»If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there.«
»Everyone will be wrong as long as you don't know where you belong«, continues the classic »Alice in Wonderland«. Wonderful sentences and emblematic of the topic of strategy and its importance in almost every project. Here we describe how we deal with this in an assumed optimal project.
»If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there.«
Look at task, gain insight and determine location.
In the first meeting we develop a common understanding of the project, i.e. the task at hand, the goal, the planned scope and the available budget framework. We clarify who the acting persons are and what resources are available to us.
The best way to start working with us: HENKELHIEDL goes through an »onboarding process« at the company, similar to what new employees do. We want a deep insight into the culture, working relationships and the world of products, solutions and services. To achieve this, we talk to people with different perspectives on the company (management, marketing, sales, customers!). Especially in brand projects, we need a multi-layered picture of the company and its challenges.
We evaluate what we have experienced and present the subjective HENKELHIEDL view of the brand. This contains the first possible approaches for the brand strategy - developed along the following questions:
- Which aspects of the brand are clear, which are contradictory?
- What needs clarification/sharpening?
- Where are the possible fields of action for the brand project?
- How should these be prioritised – for quick and sustainable success?
- What follows is usually a creative brief or even rebriefing.
Brands are, brands become, brands will change.
We want to understand what brands are all about. This is only possible through intensive exchange with the people behind the brand.
Stakeholder Survey & Interviews
We ask reference groups (usually managers and employees) about their perception of their own brand. The questions concern brand identity, business, target group, competition, communication measures. We look for subjective assessments of the current situation and possible challenges for the company and the brand.
Mission Vision Purpose Workshop
Every successful company has a purpose, a deeper mission, a meaning in the broader sense. Not every company has this »purpose« clearly in mind. But if you want to be successful in the long term, you cannot avoid the question of WHY.
In this collaborative workshop, we look at three core elements of brand identity together with selected stakeholders of the company:
- Vision: The target image of the company. Where do we want to be in a few months/years?
- Mission: The purpose of the company. What are we doing to make the vision a reality? What makes us different?
- Purpose: The inner driving force behind everything: What motivates us to do our work in everyday life? Why do we exist?
The brand in a nutshell
In collaboration with the commissioning party, we try to formulate in one sentence WHAT the brand means and does HOW, FOR WHOM, WHY, WHEN and WHERE.
The context determines the direction of a good strategy.
What is actually the business model? What is the service? What is the core promise to customers? What does the ecosystem of the service look like? In which market environment do you operate? What is business success - and how do you measure it? The following workshop tools help us to find the answers:
Business Model Canvas
The Business Model Canvas allows the most important aspects of a business model to be brought together and visualised in an easily comprehensible form on one sheet. This creates a basis for further work that can be understood by everyone.
The Context Canvas helps to identify trends and drivers for developments that lie outside the company and influence its business.
The Trend Canvas helps to assess economic and social developments and to use them for one's own business.
A SWOT analysis looks at the internal strengths and weaknesses of a business as well as the external opportunities and threats. It sheds light on current and potential performance and gives indications of future options for action.
What (target) groups are really about.
Understanding who products, services and communication are actually adressed to is essential.
- Who do we want to convince?
- What distinguishes these groups of people?
- How do they use our product?
In doing so, we look less at socio-demographic characteristics and more at goals and attitudes. Because these shape buyer and user behaviour much more than age, income and gender.
Personas are descriptions of ideal-typical users. They reflect the attributes, motivations and behaviour of typical user groups. They are fictitious, but bear the characteristics of real people and are developed to give a vivid idea of the target groups.
Customer Journey Workshop
Once we have an idea of the target personas, we send them on a »journey«. This typically consists of five phases that each user goes through to go from »completely ignorant« to »loyal customer«. The customer journey helps us to find out with which content and at which touchpoints we can best reach our target group.
Product Experience Workshop
The focus of this workshop is the question of what experience users (should) actually have with a product or service, e.g. a website. Using a product experience map, we document the knowledge about our users that exists in the team and relate it to the concrete project goals. In a pragmatic way, this clarifies the essentials, e.g. "Which functions are really relevant?
Online user tests
To verify insights gained in workshops, we conduct user tests. This makes it clear which aspects/features the target group actually wants. Above all, initial product prototypes can be tested. This can also be done decentrally, e.g. via screen sharing or screen recording.
Great product? Depends on what you do with it.
The question of why someone buys or uses a product is central for every company. But sometimes the answer cannot be found with a target group analysis. Then it is worth taking a look at the product itself.
We use a jobs-to-be-done workshop in situations where the user groups are particularly diverse and in-depth analyses of the different characteristics and attitudes of the users hardly yield any insights. In such cases, we focus on the product itself - and on the question: For which »job« do the users actually engage the product?
If competition stimulates business, we should get to know them.
In this workshop we will look at best cases in design - both from the immediate competitive environment and from other industries. We ask ourselves:
- How do the competitors perform? What do they do differently/better than us?
- What are design standards we want to measure ourselves against (from our own industry and beyond)?
- Who do we want to be like? From whom do we want to distinguish ourselves?
- In the end, we classify the brand and its competitors into a positioning matrix based on jointly defined design criteria.
Reality bites and the route becomes the destination.
As also written in the section on concept, the following applies, of course:
Tools, mechanics, workshops, interviews, ... the list of things it takes to develop a good strategy »neat and tidy« is long. All components have their justification and the flight level of the project often determines the start-up. With all the craftsmanship and due objectivity, however, we can also do one thing above all: jump from a standing start (quite high).
»Hello, what is the request? (...) All right, here's how it's done.«
Those who get involved with us allow many paths, but in the end they always lead to Rome. (In other words: the path is the goal and we determine the path together with our clients.)