Hitting the Brand Bullseye: the Ultimate Metric
Those of us in the advertising agency world talk about branding a lot. The reason why is obvious: our jobs revolve around helping our clients’ brands grow and thrive. Like any agency worth working with, The S3 Agency has a method for doing this. We call ours: “Brand Elevation.”
I want to talk about one of our Brand Elevation tools, which we call the “brand bullseye.” Now, the brand bullseye is not a unique concept, although we have customized it over our decades in the business, and we use a proprietary and unique methodology to create an extremely effective version.
Go ahead. Use Google Images to look up “brand bullseye” and you’ll see dozens of them. Do the same thing with “brand pyramid” and “brand essence.” If these concepts are new to you, click around a little bit on those Google searches and get a feel for what’s going on. I’ll wait.
What you’ll see is that all of these variations on a theme are attempting to usefully summarize, on one page, the whole of the brand. To capture the foundational underpinnings, to summarize the most important benefits, to convey the emotional appeal. All very important, all potentially very useful. After all, with the right brand positioning, companies can build the audience and the staying power to change the world. No wonder corporations spend millions to do the research and go through the process of crafting a brand image that is so neatly and graphically summarized in a circle, triangle, or other exciting shape.
But here’s the thing. Most brands ignore them. Once the new logo has been designed, the new tagline agreed upon, the first advertising campaign released into the world…all bets are off. (Sometimes, the brand essence seems to have been forgotten even before the logo design, but that’s another topic.)
Too often, the brand tends to get put up onto a shelf as sales metrics and digital analytics become the weekly, monthly, and quarterly drumbeat. Those are important, of course, but don’t forget why The S3 Agency chooses to represent a brand in the shape of a bullseye. It’s meant to be the ultimate metric, the target every communication should aim to hit.
There are lots of “best practices.” Here is the best practice: make a metric out of hitting your brand bullseye (or reaching the top of your brand pyramid, or opening your brand key, or whatever). Measure against it regularly. Adjust your aim as necessary. And you’ll maximize the ROI on your brand-building investment. Forget about it, and it’s nothing more than an expensive piece of paper.