Recently on a call discussing a website project I had to laugh when, mid-sentence, the client said “Mike, I had this all “arse-backwards”.
Putting aside the glorious Australianness of this statement, what dawned on the client during the discussion was that they were approaching the project from the wrong direction.
They recognised that in fact, they didn’t “just” need a website.
They needed the website to work.
And to work, they needed to ensure the website appealed to their key client and communicated their magic. To do that, they had to work out who their key client was, and what actually appealed to them as well as define the key points of difference that differentiate their service that were important in the client’s decision-making process.
They hit the nail on the head. With all projects, you can’t just jump to the end and expect a great result. If you told me you needed a website I couldn’t just make one that worked without deeply understanding your business.
This is why it’s dangerous using cookie-cutter marketing solutions that don’t put brand first. They will happily accept the money of a punter who just wants a better-looking site, even though their branding and positioning is poor and no matter how pretty said new site is it won’t make a lick of difference to their business.
Unfortunately, it’s not in the web agencies interest to muddy the waters pointing this out. So they just use what they have, make something functional and separate the punter from their money.
But it’s not the way we like to roll.
No matter the project, be it a new website, brand refresh or new content project we insist on a detailed brand positioning and strategy stage before anything gets made. Now some firms have this so we can move quickly through the process, and if so that is great, but the vast, vast majority don’t.
By getting the brand positioning right from the outset you ensure that the project is not simply guesswork. We are good, but we don’t mind reading. We can’t predict what you will and won’t like or what’s right for your business out of thin air. That's why getting the positoning right is so crucial.
Ultimately great marketing and branding projects are not guesswork. They’re purposeful.