WIN MORE HEARTS, MINDS AND MARKETS
The MA Brand Character Compass is a strategic tool used to create clarity, unity and direction, that leads to greater, measurable value.
It's a practical, proven processes that deep-dives into key business and brand challenges to tease out truths and points-of-difference, which everyone can believe in and get behind. Then we weaponise them to deliver impactful results.
CLARITY & DIRECTION
The MA Brand Character Compass is an ideal methodology for ambitious SME’s wanting to effectively communicate their points-of-difference and realise their growth potential, within super-competitive markets.
You will be better informed to make strategic business adjustments that support a unified brand experience.
You will also have a clear strategic and tactical roadmap for achieving any number of business objectives, from gaining a sustainable competitive advantage to identifying a price level justification, to orchestrating a successful product or brand launch.
This is not a magic wand, but it does build a clear picture of your brand, identify market opportunities and release inner truths that are, in the right hands, gold dust for creating a compelling narrative.
If we get it right (which we always do) you’ll be in the best position for “where next?”.
Clarity = Direction
The world is increasingly more disruptive, noisy and connected. Individuals are more stretched than ever. Clarity, authenticity and relevance are 3 essential pillars to successful engagement, whether B2B, B2C or B2B2C.
Creating a simple, relatable narrative that everyone can share with confidence and pride, and without doubt or hesitation, helps customers quickly understand your authentic point-of-difference and value. A powerful combination in sales.
Here’s a few examples of how the MA Brand Character Compass has been successfully delivered clarity and direction.
Cyber Security Specialists
We helped Nexor securely migrate to the CNI sector without weakening their robust defence status.
For 25 years Nexor had pioneered and consistently delivered secure mission critical messaging technology to Governments and defence around the world.
Private Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) was vulnerable, under threat from attack and a huge growth market.
How does Nexor transition to the CNI private sector successful and credibly without damaging their reputation as specialists in the government and defence market?
The Brand Character Compass teased our Nexor’s culture of ‘Doing Things Properly’, something that was deep-rooted and directly led to their world-class capability. This very British and understated characteristic, combined with a rich heritage within the allied defence and security community, and their ‘agile’ SME status, pointed to one clear fact – “No other British cyber security specialist is better placed to support CNI customers in protecting their critical network systems (according to their Information Governance Policies). Because we already safeguard the UK against hourly cyber attack at a government and defence level."
We put Nexor's defence heritage front and centre, with the help of a famous quote by the Duke of Wellington – "The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton”, alluding to the British spirit and character. By updating this reference to a new kind of campaign. It set the scene as a clear reference of intent – "Today, there’s a war being waged every hour of every day on digital screens, and Nexor is on the front line."
Using major public and private sector security events in the UK and Europe, we launched the CNI campaign, immediately gaining traction.
Value of new and established customer relationships grew as Nexor demonstrated how the threats traditionally aimed at the defence sector was now being faced by the whole UK industry.
Original cable window lock pioneers
We helped Jackloc reconnect with their origins and unlock their true value within an aggressive market.
Jackloc created the world’s first cable window restrictor in 2003, specifically designed to minimise the risk of falls from windows. Key markets in leisure, education, healthcare and residential rapidly grew.
Cheaper, lower quality imitations, manufactured outside the UK, had flooded the market, leading to greater customer choice and little obvious differentiation. All this against a backdrop of political and economic uncertainty where cost-saving outweighed quality concerns.
How does Jackloc create standout against ‘copy-cat' competitor products and win back lost market share?
The Brand Character Compass highlighted a number key attributes that competitors simply couldn’t claim – Jackloc were the first. The brand name ‘Jackloc’ was still being used to refer to the product (think Hoover). Cable window restrictors were their specialism, which they had spent over 14 years improving on. All this, combined with their ‘family’ centric approach to customers, led to a clear position of brand leader.
With so many ‘unique’ points of reference and with such an aggressive market to defend, it was clear we needed to stake our claim. Our starting point was “Jackloc – UK No.1 original brand. Safe-guarding thousands of lives every day.”
