The MHK Group is established as a strong partner for medium-sized trading and craft companies in the field of home and living. The two advertising and digital agencies belonging to the MHK Group are to be merged into one agency. Repositioning is necessary.
In the Discovery Workshop, we worked out together what strengths both agencies have, where they currently see themselves and what positioning they want to take in the future as a new agency. Furthermore, we determined who the target group is and that, in addition to potential new customers, we also need existing customers for the Brand Strategy Sprint®.
The sprint team, composed of the two agencies, had different ideas about what the future positioning should look like. At the same time, they were worried about losing existing customers.
For the target group interviews, we had invited both existing customers of the two agencies and possible new customers who did not know who the two agencies were, or that the MHK Group was the client. This was important in order to obtain clear and honest insights which should help us with the positioning of the new agency.
Here are a few statements from the target group:
"Casual contact with the agency - Don't need any guys in suits."
"It would be nice if an agency became bolder."
"Agencies don't understand what we actually do."
"Agencies often have long response times."
"We often feel left alone by agencies."
"Personal contact is important to me."
We started by analyzing all the insights we received from the target group interviews in order to prioritize the most important insights. Due to the clear focus, we were able to develop new solutions, how we can create an even better customer service, which elements of the current positioning must be retained and which new products and services we can offer with the new agency.
In the next step, we developed the vision, the mission and the brand purpose of the new agency.
The mission is:
"Every customer contact must end with the fact that the expectations of the other person are overfulfilled."
Next, we defined the values which the two agencies represent and how the new agency should be perceived and experienced by the target group in the future.
We asked ourselves what the target group should feel when they come into contact with the agency for the very first time. How the target group should experience the agency as soon as they get in touch with it. And finally, what opinion and experience they should have after working with the agency.
These are the values we have developed for the new agency:
Appreciation, we go the extra mile personally, problem solvers, we exceed expectations.
In addition, we determined which brand archetypes of the new agency should serve as the basis for behavior and communication. After further voting, we decided that the two brand archetypes "Hero" at 70% and "Creator" at 30% should represent the brand in your communication in the future.
As part of the sprint team, we were clear about the vision, mission and brand purpose of the brand, what values it represents and which brand archetypes the new agency will best represent in the future due to these individual components.
Now we created several brand stories, where, among other things, the vision, the mission, the solutions for the target group, whose insights we learned in the interviews, were brought together in one story. Everyone in the team created their own story, presented it and agreed on which story we would like to test in the brand prototype later.
An important challenge and question which we asked ourselves during the Brand Strategy Sprint® was how we can let the brand communicate visually according to its defined characteristics, values and archetypes.
The sprint team reviewed the progress so far and began with brand design research on which shapes, colors and imagery would visually reflect the brand in the future. Afterwards, everyone presented their ideas and why they would fit the brand. In the end, we used voting to decide which elements would fit the brand and which we wanted to test in our first brand prototype.
We brought together the solutions to the target group's problems with our brand identity and brand design, and together we created the very first brand prototype on paper. We also decided to test the prototype in three different variations, as we also wanted to test which minor differences would have what impact on the target group.
Subsequently, our designers developed a digital realistic brand prototype, which was then tested by our previous target group test group.
Here are a few original quotes regarding the first brand prototype:
"Looks young & innovative, trendy, creative; the presentation of the employees decorated with the yellow symbols comes across as relaxed, but still competent."
"I think it's too playful and don't recognize the old agencies in it."
"Short and concise, people are in the foreground, gives a personal feeling."
"With regard to the font, I preferred the variant where individual words were highlighted with a different font. But that's just my personal taste."
After the feedback and analysis of the first brand prototype, we found that existing customers and potential new customers had different perspectives on the new brand. The younger generation increasingly preferred the "young and fresh" and the heroes (shadows and illustrations) with personal communication, whereas the other part of the target group felt more understood and targeted by a more serious positioning.
We decided to take a step back with the sprint team in the second brand prototype and look for a middle ground. We reduced the design, adapted messages and solutions so that the new brand looks serious, but at the same time also looks more personal and fresh.
Here are a few quotes from the target group from the final test:
"Professional and contemporary. The offer described is suitable for the current time."
"Definitely improved visually."
"The design makes a very serious impression on me, beautiful colors in the background, easy-to-read font."
"The agency works for me in a goal-oriented way. Fresh design. Good photos of the staff. Clear website."
With this final feedback, the new agency of the MHK Group now has a validated brand strategy on which it continues to build. With the Brand Strategy Sprints®, they've managed to define a clear goal for themselves, got to know their target group better and, together as a sprint team, to develop the brand in such a way that their own ideas are in line with those of their target group.
Want to learn more about the project? Listen to the podcast episode with MIYU and get even more details about the joint project and the challenges that had to be solved. (German)
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