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  • Tony Bosco

A lesson from Dr. Frankenstein about creating your master brand strategy...

I recently had a chance to speak with a business owner, who had several independent service lines that she had developed alongside her core piece of business. Each one had some relevancy to the other.

She was a true Entrepreneur, tackling the business and growing each opportunity, and was on the precipice of becoming something greater, but she was unaware she had neglected a major opportunity - establishing a true connection with consumers to create a foundation to bring her master brand to life.

So there she was, looking like Dr. Frankenstein standing over her creation on the table, wondering why it wasn't moving as fast as she'd like it to. Metaphorically, she had stitched together the arm from one body, the torso from another, and the head from a third. That worked for a while, but after a deeper discussion it was clear to me that she was missing something extremely important to spark the whole thing.

Her graphic design person had created separate logos for each line - just logos off the desktop with no true consumer insights, understanding, or inter-connectivity. Each service line had started to lose momentum. While she focused on the business, the unfortunate lack of brand strategy caused her consumers to lose interest. Research was showing a growing distaste for how the services were presented, while more marketing savvy competitors moved in, and growth fell short. Without experienced guidance, she was missing heart and lightning.

In a fast paced, entrepreneurial environment, we can't forget the significance of having a solid brand identity deeply rooted in insight and strategy. And yes, sometimes that requires an investment in more than just a graphic designer, a marketing coordinator, or a social media intern to obtain. "We'll save some money and do it ourselves in house" was her initial thought.

Well, when your stakeholders show up with pitchforks and torches looking to destroy your under-performing creation, what happens then? If you've been working on it for 5 to 10 years and not sure what to do next, it is time to ask for professional help to breathe new life into your master brand, gain a new perspective on telling your story, and create incredible synergy between your service lines.

There's no question that no one knows your business like you, but sometimes you may be standing too close to the action, and you need someone who knows how to creatively connect with your audience like no one else can. This is when you know the time has come to trade in category experience for connection experience.

If you have ever watched the Mel Brooks film Young Frankenstein, and if you haven't you really should, you'll recall a dancing Frankenstein and his monster in a tuxedo. That was the monster we laughed with, the one that made us feel something. That's what a great master brand needs do - emotionally connect with all audiences, resonate across all service lines, and clearly differentiate from competitors.

Insert heart and lightning here - strategically, carefully, with surgical precision - and make sure your brand resonates with every person in its wake to create life long advocates and fans at every level of your operation.

Established wine brands romantically and enthusiastically tell the story of their history and vineyards through their classic, reserve, and premium tiers of wine. Even a motor oil brand has the capacity to move a stone cold war veteran to tears when you explain the brand's relationship with American history and the military, and tell that story consistently through all service areas at retail, at their oil change centers, gas stations and through social media (trust me, I saw it happen from behind the mirror watching a focus group).

At some point, for the master brand to come to life across service lines, you need to dive deep into consumer insights, create a solid integrated brand strategy, and own and commit to driving the story through every extremity - with heart and lightning.

I'm honored to say we will be working with a new client, leveraging our knowledge and talent to breathe new life into a business, and help give birth to a new and integrated umbrella brand. We may look more like Igor or Marty Feldman when we are done, but we look forward to returning over the next few months to share our progress with you, hopefully in a blog titled...IT'S ALIVE!

Until then, come visit us at

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