At Verve Concepts, we have a name for the way we do branding. We call it the “WTF” approach. No, not that WTF (though some days, we admit, it can feel that way). At Verve Concepts, WTF stands for What To Fix, and it serves as a daily reminder to get to the bottom of a problem before offering a solution. This means no gimmicks, no one-size-fits-all answers.
Every week we meet with new clients and every one of them has a variation on the same complaint. “The last agency told me their work would boost our sales, but they just ended up costing us money.” Most often, we find these clients lost money because they tried to fix only one part of their branding problem. But branding doesn’t work that way.
A brand is a holistic system. It’s not just logo + tagline + color scheme + social media accounts, but instead, all of those elements and more. It’s also voice and user experience and value promise and message. A brand consists of every point at which a customer comes in contact with your product or service. We can’t just fix one of those elements — say, social media presence — and expect issues with customer service or user experience to resolve, too. That’s not a branding fix, that’s magical thinking.
When we put WTF branding to work, it looks something like this. Say a new client approaches us for help with digital advertising (Google pay per click ads, Facebook ads, etc.) They say, “I need to get my message in front of new customers.” We say, “Great! But let’s make sure that’s the real issue before wasting any money.”
At Verve Concepts, each new client project begins with a full brand audit. We assess every point at which their customers come in contact with their brand — often called brand touchpoints — and what we find is that nearly every brand has a previously unconsidered issue. Sometimes websites don’t work as intended, product pages don’t provide compelling information, the supporting technology is dated, the purchasing features are hard to use, the value message is confusing, etc. etc. etc.
The data we gather in the brand audit is crucial to WTF branding because it’s the tool that allows us to identify the right problems. So again, let’s say we do a brand audit on the company who wants us to manage their digital advertising campaigns and we find their website doesn’t effectively convert potential customers to buyers. With that information in hand, we can help customers see why increasing their advertising won’t do any good until their website does what it needs to — make the sales! Even better, we didn’t waste their money on a big digital advertising campaign just to come to the same conclusion.
Every once in awhile we have clients who didn’t want to go through the hassle of a brand audit, so they went with a different agency. Months later they come back and tell us they just spent a lot of money, but still didn’t see any results. That’s the point they feel like the other WTF.
At Verve Concepts, we believe in What to Fix branding because finding the real problem is the only way to offer the right solution. In fact, we believe in it so much, we stake our brand on it.
Want to learn more about what WTF branding can do for your company? Contact us. We’d love to hear from you.