How to design a Minimum Viable Brand

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people working on brand strategy

Here is a common business scenario. Your company, your offering, and your team are great. The unique approach you have taken is so strong you are certain the market will take notice immediately. It’s exhilarating to be nearing the finish line. But it has taken time to get to here, so there is real pressure to get selling. This means you will have to take shortcuts on the brand. 

Sound familiar? We’re not surprised.

The branding process has never been about agility and speed. For this reason, many resign themselves to pursuing tactical sales strategies over a brand-led approach in a desire to hit the ground running – sooner. Those who take this route most often find themselves struggling with differentiation, uneven messaging across teams, longer than expected sales cycles, and higher than anticipated marketing costs. Ironically, our experience shows that cheating the brand process is like accelerating to slow down.

The inherent value of a brand lies in its ability to align internal and external teams under a common goal. Achieving shared purpose with your customers and prospects will accelerate your success as nothing else can. This shouldn’t mean you have to sign onto long, overly complex branding processes to get there.  

Picking up the branding pace

When we became partners of the Creative Destruction Lab, we were inspired to think about new models for branding that could deliver both speed and substance. Not just for the start-ups we meet in the lab, but for any high-growth venture. We envisioned a lean brand process that surfaces the most salient insights, leading to a unique positioning, and a message capable of cutting through market clutter. Like all of our work, we would set these clients up with a strong competitive advantage capable of driving growth. 

We call our approach MVB – Minimum Viable Brand. It’s a lean branding process that can deliver a transformative brand strategy in weeks instead of months. Having successfully led clients through our MVB process over the past few years, we know there are three essential elements required to accelerate the road to branding success. 

It takes a multidisciplinary team to work on brand

The goal is to establish a complete view and develop a fully formed solution, not just some inspiring language. The team doing the work must be capable of digging in on all aspects of the business quickly and efficiently. 

Stakeholders throughout your organization need to be involved

Our experience shows us that an inclusive brand development process leads to better results, quicker adoption, and greater compliance. This means working directly with people at various levels of your organization, without layers of account management getting in the way.

Strategy needs to flow directly into design

Once a brand positioning and narrative is in place, it is time to bring it to life visually. Handing a brand strategy off to a new team to interpret it at this point is incredibly risky. This is where a multidisciplinary team really comes into play. As the work transitions from strategy to creative, the design professionals can bring visual power and emotion quickly to what has been so carefully engineered because they were involved and informed from the start.

Would your company benefit from an agile branding approach? Contact us to learn how our MVB process can help you brand for success.

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