Brand and Deliver

Why it’s important to kick the tyres of a business before agreeing to create the brand.

If, like us, you saw the Dispatches investigation programme on TV that exposed the delivery company Yodel for turning a blind eye to employees carelessly throwing parcels around, you may have also noticed that brand agency involved promptly removed the Yodel case study from their site. We assume that the agency thought the company had the ability to run a business that would, literally, deliver on its promises rather than let customers down. But as we all saw on TV, that didn’t happen.

We’ve faced this situation, and have turned-down clients that thought what we would do is willingly help them put a good face on a dubious offer. Those potential clients aren’t very happy if we come to this conclusion, but it is important to stand-up for our own reputation and for what branding is really about. So before we ever begin a project we want to check a business and know that it has the ability to do what it says it will, and that it has some values to build on. We are not business consultants, but over the years we have worked with so many business people in all sorts of sectors that we know a thing a two about how businesses tick and the warning signs that put us off.

We don’t do full business MOTs, but we do look under the hood and make informed enquiries about capacity, operations, strategic plans and delve into the all-important customers as part of our process. We need to question what our clients are really about – where’s the real truth? Because that is what makes the foundations of a great brand. Otherwise all we are here to do is slap on some cool graphics and clever words, and that’s not what we’re about.

But what if a strong company goes on to fail – what does that say about the brand or the branding agency involved? We know it takes a lot to grow a successful business and great branding is a real functioning part of that. But markets change, business owners move on and even the best branding will not carry poor performance. We can’t foresee every client success or failure, but we do challenge them rigorously from the start because client success is important to us too. Yes, we can brand. But, ultimately, will they deliver?

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