branding is like apple messaging is like oranges

“We hired an experience design expert to develop our brand and the results have been a disappointment. Unfortunately it’s too late for us to restart now.”

 – Marketing Director, Motorsport Industry

The Problem With Marketing Experts

Just because someone has worked on a brand, doesn’t mean they know how to define one. Good marketing experts have the ability to focus your vision, identify change and shift perspective in a way that can make a dramatic impact. We love a lot of these players. But for every marketing expert who knows how to define a quality brand there are a thousand who claim they do branding but lack the knowledge and experience to do the job right. The result? You get Brand Scammed.

How Do You Spot These Branding Expert Wannabes?

These typical “we do branding” profiles might help.

  • The award-winning design expert.  A brilliant artist who can produce gorgeous designs and do great a job with your logo. But hardly an expert when it comes to defining brands that raise awareness, consideration and customer loyalty.
  • The marketing expert. Seasoned, savvy and results driven. Unfortunately that awesome expertise in marketing brands doesn’t translate to defining brands.
  • The interactive marketing expert. It may seem like a good idea to get the person designing your website to also help define your brand. But unless your interactive expert is also a branding expert, what you’ll get is a design, not an authentic, competitive brand definition.

Now that you’ve had a glimpse of these  branding expert wannabes, we invite you to compare Distility against these guys.

Marketing Expert vs. Distility

Marketing Expert
  • Suitable for straightforward branding challenges only
  • Assuming true branding savvy, suitable for all types of challenges
  • Achieves successful brand
  • Assuming true branding savvy, achieves successful brand
  • Simple brand model: Promise, pillars, positioning, personality
  • Brand models vary from none to over-sophisticated
  • Client is facilitated to achieve the best possible brand
  • Experts tells client what their brand should be
  • Brand strategy in a day. Brand systems in as little as a week.
  • Can vary from hours to months depending on brand definition experience or lack-thereof
  • Collaborative Decision Making Model
  • Expert decision making model
  • Team exploration of brand ideas is high
  • Typically limited to one-on-one interviews, maybe a token workshop
  • Team commitment to its own ideas are strong
  • Team commitment often weak due to lack of involvement
  • Results are documented on one simple page
  • Results vary from over-documentation to no documentation
  • Consensus is baked into workflow
  • Consensus can be elusive or result from “group think”
  • All costs and deliverables are clear
  • Depends on clarity of brand model, and depth of experience

What to Ask a Marketing Expert

In case you’re planning to meet a marketing consultant, we’ve put together some helpful questions for you to ask during the meeting.

  • What percentage of their engagements include brand definition and naming?
  • How do they ensure that key stakeholders are meaningfully involved in exploring the brand’s potential?
  • How do they ensure that key stakeholders are fully educated and committed to the best brand definition?
  • Do they have a branding model that easily educates co-workers, partners and vendors?
  • How many pages is this model, and how long does the education take?

Your Options