Brand discovery is like Nurofen™ for growing pains


Your business is growing and you want to expand into other markets in New Zealand. Your due diligence shows that your identity is unique to Christchurch but not in other centres. Your intel also suggests that your brand might not have kept up with you and if refocused could be a powerful tool for bringing in new business. What do you do to ease the pain of outgrowing your current brand identity?

Sometimes we lose track of the holistic. This is often the case with successful SMEs. We are so caught up with the minutia of the day-to-day that we aren’t able to see the macro. One of the most important roles of a brand manager/champion/guardian is to step back from your company identity at regular intervals and take a look at the big picture. Does it still fit? Is it a solid representation of who you are and where you are going? How has it matured alongside your business and does it still have “legs”. 

This is a process that we went through recently with Simple Solutions Intex. A successful Christchurch-based interior solutions firm whose expansion was causing their incumbent brand to crack around the edges; looking to open offices in other main centres, they’d discovered other companies with similar names. We gathered their key decision makers and members of their front line team for a brand discovery session. 

Typically brand discovery happens at the beginning of an agency-client relationship. However, the discovery techniques apply equally well to rediscovery and brand realignment. 

Over a fun four-hour session with a decent break for afternoon smoko, we pulled the brand apart, removed the pieces we no longer wanted, and started to build something new. 

The system is simple yet elegant. It is a series of exercises that enable the team to look at their brand with fresh eyes. It empowers them to make comment without fear of reproach and ultimately it brings a sense of team spirit to the room as they fashion their tone of voice, personality, mission statement, values and goals - together. Rather than a few key people working up the new brand behind closed doors, they all work on it in cohort. 

The discovery report acts like a brief on steroids. The level of insight it gives is a profound help for the creative team at the agency. It saves time and money wasted on guesswork, which often creates a never-ending to and fro between agency and client. 

In the case of Simple Solutions Intex we discovered a close knit team who genuinely loved doing a mint job. They have a culture of learning and support, and want the best for all members of their team. A sentiment that extends to their work with clients. Their mandate is “we’ll get you there.” They mean what they and they say what they mean. 

And so, we fashioned a new brand for them, unique to the New Zealand market. They are now known as Maven Interiors aka M-INT for short. A maven is an expert in their chosen field. And these guys love doing a mint job. It was a great fit because the hard yards were covered as a team with buy-in from people from all aspects of the business.

Andie Spargo

Creative Director