THE 6 STEPS OF BRANDING WORTH LOVING
Conduct research to define and develop an understanding of the target(s).
Arguably the most important step of any organized branding effort is the development of a unique psychographic profile of the intended audience. Every agency recommendation will be made with these audience insights top of mind, so it is important to understand not just where and how the target(s) can be reached (demographics), but what marketing messages they will most likely be open to receiving (psychographics). In this way, Cerberus is able to help companies build their best cases for strong consumer-to-brand connections. With a thorough understanding of each audience’s unique perspectives comes the ability to empathize. In fact, empathy determines the degree to which Cerberus is able to create solutions that actively resonate with consumers, or Branding Worth Loving.
Define the problem at hand (x)—typically a brand positioning or brand development query.
Once Cerberus understands with whom the brand will be communicating, Cerberus defines (x), the problem at hand or specific communication objective the work will strive to achieve. This understanding of the messaging goals is then applied to every marketing effort, from expansive re-positioning and multi-tiered advertising/public relations campaigns to focused graphic design projects, such as the development of a brand mark (logo design), website design, sales collateral, merchandise, packaging design, or specific online advertising assets such as pay-per-click ads or pre-roll video. The Cerberus creative brief is the product of this disciplined approach and is submitted to the client for approval prior to any agency ideation.
Generate a selection of disciplined creative concepts to solve for (x).
Working to fulfill the client-approved creative brief, copywriters and art directors work under the guidance of a creative director to prepare completely original and inspired marketing and advertising concepts. This disciplined ideation process yields advertising/video storyboards, audio scripts, comprehensive ad mock-ups, website sitemaps, and packaging concepts, among others. Before any idea can be shared with a client, Cerberus must predetermine the concept’s ability to become a high-performing marketing solution with the application of graphic design. This judgment is based on the agency’s ability to meet the objectives (and operate within the parameters) set forth in the creative brief, primarily the communication objective.
Test ideation with the client leadership and/or target audience members.
Vetted advertising or design concepts are submitted to clients for review and, ultimately, for approval. During this step, Cerberus will accommodate client requests to share the creative brief and the resulting ideation with a group that shares the demographic and psychographic profiles of the intended target. Cerberus will then prepare reporting against the determined metrics in order to satisfy client requests for validation. If necessary, adjustments to the prototyped ideation will be made based on client and/or target audience review and requests.
Create a selection of performance-driven marketing assets.
Cerberus art directors and writers work with creative directors to hone the finished graphic designs. These creative solutions may include providing original photography (selecting the photographer, securing a location, prepping the set, and casting talent for the shoot), video production, audio production, and all print production assets. All marketing solutions in their finished states are defined as agency designs. Radio commercials and online video productions are designed to perform as competent marketing solutions and media planners design (plan and negotiate) media plans for client approval that deliver the target audiences along pre-planned budgets and timelines. At this step, Cerberus programmers also design static web pages for client review.
Apply thoughtfully designed solutions against actual markets in real time. Audit.
Implementation occurs as designs are delivered to the target audiences across the pre-selected mix of media. These designs may appear online as social media posts, paid online content, or paid search or digital advertising. Implementation may also consist of a new product design hitting store shelves, a trade show booth launch, a website launch, or any form of advertising campaign (print, out-of-home, digital, TV, or radio). All agency media plans are audited to ensure that the advertising appeared and that Cerberus’ creative standards were met. If necessary, make goods are provided by the media channel. Once agency designs appear in market, metrics are gathered from media outlets (in the form of digital reporting) and from clients (in the form of sales reporting). In this way, the effectiveness of each effort can be validated, the highest priority of Branding Worth Loving.