Jennifer Ruyle, Director of Brand Strategy
Over the years, I’ve interviewed hundreds of employees, CEOs and customers to find the heart and soul of a brand. Yet when it came time to think of our own unique value proposition, I tossed and turned, veered onto strange roads lost in thought and consumed way too many La Colombe lattes to pin down our brand truth.
The most difficult question to answer was, how are we really different than other advertising agencies? We offer similar services. We employ the same job titles. We wear a lot of black. We like small type. We truly value our clients. Ahhhhh wait. There it was, could that be the start of our unique value proposition? Like I do with our clients, I started peeling away the onion layers, asking the whys. Why do we care so much about our clients and our work? Why do we text each other on weekends about how a billboard’s font might need to be bumped up for legibility? Why do we insist that our families rate the Super Bowl ads with us?
And then it became clear. It wasn’t just our people. Every agency has people. It was the type of people we attract. We attract those who care about what they do on another level. These are agency people who genuinely care to the point of obsession. Not just basic obsession. This is a form of neurosis—in a good way. It’s everything from meticulous project management excel sheets to obsessive compulsion over getting a new brand color right. It’s the obsession of touring a client’s facility in full hazmat suits to understand a process or driving across two counties to get a client a printed piece for their last-minute board meeting.
I had found our brand truth: We neurotically care about our brands. It is a promise that resonates across our team and strategic partners. Most importantly, we can live up to that promise through our actions past and present. This neurosis is in each of our DNA, and it’s what makes our work great and our clients proud. Once you can find your brand truth, everything else falls into place. It did for us. We applied this brand truth to our website, our core messaging, our new imagery, and our vision for 2021. Follow us online, and you’ll soon see our day to day neurosis in action.
3 questions to ask to find your company’s brand truth:
1. What is a core attribute you possess that may not be obvious to yourself and others?
2. What is an inherent trait that everyone has in common on your team?
3. What would a client be surprised to learn about how you work or think?