Up until this point, we’ve examined the differences between in-house and outsourced creative (and why that matters to your program). We’ve also explored how implementers’ internal processes and structure can have a significant effect on your program’s marketing effectiveness. In our third and final installment, we’ll hone in on brand proficiency.
Question #3: How do they brand and market themselves?
You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can certainly learn about an implementer’s creative chops by looking at how they manage their own brand. Even further, how your potential partner positions themselves in the market, how they execute against that brand over time, and the care with which they do it – can be a pretty powerful crystal ball.
The reason? Trust. Colors and taglines are more than just graphic elements that designers use. They’re the DNA of a brand. Used over and over again without wavering, and these elements can create awareness, inform perceptions, and ultimately build connections between companies and customers. They are your utility’s identity. (An identity you will eventually place in the hands of your next implementer.) It’s imperative they understand that the pieces they create will influence more than just program participation, but your utility’s brand at large.
That’s why a great way to gauge an implementer’s proficiency – in addition to reviewing their marketing portfolio – is by consciously observing the execution of their own brand. Evaluate the clarity, consistency and quality. Is their positioning clearly defined? Is the look and feel consistent from their website to their collateral to their proposal? Is the production quality reflective of the brand?
In short, do they hold their own brand with the same reverence you’d expect for yours?
Franklin Approach: Your Brand, Our Expertise
Franklin Energy’s marketing team is first and foremost brand advocates. The most innovative, effective marketing executions always begin and end with strict adherence to the brand. It is that powerful – and we hold that power sacred. That’s why, from kickoff to delivery, we regard your standards guide as our bible. And your messaging platform as our native language.
But why so strict? Isn’t creativity all about breaking the rules? On the contrary. Out-of-the-box thinking requires a box. (tweet it) And our marketing team’s processes, procedures, standards and assurances all provide the structure we need to deliver truly creative work – that actually works.
THREE-PART SERIES IN THREE POINTS
Choosing the right creative team can be just as significant as honing in on the right marketing plan. Here’s the bottom line when talking with prospective marketing teams:
- Ensure you are getting agency-level quality and creativity from people who know the efficiency industry. You shouldn’t have to choose between the two.
- Ask the “why” behind their marketing department structure and processes – and make sure it’s set up to deliver.
- Look to their own marketing efforts, as a demonstration of their creativity and brand advocacy capabilities.
Lori Szolwinski proves daily that her creative depths have no limit. She has a knack for writing words that jump off the page, drawing in readers and expertly conveying their message. Lori leverages her advertising agency background to ensure quality, while producing copy through the lens of a demand side management expert. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication design and advertising from the College for Creative Studies.