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Brand Language

When Branding Projects Require Rebranding


Brand Purpose

Branding Strategy Insider helps marketing oriented leaders and professionals like you build strong brands. BSI readers know, we regularly answer questions from marketers everywhere. Today we hear from Ken, a VP of Marketing in Boston, Massachusetts who writes…

“I’m trying to get internal buy-in for an extensive re-brand. The terms brand or branding are not well received here. How else can I talk about this project?”

Thanks for your question Ken. As brand consultants we have seen this situation before and the reasons vary. Those less marketing oriented or less appreciative of marketing as a revenue generator might see terms like brand or branding negatively while others simply want projects like this to be communicated as more than a marketing project. Whatever the case replacing the word ‘brand’ with promise or purpose works well.

At its core branding projects are about discovery and can be effectively communicated as such without marketing jargon. Consider presenting the initiative in the context of what will be discovered and the outcomes that will lead to…

  • What unique value can we own in the minds of our prospective and existing customers?
  • What is our purpose? It’s not what we sell; it’s what we stand for.
  • What is our organization’s raison d’être, or its reason for being?
  • What promise is our organization making to our customers? Employees? The world?

Ken, I hope you find these thoughts helpful. As you continue down the path of trying to gain buy-in (seemingly a part-time job for marketers) I think you will find these additional thoughts meaningful. While brand cultures are built on language, it’s fitting I share this as well.

Do you have a question related to branding? Just Ask The Blake Project

Sponsored By: Resonate. Reach audiences based on why they choose brands.

Sponsored ByThe Brand Positioning Workshop, the Brand Storytelling Workshop Series and Brand Strategy and Customer Co-Creation Workshops

Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education

FREE Publications And Resources For Marketers

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Brand Strategy

Branding Strategy Insider: Our Greatest Hits 2014



Thank you all for making this another highly successful year for Branding Strategy Insider. Of the many posts we brought you over the last 12 months, these were some of our most popular (listed here in alphabetical order):

10 Reasons To Rebrand – change your brand identity only if it will make your identity more fascinating and relevant for your consumers.
10 Things A Brand Must Have – ensure your brand has the distinctive attributes it needs to  take on a life of its own.
50 Things Successful Brand Managers Know – the must-have knowledge base for those looking to successfully and profitably manage brands today.
Are You A Strategic Thinking Marketer? – the five key characteristics of strategic thinkers. Is this how you work?
Brand Building Through Customer Experience – brands need to think big but at the same time they need to sweat the small stuff.
Brand Voice In The Social Media Age – in an age where content marketing is often nothing more than disguised advertising, your brand’s ability to speak with clarity and authenticity is critical.
Brands Need Big Insights Not Big Data – data can deliver powerful understandings of consumers but it is still subject to the beliefs and expectations of those who analyze it.
The End Of The Unique Selling Proposition? – has the USP had its day? Should we ditch this bastion of marketing theory in favour of the Unique Brand Perspective?
Top 4 Brand Loyalty Mistakes – marketers need to adapt to a relationship building environment where the hunt for top of mind has been replaced by the search for front of heart.
Why Brand Management Will Replace Marketing – the shift from brands as products to brands as assets is prompting big changes among brand owners like P&G.

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New Product Ideation & Co-Creation

New Product Co-Creation Workshop


New Product Ideation and Co-Creation

When Nielsen analyzed over 3,400 new consumer product introductions launched in the U.S. market in 2012, it found just 14 managed to generate at least $50 million in sales in their first year and sustain that momentum into their second. Out of some 17,000 new products launched since 2008, just 62 of them have had that kind of success.

According to Taddy Hall, “Breakthrough Winners don’t rely on luck or genius. The hallmark of successful innovation is that they resolve struggles or fulfill aspirations; they perform jobs in consumers’ lives.”

With that in mind The Blake Project developed a unique workshop based approach to new product co-creation.

Business context: New product development is vital to maximizing brand value and building consistent market share. But it’s tough to do right. For every four new product ideas that enter development only one will succeed in the marketplace.

Success requirement: Framing new product opportunities and challenges around an insightful understanding of unmet consumer needs. The New Product Co-Creation Workshop provides a dynamic, real-time ‘framing’ where consumers visualize and articulate use, need, desire and core motivations.

