d2: distill

After we have a thorough understanding of your company, it’s goals and objectives, it’s competitive landscape, and it’s attributes, we distill these into a unified idea and brand positioning strategy. In d2: Distill, we conduct a series of group activities and then put your company’s core values down on paper and sum them up in a distinct, clear, logical way that provides a map for executing the strategy.

There are many ways to describe who you are. The use of metaphors is an indirect way to think about where your brand now is, and where it is going. We might propose an images brainstorm, an adjectives brainstorm, a metaphors brainstorm or all three to represent attributes associated with your brand. We like to conduct these brainstorms in a group setting as opposed to the one- on-one interviews in d1, with all levels of representation from the organization.

An images brainstorm can give us insights into the emotional side of your brand. We present about 50 different images gathered primarily from existing sources, both photos and graphics that are not meant to represent your industry or company directly, but meant to evoke a certain feeling about your brand in a more abstract way. We often hear things like “this feels like us now, but this image feels like where we want to go”. Your input narrows down the most relevant images, but we find it is what you say about the images is as important as the images you select.

Sometimes we couple an images brainstorm with an adjectives brainstorm. The adjectives we select for this exercise are based on the psychology of Carl Jung, who suggested that archetypes are universal patterns that can be found consistently in stories about people from around the world. Brands can be a lot like people when they share a common goal or purpose. We use the selected adjectives to help determine the archetype that best reflects your brand. Identifying your brand archetype can not only have benefits externally in depicting your brand, but can also create coalescence internally pushing clarity in all forms of communication. More about brand archetypes can be found here.

We often ask you to pretend your brand is something entirely different. When the brand is abstracted to an unrelated metaphor, it allows you to think about the meaning you want the brand to project in the minds of your customers.

These activities in d2: Distill help us culminate our learnings in d1:Discover into distinct summaries in d3: where we depict your brand.