Anyone who has gone through the process of developing a brand position that encapsulates the unique values and spirit of a company or themselves knows it’s not easy, especially in a crowded and competitive marketplace. Even more so for a region that does not like to be defined or put in a box. That is why I like to think of Uncommon Thinkers Welcome, my latest brand development project, as more of an invitation than a label.
It has definitely been a journey moving through the various phases of stakeholder engagement – regional, domestic and international research – brand development and trademark – and final production. GeekWire does a great job of laying it out in this article, and I really appreciate their partnership in helping me launch the brand out in the world.
There are a lot of fun but smart elements to the campaign.
I worked with each of these partners to provide social guidance and assets to amplify the launch. Of course, there were multiple channels involved to launch the campaign:
It has been an honor to work with so many amazing companies and partners to breathe life into this. I worked with more than 22 companies and partners to pull this off, including a 4-day video and photo shoot across Snohomish, King and Pierce County.
One of the print buys I manage on a regular basis is Delta Sky. While many of the print publications out there are hard to quantify in comparison to digital tracking and analytics, I do see the value in this buy due to its captivated audience and sheer reach to business travelers. Good old circulation!
Taking a look back at the past 9 months, you can see the approach in terms of using real images and names of companies as opposed to your general ad fluff. It takes more work on my part to source all of the materials and get company approval, but I think it is worth it.
This post has been updated to include more examples.
Having been on both the submission and judging side of marketing, advertising and public relations Request for Proposals – or RFPs – I have a little insight into winning the business.
A considerable amount of time, billable hours and money go into these submissions, and they are very competitive. It is imperative that you get it right.
But so many people get it wrong. I am consistently amazed when large, globally recognized, award-winning agencies fumble some basic fundamentals.
You want to win, right?
Here are a few tips:
Never let a junior employee complete an RFP on your behalf. It does a disservice to your brand, and it is a complete waste of time.
Before you begin the submission look very carefully at how the points are allocated. You will quickly ascertain what is most important.
Read the question carefully and make sure your answer specifically addresses what is being asked. Put yourself in the position of the judge who is reviewing countless other submissions. Did you get all the points that you could, or did you give some up by being vague or not following directions?
Be very specific. Do not answer a question with, we specialize in brand activation and storytelling. Instead, give me an example of how you elevated a client’s brand with a unique strategy that produced quantifiable results.
Make it very easy for the judge to find your supporting materials.
Be aware that your competitors are going to do whatever it takes to win. For example, don’t just mention doing a radio spot or video as one strategy. Actually put one together.
Do your research and then show it.
Bring a senior representative with you to the oral presentation.
Stand up when you present.
Leave the judges with your complete presentation.
And one bonus since we should always turn it up to 11. Be exceptionally strategic and creative. If you are not prepared to kick ass then pass.
This Subaru was 1 of 5 that I have thus far owned in my lifetime. The reasons why I walked away from the accident has much to do with my predilection. When I bought my first one it was for the All-Wheel-Drive and good gas mileage. I would later discover other positive attributes, along with the company’s attention to manufacturing efficiencies and the environment.
With the “Dear Subaru” campaign, Subaru is counting on there being more people like me who have a story to tell. It doesn’t have to be an accident like mine, but anything that demonstrates your affinity for driving their vehicles and the places they take you.
Carmichael Lynch and Subaru are pursuing a multi-channel marketing strategy with targeted ad buys in various publications, signage in dealerships, digital media, and I suspect some outdoor as well. The “Dear Subaru” imagery and messaging is all tailored to encourage conversation about the Subaru brand. People share their stories on the Web, but is so often the case conversations extend from online to offline as well as the reciprocal. It is a clever strategy, and I look forward to seeing how the campaign performs.
If you see one of the ads featuring my photo and story please tear it out, take a photo, or forwarded it to me online. I would appreciate it!