This authentic reference to ‘safeguarding lives’ gave us the emotive trigger needed to establish Jackloc as a credible brand leader. A fundamental requirement for the two key markets – domestic and commercial.
We bolstered Jackloc’s confidence in their value and gave them the voice of a market leader.
Increased value of product in existing markets. New opportunities and partnerships in untapped markets. Increased award nominations and wins.
Award winning Cheddar
We helped Blacks Cheese embrace their irreverent side and start a cheddar revolution.
In 3 years Blacks Cheese went from the idea of producing the best quality cheddar with real milk, to winning multiple awards for their blended products, to building a successful customer base (or their ‘mice’ as they were affectionately known) on the show circuit and via social media.
With £7.5bn worth of cheese consumed every year in Britain, Blacks Cheese saw the their next logical growth step in retail and wholesale.
How does Blacks Cheese translate their cheeky, irreverent banter with customers to a product sat on a shelf without becoming just another cheese brand in an already over-served market?
The Brand Character Compass got to the heart of what Blacks Cheese was all about – their customers. Customers were the reason they used real milk, the reason their maturing process was longer, the reason their blends were better graded. Blacks Cheese knew they were making some of the finest blended cheese on the market, not from multiple awards accrued, but from the feedback and reaction from their rapidly growing customer base – "If everyone knew what real cheese tasted like, we’d change the world!”.
“…change the world!” A bold statement, but a serious thought. This thought became the basis for a revolution. No longer would cheese lovers have to endure sub-standard produce. Blacks Cheese, with their bold, irreverent character were the revolutionaries that would bring about 'Cheese of Change’ – “Join us in the fight for a betta’ cheddar!”. In addition to the campaign, packaging underwent an overhaul, to work harder on the shelf and pull together some of the warm character found on the show circuit, mixed with a high-end product feel.
Although early days, our call-to-arms has become a point of difference within a market dominated by quaint, cottage-industry, artisan brands. It helped secure a 200% distribution increase into independent retailers and boosted the Christmas trade x3 fold. Other successes included the introduction of customer novelty pin badges that helped build solidarity, loyalty and social interaction... Viva la ‘cheese’ revolución!
Customer profitability and growth increased, including a marked increase in social media interaction. Sales also improved on show circuit and the independent retail market.
Cloud network specialist
We helped Netmetix elevate confidence in their brand within a rapidly expanding niche market.
For almost two decades Netmetix has delivered robust IT infrastructure and support to Midlands businesses, successfully growing against a changing digital landscape.
The ‘cloud’ revolution was rapidly expanding and Netmetix had already committed to focussing solely on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, so they could be at the forefront of the business digital transformation.
How does Netmetix clearly communicate their experience and expertise, and build confidence in an ‘under-the-radar' brand that is competing against established market giants?
The Brand Character Compass unearthed several unique gems that no other competitor could lay claim to. These centred around three ‘Pillars of Distinction’; only using the very best products available on the market; training their engineers in quarterly cycles to ensure they're at the pinnacle of their knowledge; and the simple fact that they don’t enforce contracts on their customers. These powerful customer-centric reference points combined with a singular specialism within an expanding market positioned Netmetix as a viable choice of cloud services supplier.
Using a subtle ‘cloud’ reference, we positioned Netmetix as master’s of their discipline, employing the line ‘Distinction above all else’. In addition the ‘Pillars of Distinction’ became a basis from which to ask “Why wouldn’t you use the best products, upskill your engineers regularly and retain customers on trust?” It was sophisticated yet simple thinking… The kind of thinking required to implement complex cloud networks.
The new brand, with its clear messaging gave Netmetix the tools to confidently compete, on-face-value and at a deeper level, against the market giants, successfully winning several lucrative international contracts for the first time.
Brand value in the market grew as they continued to punch above their weight. Winning more new accounts than ever before, Netmetix became Microsoft’s fastest growing cloud service provider in the UK.