The Blake Project, the brand consultancy behind Branding Strategy Insider, delivers interactive brand education workshops and keynote speeches designed to align marketers on essential concepts in brand management and empower them to release the full potential of the brands they manage.
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.Read More
Microsoft had a tough year in 2012. According to Millward Brown’s BrandZ™ ranking of the 100 most valuable global brands, the company saw their brand value drop 9% between May 2012 and 2013. It appears that Microsoft changed too much, too soon when they launched their new operating system, Windows 8. And with that they alienated a large number of potential users.
By relying on their own vision of what would work they created a brand experience that was, by most accounts, pretty awful. And with that came the penalty of diminished brand value.
Fast forward to May 2014. Microsoft’s doing much better. In fact, Millward Brown’s BrandZ™ ranking shows Microsoft has gained 29% in brand value, jumping three places to the #4 position on the list.
To be sure, Microsoft is riding the strength of a rebounding economy and a faithful following of their core Office software, but they’re also doing a lot of things right. The company’s cloud-based Office 365 has produced solid gains over the past year. And Microsoft’s mobile OS design has everyday users praising the Window Phone 8.1’s easy-to-use interface.
So what’s behind the change to more user-friendly design and, by connection, enhanced brand value? In part, it’s the company’s new-found reliance on customer co-creation workshops.Read More
Co-creation gives you a better answer because it starts at a better place.
Think, for a moment, about the last time you and your team became involved in launching a new brand or figuring out how to improve the brand you own. It probably began by doing some research (OK, maybe a lot of research) to look for that magical point where need and value and opportunity uniquely exist for your brand. I’m also guessing you didn’t find it. Or if you thought you found it you quickly learned your closest competitor found the same thing because they looked for it the same way.
Our clients constantly tell us they have reams and reams of research yet have no idea where to start. And that’s because they started in the wrong place.
What we’ve found is that the best place to start is right within the four walls of your organization, with the people who understand your customers best – your customer-facing experts. These are the people who listen and hear and ultimately deliver the brand experience you need to secure your brand’s future.
What’s exciting to watch is what happens when we bring these customer-facing experts together in the same room with your customers. That’s where the real magic happens. Together, with the help of some great facilitation, these newly-formed partners uncover and define ideas for the brand which are often amazing in their clarity, value and simplicity.Read More
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.
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.Read More
There’s clearly excitement in the research and advertising world when it comes to the social media power of online co-creation. In fact, over the past decade online crowdsourcing and communities have become an important concept in social media marketing. They’ve given consumers a direct voice into decision-making and have increased their engagement with the brand. In a world where advertising is now a “one-to-one-to-many” proposition, this is an important contribution.
Yet, there’s something fundamentally missing with today’s crowdsourcing and online communities.
There’s an artificial barrier that exists that’s similar to the way a two-way mirror separates consumers and clients in a focus group setting. There’s no real intimacy, no real sharing, no real listening. You view and study and interact from a distance. As a result, true collaboration is lacking — the kind of collaboration that’s only possible when people get together, in-person, and work together to create something of value that works for everyone.
Co-creation workshops open both hearts and minds to new possibilities
There is a very real, personal interaction that takes place in a co-creation workshop setting.
People begin to see the world through a different lens. The shared understanding that develops energizes the room. Trust is created. Customers openly share their problems and ideas as brand managers and brand designers enthusiastically look for solutions they know will work. This new found trust adds speed, power and precision to the process. People feel like they’re being listened to and taken seriously as equal partners.
Microsoft openly points to the eye-opening success they have had with in-person co-creation workshops. “Some of the most effective marketing solutions originate from real conversations with consumers” notes Andy Hart, Microsoft’s Vice President for advertising and online Europe.
What companies like Microsoft and others are finding is that collaborating with customers in a face-to-face environment makes great things happen, quickly.Read More