1. The Issue
Once upon a time, there existed a BIG COMPANY, founded many years ago. Next door to BIG COMPANY, was a SMALL FIRM, founded about seven years ago by a group of entrepreneurial go-getters. Even though these two companies were in different industries and had very different cultures, goals, and business models, they had one BIG CHALLENGE in common: they were unable to effectively communicate to target markets and influencers who they were, what they did and why it mattered.
2. How Did This Happen?
BIG COMPANY and SMALL FIRM each arrived at inflection points that caused their existing marketing strategies and messaging to fall flat.
In BIG COMPANY’s case, international supply-chain shifts in response to changing consumer demands resulted in a new business model. Investments in marketing strategies made over the years left the firm with a cumbersome and disconnected program of expensive tactics that generated little response.
Although SMALL FIRM had made no significant investments in developing marketing strategies, it also had no coherent brand position or messaging. Totally dedicated to developing the product prototype and taking it to launch, leadership had few resources available to create a brand platform flexible enough to grow with the business. Additionally, a bright future was hoped for, but far from assured.
3. Start Where You Are
Alas, business did not stop moving so that BIG COMPANY and SMALL FIRM could revisit their marketing strategies. Legacy web sites, logos, and internal and external communications programs existed and could not be abandoned to make way for new counterparts. Experiencing growing pains, SMALL FIRM needed to elevate messaging and visual identity to reflect its newly emerged market position. With a well-earned reputation as an industry trendsetter, BIG COMPANY stakeholders were intent to find ways to communicate continued relevance in a new world.
BIG COMPANY and SMALL FIRM adopted the Start Where You Are mindset and began by developing powerful brand positions. With this key foundation in place, each singled out current strengths. BIG COMPANY chose to mine its valuable thought leadership to communicate its revised brand. With increasing visibility and acceptance in the market, SMALL FIRM was poised to own its niche. A refreshed portfolio of key messages married strengths to brand for each business. With these tools, BIG COMPANY and SMALL FIRM were able to outline integrated marketing plans that suited their respective budgets and timeframes, and supported long- and short-term goals. Both agreed that, while daunting at first, the initiative provided the platforms they needed to move beyond their inflection points.
But, this isn’t the end! Tell us please, where are you?