Brand Immersion – getting the most from your PR agency4th July, 2018 by Georgia Andrewes
Learning about new clients, their goals, objectives and business as we start working with them is one of the most exciting parts of what we do. But the reality of time constraints on the client’s part can often result in the start of a working relationship becoming a crammed session of briefings via internal documents and conference calls that doesn’t always result in an agency really getting a true understanding of a company or brand’s DNA.
Fortunately, we have a solution. The best way to work with a PR agency is to treat them as a partner, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in your business. Your PR team needs to be as passionate about your brand as you, and that’s our approach and starting point when working with new clients.
It’s vital to get under the skin and learn about every aspect of a new client’s business. Face time is important, but many agencies forget to meet the people outside of the marketing team. It’s key to meet everyone involved with the business, from those working in production and the experts behind brand development to the customers who buy a company’s brands.
When we started working with Estrella Damm, a Mediterranean beer brewed at source, and so heavily influenced by its local culture, we believed it was imperative to visit Barcelona to see where the beer for this 140 year old brand was made and what inspired the brand’s voice.
The full Estrella Damm account team from R&T spent two days visiting the brewery, seeing the production line and meeting the team who ensure every bottle of Estrella Damm tastes the same as the last – a tough task when all ingredients are 100% natural and can be affected by seasonal weather changes.
This was then followed by a tour around the city and the brand’s key on-trade accounts to see how local restaurants and bars showcased Estrella Damm. Lastly, we were taken to the historic family run factory Ceramica Cumella, where the unique Estrella Damm ceramic draught beer fonts are made. These fonts were designed by Martí Guixé, a world-renowned Catalan artist, and are individually handmade by ceramicist Antoni Cumella for restaurants and bars around the world (a process that takes seven days).
Now with an improved understanding of the brand, culture and people, as an agency we’re better equipped to bring the Estrella Damm story to life. In fact, we’re fizzing with new ideas.
What our experience really reinforces, though, is that there is nothing more important than understanding a client’s business and what shapes them. Passion for a brand is contagious and when you fully immerse yourself in a brand you can learn not only the key messages they want you to portray, but also the best way to shape them for the end audience.
Taking this approach to working with a new client helps us to understand both a company and its brands, aiding us to create better solutions.
It goes without saying that face to face interaction helps strengthen our relationships. And we also believe that time focused solely on a client’s brand, outside of the office and away from computer screens also allows us to show our dedication and enthusiasm for creating a positive start to work together – as partners.