When we, as an agency, form a new customer relationship, whether it be with a company or an organisation, cooperation always starts with a conversation. If it’s with the marketing department. That’s good. Or with the company management team. That’s even better. If everything goes well, then a workshop follows shortly thereafter. For every successful form of comprehensive brand communication starts with a workshop. With a brand workshop, a sales and marketing workshop, an employer branding workshop or a sustainability workshop. Or a workshop with a different theme. Why?
And there’s a simple reason for this. Every living brand resembles a multi-layered personality. It is marked and characterised by the history of the business, products and workforce. Anyone wanting to reposition a brand or simply aiming to reinforce its existing positioning would do well to gain a first-hand understanding of these shades and nuances of a business or rather the product or even sub-brands. And this is only possible by speaking to those who represent the brand in everyday life, as well as shaping it and identifying with it: the employees.
It’s hardly feasible to invite every member of staff to a workshop. The essential thing is to make the right choice and ensure that an appropriate number of staff attends. Less than ten is normally too few, more than twenty quickly proves too many. But who are the right people to invite? And who should choose them? This is a matter for the boss, of course. But we should at least be willing to give a recommendation as to which employees are selected. We attempt to set priorities according to the task. For example, a good cross-section of international sales when it comes to international realignment. Or research and development as well as product management when it comes to innovation management of a company. Because departmental sales managers can and should always be present, but they don’t have to represent the majority of attendees.
It’s always important for us that we have the influencers within a business on board. And that may very well also be the ‘bon vivants’ within a company. The folks, personalities who perhaps are not at the top end of the hierarchy and sometimes not even in their midst, but whose words are listened to and whose advice is consciously sought. Quite simply, because they have been there the longest, because they know the best stories, they express themselves in the most eloquent way and because they probably have something more important to do than make a career – namely their work.
We are already asked time and again: “A workshop? Is that really necessary? Is that not too expensive? That always takes our staff away from their work. And it’s so hard to find a common time and date.” Yes, that is all true. A workshop does indeed cost money, for even if we put together programmes using modular workshop sets, that is only used as the basis for very individual characteristics and preparations, which are combined with extensive research. On the day itself, at least two people show up. And then comes the evaluation, which is also places further demand on your time. If that wasn’t enough, then there’s also the costs to consider that are associated with availability of participants, who all lose at least one, sometimes even two, full working days.
Why is such a workshop worthwhile nevertheless? It is related to the answer to the second question with which we are confronted again and again: “When does the actual brand communication begin?” That’s exactly the point: it starts with the workshop.
For in all the workshops that we provide for our customers, it’s never about just finding out what the business amounts to, how great their products are (and where their weaknesses lie), to what extent the company is superior to the competition (or – as often transpires – inferior). All this is important and necessary for communication. Just like the question as to what makes the target group tick and who listens to them in the first place. Or how the company is positioned and how it should be positioned. As we already mentioned: Answering these questions is essential to preparing and developing a unique, relevant and ground-breaking communication concept.
But to us it’s also about something else. Something that is just as important as all the aforementioned aspects. If you want to know what is so important to us – and what should also be important to you – then just download our post. Or contact me directly.
For more information, please contact:
Creative Consulting / Group Head Text
christoph.siwek (at) schindlerparent.de