
- How to adapt messaging for unique needs or audiences
- Technical specifics for your visual brand elements
As needed, we provide brand training for internal teams and external providers.