What makes our process work where others fail? The Blake Project brings consumers into the ideation process and unites them with product designers, marketers, engineers and manufacturing experts. Through guided facilitation, in-person and in a unique workshop setting, we help consumers articulate the emotions, passions and real-life experiences that will define unmet needs and where new product opportunities have the greatest chance for success. Working with this shared vision, consumers and product experts co-create new product ideas based upon unmet consumer needs, manufacturing capabilities and brand fit.

The Blake Project’s New Product Co-Creation Process:

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Brand Storytelling Brand Strategy Workshops

Brand Storytelling Strategy Workshop Series


Brand Storytelling Strategy Workshops

Today, brands play in an intensely competitive attention economy where human attention is the scarcest resource of all. Storytelling has emerged as the valued currency of this vital new marketplace for capturing customer hearts and minds. Neuroscience now backs up the long-held belief that story is the most powerful means of communicating a message. Savvy marketers understand this and are moving their customers through powerful brand stories.

The Brand Storytelling Strategy Workshop series integrates the latest innovations in story strategy and science to help your organization gain the clarity and confidence needed for your brand to build an advantage in the marketplace.

The Blake Project’s Brand Storytelling Workshops are a highly facilitated, consensus building experience. They are designed and delivered using an accelerated learning format that stimulates key stakeholder involvement and interaction. The Emotive Storytelling™ process guides strategy and design of powerful messaging and stories that drive engagement and emotional connection to your brand. Our extensive storytelling experience, storytelling science expertise and time proven insight combine to help your organization gain unique knowledge and take action using the newest advances in narrative communication and media psychology. Each workshop in the brand storytelling series is designed to incrementally build on each other from story line to story voice to story architecture. Individual workshops can also be selected as stand alone sessions that deliver value in their respective mission areas.

The Brand Storytelling Strategy Workshop Series is ideal for strategic brand initiatives that focus on market challenges, market opportunities and organizational change.

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Brand Strategy Workshops Co-Creation

The Customer Experience Workshop


Customer Experience Workshop

The Blake Project offers a highly impactful and interactive brand strategy workshop that pairs the insights of customers and brand stakeholders for a day-long collaborative session where a unique, customer-valued and brand-centric customer experience is co-created.

The power of this workshop resides in the collaborative process. Working, imagining and creating together, customers interact with their company ‘peers’ to create the template for an enhanced experience that will build equity and value for both the brand and its customers.

Facilitated by the seasoned brand experts of The Blake Project, the workshop’s day begins with an opening “Discovery” session and then moves into “Co-Creation” experience design. The day concludes with a “Consensus” session where top ideas are prioritized and expanded on.

The Customer Experience Workshop is the logical next step after brand positioning, brand storytelling, brand voice and customer touchpoint design.

DISCOVERY: Guided imagery storytelling will help customers articulate what the current category experience looks like for them. Staying brand neutral, touch-points are confirmed and insight is built around the pain points and frustrations as well as the unmet customer needs, expectations and desires that are the core drivers of satisfaction. The sponsoring brand is then introduced and creative visualization techniques help customers articulate the sponsoring brand’s experience and compare it to the overall category experience.

CO-CREATION:  Utilizing agreed upon touchpoints and the sponsoring brand’s essence, promise and personality as a guideline for development, participants collaborate to co-create new, energized and valuable customer experiences.

CONSENSUS:  The day will end with a strategic session prioritizing and expanding on the ideas that offer the highest levels of user satisfaction and brand differentiation.

Ideal For:  Those marketers within the company responsible for brand management and brand experience, design and implementation.

Participants:  Ideally, 6-12 brand team participants and 10-16 customers attend The Customer Experience Workshop.


  • Shared buy-in and agreement on the brand experience ideas and concepts that will form the basis for a market-differentiating brand experience for the sponsoring brand.
  • An energized sense of purpose and direction that will add speed, precision and power to the implementation of the brand experience.
  • A comprehensive overview of findings.
  • The ability to ‘Wow’ your customers, not just satisfy them.

Timeframe: One full workshop day. Preparation and customer recruitment will take 2-3 weeks for The Blake Project.

Outcomes: Clarity and confidence in the strategic direction of your brand experience.

Learn about The Brand Positioning Strategy Co-Creation Workshop.

The Blake Project is a leading brand consultancy with a history of helping brands overcome high-stakes marketing challenges, create new value and build an advantage in the minds of those most important to your brands future. Customer Co-creation is a core competency.

Please email me, Derrick Daye for more about how The Customer Experience Workshop can benefit your brand.

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