There are many questions that arise throughout the brand building process:
Who is our real competition?
Who is our ideal target audience?
What authentic position can we own?
Is this the right brand mark for us?
Will this brand architecture strategy truly set us up for success?
Will this tagline clarify and capture attention?
The way these important questions are answered is almost as important as the answers themselves. There are four decision-making paths you can take.
A single leader takes charge, asks little to no questions and makes the decision based on what he or she truly believes in (mainly used in crisis).
A single decision maker asks for individual feedback from team members, and then makes a decision on their own accord, but influenced by the feedback.
A designated team has a discussion, after which a single decision maker considers the conversation and ultimately makes the call.
A designated team has to agree on a decision, or this can take a “majority wins” path where individuals vote on the outcome.
These methods go from less to more involvement of team members. In our experience, the best decisions for brand building are made as Consultative or Collaborative. The Command approach works for simple, small start-ups with little to no staff, but can often become very subjective. This results in work that’s tailored to the decision-maker’s personal preferences, not the intended target audience. However, more team members’ involvement isn’t always a good thing—which is why the Consensus approach rarely works. Generally, more people breed more opinions which leads to compromise, which often results in watered down results. This is the opposite of what brands need.
Over the years, we’ve seen a distinct parallel between the results of the brand initiative and the client team’s ability to make healthy and courageous decisions. A lack of clarity in decision making can lead to delayed timelines or, worse yet, ineffective outcomes.
Regardless of where you are in your brand journey, decide how you want to make decisions first, and then make sure you have the right support team helping you along the way. The secret to traversing rough waters is knowing what’s ahead and bringing your strongest crew alongside to help you get to your destination.