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A Little Branding Fun Never Hurt Anyone

Welcome to another week of brand therapy! We're continuing to check-in and assess the condition of our brands. So what will this session look like?

There's a unique form of therapy that applies well to the younger or under-nurtured brand called play therapy. Brands under development can benefit from a bit of fun and pushing the boundaries. These brands are still introducing themselves to the world. They have yet to establish strong name recognition and can benefit from playing around with the components that help to define the brand.

THuS Marketing knows a little about this as we are still building a reputation and working to establish some footing in the marketing and communications arena. We began by instituting some core elements and values that assist our audience in better understanding who we are. Take our name—THuS. Immediately our goal was to share, without apology, that our firm is an audience-centric establishment. We wanted the world to know that we are and will always be about The Human Side of Marketing.

Then we created a brand promise that became the anchor for our tagline—Discover the Heart of Marketing. Our mission is to support our clients above and beyond the marketing goals and brand accolades they wish to achieve. We want to help our clients penetrate the very core of their audiences' needs. We desire to see their members, customers, and all other stakeholders evolve into raving, crazed fans—resulting from our clients' implicit ability to relate to and anticipate the next move of their audience.

We've established our foundational brand elements, but our audience response to them is still a moving target. We have to help most organizations get over the marketing is sales wall to come to terms with the reality that marketing is a relational bridge. To unfold the best strategy and methods for encouraging our clients to arrive at that place, we must be willing to play with the brand.

It's too early in the game to pigeonhole our brand. Our willingness to take a risk and try new things will allow us to discover our ideal clients' sweet spots as well as turn-offs. With any new relationship presenting only one side of self is a dangerous setup. If we wait too long to expose the other party to all three-dimensional sides of THuS, we may find out too late that we aren't a match made in heaven. It's better to know the answer to this question, sooner versus later.

Are you looking to understand which parts and pieces of your company's brand capture the audience's attention best? Here's where play therapy begins. Start by identifying the last win your brand helped the organization obtain. Big or small, what was the previous brand move that sparked a fresh flame? You want to dissect this event. Search for key and vital factors that contributed to this success moment. Be sure to understand the gain and answer why the outcome was a win.

This assessment is an important step. The factors that ignited this triumphant blaze are the elements you will want to use as a sounding board for future brand development work. Additionally, understanding this recipe provides reassurance and peace of mind. In this way, your next brand risque move isn't one formulated off the cuff. Instead, it is a calculated risk—a thought-out brand plunge.

Now, don't forget the fun factor. When was the last time you had fun with the brand? Organizations still feeling their brand way have room for designing brand campaigns that invite their constituents in for a good time. This fiesta will look different for every company as fun must be defined by the audience type you serve. B2C organizations can bring the good times through entertainment, while B2B might have to do so more through education. However, you spice it up for your target group, integrate the fun into the brand every now and then.

Listen, developing brand sea legs is not an easy feat. It takes time and effort to see the payoff. However, doing the same thing, the same way, and expecting new results is what we call insane. So, don't drive yourself and your audience crazy by trying to construct new outcomes with the same materials. Step out of your comfort zone, do something for and with the brand you've never done before, and maybe even makes no sense. Then step back to see how the world will react. We may just surprise you!


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