HEM: What aspect of branding do you personally like?
DiFrisco: My favorite activity is helping a company uncover the truth that’s already there. It’s been said that a brand is really just the “truth about you, well told.” I’ve seen this truth discovered most often in the context of a brand strategy workshop, which is why I enjoy that type of dynamic so much. I also find the workshop environment invigorating because I can interact with the front-line employees or staff of a business and not just the principal or owner, who may be set in his or her ways or predisposed to think a certain way.
HEM: What is brand coaching?
DiFrisco: Often, business want to develop brand strategy on their own, but they have neither the time or the tools to take the deep dive that branding often requires. For people like that, I sometimes step in to guide and nudge them in the right directions. This coaching can take on different “flavors” depending on what the client needs or wants.
HEM: Who does the writing aspect of the brand content? What about the next step after the logo, that is the graphic design and web design.
DiFrisco: Again, I encourage all businesses to take a run at doing it themselves. You don’t necessarily have to hire a professional copywriter to help you draft a mission statement or develop a messaging platform. Most professionals know their brand the best, and while it may take a bit more time, it’s doable.
I do draw the line at the logo, though. I’ve seen so many poorly executed logo designs that I would suggest businesses seek professional services for this aspect of branding. After that, the most important aspect is the ‘principle of alignment.’ All communications, website, advertising, business cards, the way you answer the phone, etc. should be aligned with your brand. Not just the look and feel, but the positioning, the unique selling proposition, and the voice and tone of your brand. That takes work and patience.
HEM: What is the best route to becoming a brand strategist?
DiFrisco: Wow, that’s a tough one. I’ve seen so many routes to get there. My background is creative direction. Others are marketing or visual communications specialists. Some strategists come from the account side of traditional advertising agencies. But one common thread is the ability to wear a consultant’s hat and remove yourself from the business so you can objectively look at the needs and assess what customers and prospects really want. What do they care about? What matters to them? What aspects of a brand will cement loyalty?
You can contact DiFrisco on mdifrisco AT brandxcellence DOT com
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