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Brands come alive for people when they encapsulate ideas that consumers want to have in their lives. Recent rumors that Twitter is considering changing its format are a reminder of what happens when an idea that the world loves hits crunch-time on profitability. At some stage even hugely successful brands like Apple are going to need to shift their idea. We all talk about disruption and innovation like they are little more than a cup of tea these days. If your time in the sun is drawing to a close, first of all kudos to you for recognizing that and being prepared to do something about it. If you find our thought pieces on brand strategy and brand management insightful and would like a deeper understanding for yourself, your marketing teams or leadership teams we can develop a tailored learning solution for you.
Brand Education is a core competency of The Blake Project, the brand consultancy behind Branding Strategy Insider. Branding Strategy Insider helps marketing oriented leaders and professionals build strong brands. Subscribe to Branding Strategy Insider Now and get regular updates and two FREE Chapters of Brad VanAuken's best selling book Brand Aid direct to your inbox. Branding Strategy Insider helps marketing oriented leaders and professionals like you build strong brands. Now consider for a moment that the person you first had lunch with is the same person as before, with one exception: She is a total stranger to you. In both of these scenarios it is the same person behaving the same way in the same situation. My current favorite definition of a brand is that it is the personification of an organization or its products and services. Other common brand measures are market share, mindshare, share of wallet, reduced price sensitivity, price premiums commanded by the brand and the value of the brand in licensing agreements. Managing the translation of brand strategy to creative messaging is a delicate process of enabling the polarized thinking archetypes of the engineer, economist and artist to form a singular voice. Seemingly the intersection of brand strategy and creative messaging is an area where many marketers struggle. In several LinkedIn discussion groups, I presented this question to gather some outside insight for this post.
Translating brand strategy into creative messaging is a complex process.  To be effective, the process requires more than a thoughtful “hand-off” between left-brainers and right brainers.
A creative brief, no matter how well written, doesn’t always insure clarity in translating the essence of brand strategy into brand messaging.
Creatives (the receivers) have different motivations and definitions of successful outcomes (things like winning awards, peer acceptance, career advancement). There’s a natural separation between the thinking styles of data people and creative people.  Within any organization, there are three “thinking” archetypes that must work together in harmony if your translation from brand strategy to brand messaging will ring true and clear for all concerned. Managing the translation of brand strategy and creative messaging is a delicate process of allowing the polarized thinking archetypes of the engineer, economist and artist to come together as an integrated force giving voice to brands that will create the bigger futures every one desires. Likewise, people within the diverse functional disciplines of product development, manufacturing, finance, marketing, sales and HR need to come together in a more perfect union of artist, economist and engineer thinking. In my view, brand owners and stakeholders must all learn to become “brand architects”– integrating their diverse organizational disciplines to harness their collective power to better manage materials, data, money and creativity when at the crossroads of strategic and creative decision-making. In effect, thinking like architects will enable your team to design an enduring structure to bridge brand strategy and brand messaging in ways that don’t look, feel, sound or smell like marketing. Through the archetype of the “architect”, the translation of brand strategy into compelling brand messaging becomes a more inclusive, elegant, transparent and designed process. It takes an architect to vision and build cathedrals…everything else is just bricks in a wall. At some point, the idea you pivot your brand around right now is going to run out of relevance – and in the iterative economy, where consumers are hooked on new versions and upgrades, the timeframes within which you must initiate, agree and implement bold developments are continuing to condense. They’re interesting, but they miss the point because they focus too early on *what* to change in order for Twitter to satisfy investor demands rather than *why* to change and *when*. The 6 series was a global smash for them of course and I have no doubt that the 7 will be as well.

