Cut To The Chase
Strategic Creative Director and Owner, Roberto D’Andria, talks through the BEAR approach to driving efficiency with razor sharp communication.
How BEAR stands out as a branding agency
We think a lot about efficiency in this industry. We talk time, energy, strategy, and we see that you, our client, might also question these challenges.
Which is why we abide by these four small words: Cut To The Chase.
By keeping them at the front of our minds, we help businesses like yours become more efficient, saving you time and money.
We take the time to work out how your brand can move forward with greater clarity. In turn, your customers will identify with you quicker.
Our methodology is nimble, but we are not selling you ‘a quick fix’. By arming you with greater clarity of what you stand for, we remove the uncertainty when trying to solve every individual communication brief.
Isolating your brand purpose
The joy of communication. It’s why I get out of bed – it’s why I do BEAR. There are so many businesses out there whose brand and brand comms are in a mess. They are completely lost and lacking brand purpose and I know we can help.
At BEAR we believe purpose is everything and we’re not alone. Kantar Consulting’s new Purpose 2020 report found that brands with a defined purpose grow twice as fast as others.
Published in April 2018, Kantar said brands with a high sense of purpose had experienced a brand valuation increase of 175 per cent over the past 12 years, compared to a median growth rate of 86 per cent and the 70 per cent growth rate for brands with a low sense of purpose.
Knowing your brand, and knowing exactly what your brand offers to the world, is key.
So, what’s the chase?
“Cut to the chase” was originally used by film studio executives when inexperienced screenwriters or directors would pad the film with unnecessary dialogue, which bored the audience and prolonged the time before the exciting chase scene.
The phrase would remind writers that the audience shouldn’t get bored by extra dialogue, so the film could get to the interesting scenes without unnecessary delays.
If your brand is the film, what’s your chase?
James Garner and Lorenzo Bandini pictured in John Frankenheimer’s 1966 film Grand Prix
Exploring your narrative
Firstly, we listen. To you. Learning is collaborative and you know your business better than anyone, so why wouldn’t we take time to understand what you want to say before commencing our process?
We work with you to create the tools you need to tell your story. Whether it begins with the brand’s core essence (its purpose), or by simply asking “Why do you get out of bed?” – what motivates you? What motivates your team?
A reference tool for years to come
We’re given a problem to solve, and we put our tried and tested methodology to work.
We build you a Brand Communication Platform that defines the best of what you are, and the best of what you want to be.
We agree the essence, values and behaviours for the brand. More than words, we will often recommend brand activations that act as real world experiences… all working in perfect harmony with what you are trying to communicate.
Our Brand Communications Platform sits at the heart of our methodology. We do not believe in over-strategising. We’re in a data rich world, but huge quantitative and qualitative research pieces are not the only route to thorough research. Every now and again there are some jobs that demand it, but we don’t sell you months and months of strategy, it’s not our style.
Further, there is a lot to be said for ‘little’ data, a personalised understanding of your audience. We strongly believe in talking to sales teams and really listening to what they have to say, after all they are on the front line and often best placed to provide audience insight.
Keep it simple! Our brand communication platform is informed by four key inputs:
- Your Business Objectives
- Your Culture
- Your Competitors (positioning)
- Your Audience (primary, secondary etc)
Once we understand these four elements, we begin to create a world that allows you to bring in your sales, marketing, communications and human resources teams under one umbrella, working for that same purpose. Importantly, it’s a world that your audience genuinely cares about.
We’re essentially creating a mothership brief for everything you do. In its purest form the Brand Communications Platform is a reference tool. With it, we can build a piece of creative, a website, or printed materials as well as new comms or social strategies. We can even drive measurable HR performance metrics.
And it works, fast.
With a Brand Communication Platform in hand, our clients have a renewed sense of self and can move forward with confidence.
Translating your platform into personality
Many designers don’t ‘read’ what they are designing (shock horror!), it’s just the way they are wired. Their skill is in beautifying and bringing a visually rich personality to the party.
If there is one thing I’m really proud of at BEAR, it’s how we connect business thinking and ambition in to creative output, the two sides of the brain have to relate.
Strategists and writers with many years experience will help shape your communication platform as well as your tone of voice. But it’s the translation of all their (and your) great thinking that’s a critical part of the process when building brands from scratch or re-branding.
We work openly with designers, ensuring they are exposed to many ‘business’ conversations. And, we push designers very hard on the importance of the written word. If you crystallise what you want to say your ideas will be all the better and gettable for it.
We’ve often spoken of how BEAR is a commercial agency, but that’s not to dumb down our creative ambition. We all want to be a part of a culture that produces beautiful, award winning work.
But, we are fundamentally here to re-energise and strengthen your business… it just so happens that creativity is the means to the end.
Dramatising the DNA
Designer-focused jewellery business Maravilo is a great example of this.
Maravilo were very unsure about how the Brand Communications Platform could benefit them because of how abstract it can feel before you start seeing its benefits.
They’re a business that wanted to be sell-able and scale-able but didn’t know how to get there, or even what their core purpose was. We found the answer with ‘Designers First’: It’s all about giving up-and-coming jewellery designers the recognition and respect they deserve.
The Maravilo branding BEAR worked on has clarity, and it cuts through. It’s not just about putting a nice pair of earrings on a website, it’s actually about asking “what’s the story behind those earrings and who is behind those earrings? What’s their motivation?”
Now, every time I see Maravilo they tell me how they keep going back to their Communications Platform to remind themselves what to do next. It underpins their thinking at every turn, helping to identify their USP and core purpose.
At PPL PRS, their platform has informed everything they do.
We were asked to oversee PPL and PRS undergoing a joint venture to streamline music licensing into one licence. The problem was you had two different cultures and two different ways of saying things.
By taking these two separate companies through our methodology, and looking at how they could dramatise their new brand DNA, we unified a room of 20 stakeholders and got everybody pulling in the same direction.
Change the trajectory
Let’s not forget, this is your employee’s livelihoods, so when you take the time to identify a purpose for your brand, it’s incredibly motivating internally for a business. All of a sudden people are thinking “we work for somebody that stands for something” or “we were rudderless, and now we all know what we’re steering towards”.
Cutting to the chase identifies why someone is what they say they are in the clearest possible way. And, when you hone in on what sets you apart (and cut out the unnecessary dialogue you may have been using) you can start telling everyone else.
In fact, you can change the entire trajectory of your company.
With a properly defined purpose, your brand’s personality will shine through. And this is where the real changes take hold: part of our responsibility to you as a client is to make sure your brand is magnetic. When this starts to happen, you’re going to be doing less work to engage new customers – they’ll be coming to you.
On your marks….