Is it time to recharge your brand?


Life could be so easy for agencies and their clients if they would take even one day to sit together and do a brand workshop at the beginning of a project. I recently worked with an agency in Dusseldorf – diewildeehederwerbung (translated as thewildmarriageofadvertising) – to create an image brochure and website copy for a German company launching in the U.S. market.

Not only did we work from a detailed briefing, but we also measured everything against the results of a one day branding workshop that the agency did with the client beforehand. The consequences of working with these two priceless documents were that the brochure design, as well as the copy concept, was approved with minor changes and smiles all around. As the client said in the presentation, it was all “right on target.”

Any of you who doubt that it is possible to accomplish basic brand positioning in a day should check out the “Branding at the Speed of Business” video presented on the homepage of  distility or, even better, download their free presentation: BrandScammed.

Given that we all know that having a company vision, values, brand promise and brand identity are basic elements in running a business in today’s brand driven market, it may seem almost silly to even mention the importance of a brand workshop. However, in my experience they are rarely done. Either the client says no time/too expensive or the agency has no staff trained to facilitate a brand workshop.

In yoga, there are a lot of positions where you are instructed to look “within yourself” into your middle. Transferred to the communications process, I would call this bellybutton thinking.

Bellybutton thinking is about focusing on who you are on a very personal level. It’s about fundamentally identifying why anyone should care about your brand and telling a story that convinces people you are worth their time. I recently watched a great video about storytelling and its importance on TED. You can watch it too: Andrew Stanton: The clues to a great story.

Bellybutton thinking is hard to do at your desk. And that’s why a workshop can be a hundred times more effective. And here’s why:

1. Workshops represent a break in routine that allows people to relate to each other on a deeper, and often more meaningful level

2. A well moderated workshop helps colleagues come to decisions quicker with more ownership and consensus about the plan of action

3. A workshop is a valuable opportunity to draw people together who may not always have the time or energy to address an issue as important as their brand in a non-hierarchical way

4. Workshops also save you time (and money). And not just inhouse, but also in the creation of your communications materials since work that is “on target” is quicker to market than vague stabs at what you want, which entail numerous rounds of corrective steps

5. Finally, a brand workshop unleashes creative energy that is usually dulled by the everyday tasks necessary to running a business

I have facilitated several one-day brand workshops with different objectives in mind – whether on my own or together with a designer or an agency. I would be happy to do one for you. If you want to know more, drop me an email and I will contact you immediately:




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