We hear a lot about the “Creative Agency”. We see branded content that we love and wonder why the company we own or work for can’t have content of that ilk.
We know that to stand out and compete in our category we have to have creative branded content and design, but we’re not sure how to go about making that happen. We also wonder ‘can’t we do that for ourselves?’ and ‘do we really need to invest the money in an creative agency partner?’
So we do a little online research and discover that some of our favorite branded content was created ‘in-house’ (Dollar Shave Club; PooPourri; HelloFlo) and we think, ‘ok we can do this on our own without a creative agency partner’. Then, with further research, we find that, actually, the companies that created the content ‘in house’ invested a tremendous amount of money in staffing full time creative directors; writers; producers; brand strategists and media buyers, to name but a few. Still further research reveals that by hiring the right creative agency partner, preferably one who works on a project basis, we can get what we need at far less cost than doing it ‘in-house’.
Here’s a step by step definition of what a world-class creative agency delivers for a growing brand looking to differentiate themselves from their competitors and how they do it.
Brand Positioning – This is where a creative agency starts – by defining where your brand or product is positioned in the marketplace and how it stacks up to your competitors. This may seem like an elementary process, but it takes an experienced hand to deftly define real versus perceived strategic brand positioning.
Brand Strategy – A critical step. What is the brand’s strategy for growth? What have we learned from consumer research? What have we learned from market research? What is the key attribute of our product and how do we most effectively communicate that to our consumer base? What distribution channels do we activate to most effectively reach the broadest sect of our consumer base?
Creative Brief – The comprehensive document, signed off by all brand stakeholders, that efficiently and effectively defines exactly what we expect of our branded content deliverables. Are we creating a mobile app? A social media campaign? An educational website? Live experiences? It’s an exhaustive process and of paramount importance in ensuring that our branded content deliverables do what they’re supposed to do: grow the brand.
Creative Execution – The fun part. Making the assets – the ecommerce website; the mobile app; the social media campaign; the live experience; the brand video; the public relations campaign. All done systematically and all done in concert with the brand stakeholders.
Effective Content Distribution – Figuring out the most effective distribution channels for the content and the most efficient ways to amplify the messaging.
Sustainable Marketing Plan – Learning from our first go to market campaign. What worked best? What could have worked better? How should we fine tune our messaging moving forward.