In the early days of advertising, a brand was only as good as its products or services. Consumers bought whatever brands pedaled, well, because they were instructed to do so. In current marketing trends, you’ll find the power of the message has been transferred into the hands of the consumer. Nowadays, consumers buy ideologies they align with. If a man’s beliefs are a fundamental truth to him, then Chicago-based brand strategy agency Tacklebox has just the strategy to roll out to the masses.
The Tacklebox agency – founded in 2014 by brand marketing veteran David Kelbaugh and has since grown into two Chicago locations – hosted another lunch and learn workshop at Serendipity Labs OSW on Thursday, November 12. Brand concept was the order of the day and the event was attended by a mix of technology consultants, marketers, artists, as well as writers and public speakers. Kelbaugh discussed the importance of putting beliefs before the product or service, as those who share your beliefs will eventually come along in stages, in due time.
Tacklebox’s own brand concept reads as thus: We believe that building a strong brand is the single most important thing you can do for your company. A strong brand will separate you from the competition, increase sales, and transform customers into lifelong advocates. We exist to help you connect with your audiences in the most effective and powerful ways possible.
Definitive and short is the new wave.
Tacklebox’s client roster boasts local and larger brands: sandwich market staple Hannah’s Bretzel, growing fitness contender in the triathlon space, Live Grit; In Hub, Chicago-based new-comer within the adventure apparel space, CMUK and Alligator Games, just to name a few.
The compelling value of brands
According to Kelbaugh, the value of a brand is so detrimental to the clarity [see survival] of any business – so much so that it needs to be a line item on balance sheets. “A brand dictates the products and services you create. When you get the brand right, everything else falls into place.”
“Brands need to be delicious,” Kelbaugh added.
Why brands should examine their ‘Why?’
Kelbaugh said aspiring business owners need to ask three fundamental questions before launching their business idea:
- What do we believe?
- Why do we exist?
- Why should anyone believe us?
Apparently, Tacklebox is another fan of the Simon Simonek blueprint for effectively developing a brand concept: Start with ‘Why?’ The ‘Why’, Kelbaugh said, is the modifier: “It tells what you do and should serve as a validity check.”
He added the purpose of sharing one’s beliefs through their branding is the best way to serve their ideas, products and services to society.
The Tacklebox process
In prior branding workshops, Kelbaugh taught brands need to stop selling products and services, and start narrowing their focus on selling solutions to key problems: “actually take the time to discover true needs.”
Though the process varies according to client need, the Tacklebox team – which, according to Kelbaugh is one-half “creative conceptors and one-half (advanced) researchers,” – has a discovery process that can last anywhere up to six sessions over a span of up to three months. Beginning with the initial discovery session and preparing a proposal for their services, sessions are then followed-up by the team educating the client while building trust and further fleshing out the client’s brand concept; ending with the firm manifesting their client’s vision.
The value perspective
In doing so, Kelbaugh emphasized the importance of brands clearly communicating value and knowing the lifetime value of their customers. “That goes for Tacklebox. We ensure our work and the value we provide is viewed as an investment, not an expense.”
The ball’s in your court. What’s your vision or Why? To manifest it, visit www.tacklebox.us.com .