Brand Insight and Discovery: Project Update

There are commonly three core problems our clients need help with: clarity, alignment or expression. Do you recognise any of these problems in your organisation?

 

It can often start with communication:

Clarity – ‘We’re not sure what to say’
Alignment – ‘We all say something different’
Expression – ‘We don’t know how to say it’

…and can go deeper into a lack of meaning:

Clarity – ‘We’re not sure what we feel (or why we exist)’
Alignment – ‘We all feel something different’
Expression – ‘We don’t know how to ensure our customers feel something’

These are all brand problems, and questions that can only be answered with deeper inquiry, thoughtful observation, and insight. For the past few months, we’ve been deep in the throes of exploration for a number of inspiring organisations. We hope by sharing insight into our process we can help you identify potential gaps and opportunities for your organisation that will help you steer your brand towards growth.

Read more below about what we’ve been working on

Uncovering identity for a pioneering school

St Philip’s Teaching School, in partnership with Alphacrucis College, is an innovative higher education school providing a holistic and immersive apprenticeship-based pathway to employment for aspiring teachers. It is the first of its kind in Australia. With aspirations for large-scale expansion and growth, the school recognised the need for a considered brand that would reflect their unique position in the Tertiary education sector, while leveraging trust through alignment with the overarching St Philip’s Christian Education Foundation brand.

Tasked with uncovering and expressing the Teaching School’s true identity, the challenge was adopting core elements of the broader St Philip’s brand, while creating differentiation for this unique School within the organisation. After deeper exploration, we learned the key differentiator was the experiential nature of their learning model – taking students on a practical journey of discovery, immersing them in the classroom environment from day one of study. This insight led to a brand narrative inviting students to ‘Become. From day one.’ It was clear that the expression of their identity needed to connect the unique experiential learning model with the sense of freedom, discovery, insight and growth associated with real-world adventures. We’re excited to see the rollout take shape and the School flourish with a strong sense of direction and aligned brand identity.

 

In our previous project update, we mentioned we’ve also been working with St Philip’s Christian Education Foundation to reinforce their position as Leaders in Whole of Life Education through deeper clarity, alignment and expression. After completion of a full brand audit across the entire organisation, we are currently leading the Insight and Discovery Phase involving strategic workshops with the leadership team, focus groups with staff and students, and interviews with parents from across all campuses and learning facilities. The practice of exploring perspectives and stories from inside and outside an organisation brings unique insight to the surface, and at the same time provides an opportunity to mobilise and align stakeholders towards a common future.

 

Finding meaning in a market gap

Established for over 30 years, a leading brand in the food & beverage industry engaged us to equip them with a brand that would support their growth after recognising a gap in the market. As a purpose-driven practice, we knew that finding meaning in the market gap was key in unlocking brand growth. We started with a Brand Diagnostic where we conducted a review of the current brand and identified opportunities, recommending where to invest their time and resources to achieve the most value for their Australian founded, owned and operated organisation.

It was clear that discovering the shared values they held with their ideal audience would be central to building an effective brand strategy. In a commoditised market, finding shared meaning can feel trivial, but with genuine investment, you can cultivate a sense of belonging in your brand beyond a transaction. If you’re in business for the long-game, and you want long-term customer loyalty, your brand needs to mean something to the people you serve, not just fill a functional gap. This is what conscious branding is all about.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve dug deeper, conducting a brand workshop with the team to uncover authentic values, strengths and differentiators and facilitated customer interviews to understand their core values, needs and their unique context. Next, these insights will be used to build upon the current positioning to ensure an effective direction for the brand, we’ll create a brand culture guide for internal alignment and develop a visual identity system for consistent expression across all brand touchpoints. Watch this space!

“We were really impressed with the level of detail and valuable insight the Brand Diagnostic provided. The report helped us understand where the potential gaps and opportunities were within our existing brand and how it is contributing to the future vision we have for the company. The recommendations have helped us to better understand the direction of where to invest our time and money moving forward to achieve the best impact and future growth.”

National Sales Manager 

Examining brand to support an NFP with their strategic objectives

Hunter Prelude are a not-for-profit organisation in the Hunter who exist to support families of children with higher needs and disabilities in their child’s development. As they celebrate their 40th year in operation, with strategic objectives to expand their services significantly in the coming years, they recognised the importance of investing in their brand, both internally and externally, to support the growth and positive reputation of the organisation within the industry and the broader market. Brand awareness and trust plays a big part in realising strategic goals, particularly around recruitment and organisational growth. A considered approach needed to be taken to ensure Hunter Prelude’s brand & marketing is working to build the right perceptions and serves the organisation to achieve both immediate needs and future aspirations. This is where we came in, building insights to find a clear direction forward through a thorough brand diagnostic phase, followed by an uncover workshop with leadership and board directors to explore meaning, organisational values, possibilities, and the broader strategic vision.

A second workshop with the leadership team focussed on their audience in the coming weeks will provide further insight, along with a discovery phase where we lead individual conversations with staff and clients.

 

#RaisingRespect to help lead real change

In support of International Women’s Day, we recently developed and curated the #RaisingRespect campaign to help raise awareness and funds for Jenny’s Place. The community was invited to host a morning tea at their workplace or with friends, with donations from the fundraiser going towards creating communities free of violence where all women feel safe, respected and equal. From campaign ideation, messaging, visuals, resources and event assets such as posters, landing page and social tiles – we loved every minute collaborating and creating with the Jennys Place team.

We even held our own morning tea, raising $540 towards this amazing service – bringing the total amount raised for this small local campaign to $17,000! As always, it was such a privilege to be involved and help lead real change around women’s rights and equality.

 

Brand Consulting

Did you know we offer brand consulting? For those looking to establish a brand, or for CMO’s and marketing managers trying to embed brand purpose and strategy in their organisation, having an expert to offer advice and provide support along that journey can be invaluable.

Recently we were engaged by a future-focused consultancy and leadership coach, to support her in building her brand. We facilitated a workshop to start building insights to establish a brand that would enable her to live out her purpose of empowering and supporting women to flourish as changemakers, leaders and visionaries. We provided a framework for her to facilitate conversations and gain insight from those who fit her ideal audience, and will continue to consult and collaborate to develop her brand. We’re excited to walk alongside her as she helps women bring balance back into their lives while empowering them to take the next step, speak up, stand up and make positive change.

We love being on this journey with clients as they build purpose and meaning into their brands and organisations. We offer brand coaching and consulting hourly or in packages customised to your needs. Email us to find out more.

 

In addition:

  • We enjoyed a much-needed break with our families over Christmas and the New Year
  • Celebrated becoming a B Corporation! This was a HUGE accomplishment for us. Read more here
  • It’s also BCorp month this March and we invited everyone #BehindtheB and into our journey of getting our certification in December and doing business differently for the past 20+ years. Read all about it here
  • Welcomed Jess back from Maternity Leave
  • Celebrated Liz’s 7-year Mezza-versary and several team birthdays!
  • Welcomed more new clients to the Mezza family, we look forward to sharing some of this work over the coming months
  • Michelle finally got to fly home to NZ to see her family
  • Luke went north to help clean up after floods which sparked a big idea! We’ll be exploring how we can bring this to fruition over the coming weeks.

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