The brand that *was* needs to hand over to the brand that *will be* in ways that consumers are excited by, not confused about. When the word ‘change’ is mentioned, everyone sagely agrees that it is necessary and of course welcome. Is there an exciting idea that you can expand into that will give your brand a bigger license to operate? If you are making rapid change because your current idea is quickly losing relevance, why were you caught off-guard?
And that takes high awareness – of market strengths, of consumer wants and of inherent brand character. As practitioners and educators we deliver interactive brand education workshops and keynote speeches designed to align individuals and organizations on essential concepts in brand management and empower them to release the full potential of their brands. Army and Wyndham Worldwide are some of the organizations that have turned to The Blake Project for help in meeting learning objectives.
We focus on sharing thought provoking expertise that promotes an elevated conversation on brand strategy and brand management and fosters community among marketers. Business leaders talk about the importance of maintaining strong brand equity, but is there consensus on what brand equity is? Several times throughout the lunch, she makes disparaging and sarcastic remarks that make you feel bad. In being a personification, a brand can have a specific personality, possess certain values, stand for something, make promises and create emotional connections with people. Developing a brand strategy is a top-down introspective process driven by a business strategy, while creative expression is a downstream activity centered in marketing communications. That’s because 80% of the daily processes within marketing departments and ad agencies are based in project management. As a generalization, creative people get the rap of being more into doing stuff that’s cool first and foremost.
These thinking archetypes form the quintessential three legs of the stool that comprise the fullest expression of the brand aligned to it’s unifying strategic principle. Like any good architect designing a grand cathedral, concern for the integrity of brand materials (engineer), the rigor of brand metrics (economist), and the beauty of the brand stories (artist) are all necessary elements of a far greater whole. Now its real dilemma is how closely does it stick to its brand idea of “public messaging” in order to do that. So, in this particular example, the critical questions for me are “when will people pay the levels of revenue for Twitter that we need them to?” (i.e. So there needs to be time to seed a new idea with the market, to explain why the brand is evolving and how that benefits buyers.
So they look for ways to improve what they are at a product level, even as the brand idea itself crumbles away under their feet. Why will your interpretation of that new idea be distinctive from what others are doing there now or where others may wish to go with a similar idea?
Did you not see the warning signs, was everyone in the senior management team playing ostrich or have things moved so fast that you were simply overtaken? Join us for The Un-Conference: 360 Degrees of Brand Strategy for a Changing World, May 2-4, 2016 in San Diego, California. BSI is a service of The Blake Project, a leading brand consultancy based in the United States, serving marketers around the world. Some people say it’s everything associated with the brand that adds to or subtracts from the value it provides to a product or service.
After many meetings and much interaction, you finally decide that she’s a changed person and someone with whom you prefer to spend less and less time.
I would guess that after enduring many caustic comments and being insulted a few times at that lunch, your first impression wouldn’t be very positive. This is a significant complement to products, which have attributes and features that deliver functional benefits. For more information  please refer to chapter 18 (Brand Equity Measurement) in my book Brand Aid, second edition.
From the discussion thread, one can easily conclude brand strategy often times gets lost in the creative translation.

All leading brands represent a single, compelling unifying principle that drives business performance from the inside out. When markets change in six-month increments, something more transcendent is required to close the gap. Creative Briefs tend to be control documents, rather than a forum for gathering inspirational ideas.
However, to design the stool, requires yet another thinking style that embodies the value of the other three.
Is the “beautiful constraint” of 140 characters such a powerful tenet of Twitter that to lose it is to compromise the brand beyond recognition?
The timing that Apple have perfected over many years is to take what works all the way to the wall (to extract every cent of value from the idea), but not to collide with it. The key question that I think Twitter needs to answer as it thinks through its future, for example, is “at what point are we no longer Twitter?”.
And given that, how will you ensure the brand you will be won’t be subject to the same vulnerabilities? A fun, competitive-learning experience reserved for 50 marketing oriented leaders and professionals.
She must be having a bad day.” You meet with her again a week or two later, and again she acts negative. In the second scenario, you can’t wait for the lunch to be over and you hope never to see the person again. You see, if people or brands have a lot of equity—that is, if you know, like, and trust them—you will give them chances to make things right, even if they repeatedly fail to meet your expectations. Brands can deliver emotional, experiential and self-expressive benefits as well as share values with customers. Brand managers and their communication partners focus on the best way to manage process and the tight budgets they have been allocated.
Will changing the format simply transform Twitter into another longer-form content provider? Instead, they look to find it somehow by introducing a plethora of new products and features and analyzing which ones stick. In other words, how much could they change, beyond even the character limit, rather than how can they keep as much as possible of what they’ve been? And when they do have to change, their ability to evaluate coolly, calmly and profitably what makes them the brand they are, why they should change, the degree to which they need to shift, what needs to change, when, how and to what effect is still questionable. You think to yourself, “Something must be going on in her life that she’s really struggling with. If a person, product, service, or organization has no equity with you, no emotional connection, and no trust, then you are much less inclined to forgive unmet expectations. They usually aren’t thinking long-term when at the crossroads of strategic and creative decision-making.
We only need to look to Yahoo to see a brand that I believe has failed to express a future idea that consumers are captivated by. Some even talk about the permission and flexibility a brand gives an organization to extend into new product and service categories.
Maybe she is having difficulties with her job or her health or her marriage or her children.” You may even ask her if everything is all right. They’re focused on getting a job done (on-time and on-budget).  Add the changing priorities of executive management into the mix, and it’s easy to see how messy creative briefs become. And all of this happens from within a mind-set of how they can keep the greatest amount of what they have, rather than keeping the critical amount of what they are. While all of these opinions are very important parts of brand equity, I think the following story best illustrates what brand equity is. And heaven forbid you place boundaries and restrictions on their creativity by adherence to a long, highly detailed creative brief.

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