At this year’s Nedbank IMC, Susan Credle shared her insights on how to achieve excellent brand identity and marketing. As the global chief creative officer of FCB Global and first female chairperson for The One Club for Creativity, she has significant experience on how exactly to achieve this.
“The actions that you do inside your company are talking to the people outside your company, and they will pay attention if they’re interesting enough,” said Credle. The main question during her talk was, what do you do that sends a signal that you’re heading somewhere as an agency or brand?
She had some insights to share about how to achieve brand excellence…
According to Credle, the very first step is to clearly define your mission. However, it’s not as simple as stating what you want to do as an agency - but making sure that everybody who works in your agency understands and wants to participate in that mission. Everybody has a role, and the key to success is that they each play that part with the idea of achieving the same goal.
The partnerships that exist within your agency will determine whether or not you move forward. Credle specified her relationship with Carter Murray, the Worldwide CEO of FCB Global, and how even though they are different people, they push each other in the right direction.
“One of the best things about our partnership from a complimentary standpoint is that Carter is one of those people who likes action immediately. I am more organic, I like to let the solution find its way. He pushes me to take action more often, and I make sure that he doesn’t act without thinking about what’s gonna happen next,” said Credle.
The difference is important, you don’t want somebody who is identical to you, otherwise, you run the risk of not pushing each other in the right direction as Credle and Murray seem to do. However, the key aspect of any partnership is finding somebody who has the same goals and values as you do. It’s a fine balance that pushes you towards success.
Understanding your client means understanding what they need, and how you can help make that a reality. This helps when you are struggling with how to support the brand, but both caring about getting great work makes space for conversations that can figure out how it can work.
Establishing communication patterns is key to how you approach everybody you work with. Creating and using a common language that your colleagues and clients understand, according to Credle, is essential when it comes to defining the work you want to do, what work you’re okay doing, and what work you would rather not do.
At FCB, they use what they call the ‘4,5,6’. This is a ‘scale’ of sorts that establishes the likelihood of a project to be successful. Moreover, it helps you answer questions like; is the work damaging? Is it visible and ambitious, do people want to participate in the idea?
Sharing this language with clients also helps them understand how to better establish their identity. For example, we see this through the brevity of the Burger King “The Whopper Detour” campaign.
“This is about holding ourselves accountable,” said Credle. Discuss the work, understand why it is provocative and why it is important.
Having the right tools in place allows you to use them more and become more effective as an agency when you use them and decide what the right tool is to use. Creating timeless brand value is an intrinsic part of success, and it is imperative now more than ever.