We don’t do shortcuts. FVM dives deep to find authentic brand value.

February 29, 2024

Flipping legacy brands and updating websites with modern themes and cheery headlines is easy. So easy, in fact, you may have a cousin who’s willing to do it over a weekend for a few thousand bucks. Many people do.

Brand-flipping can absolutely solve problems for organizations with an archaic marketing presence by addressing surface-level problems that are working against the brand.

But doing so in a vacuum has unintended effects. It builds a new identity that, while trendy, doesn’t:

  • Acknowledge niche industry needs
  • Stand apart in a sea of slick competitors
  • Address political/hierarchal client anxieties
  • Communicate lasting brand value

A quick design skim can take most brands from embarrassing to passable. But a deep dive — consisting of research that’s fully aware of what prospects are experiencing in the market — is the foundation of thinking that advances a brand.

Naturally, that’s the only way we approach branding.

Understudies of your industry

As strategists, designers, writers, and developers, FVM will never claim to be technical subject matter experts in machine learning, oil viscosity, or scholarship fund stewardship. You, the client (and your team), of course own that knowledge.

But we consider it our foremost job to learn, understand, and care about the details of your industry, no matter how niche. Because ultimately, the way your organization operates in the trenches, day-in and day-out, paints a picture of what your brand is today, and what it needs to overcome to meet your strategic goals:

  • The difficulties your clients share with — in some cases — only a few hundred B2B peers on Earth
  • The hand-off process between sales and, say, product engineers
  • Why customers leave… and why they return after competitors fail them

This story of your business, your people, and everyone else involved is what we aim to uncover during research and discovery. Only by studying closely under you can we determine what low-hanging fruit we should avoid.

Here’s a clue: It’s what tends to get picked up first in bottom-dollar brand flips.

“Us” versus “Them” versus “Ourselves”

No storytelling exists in a vacuum. Yet we routinely see marketers scope their work around a single idea, without first asking how novel it may be, why it has or hasn’t worked before, and whether the climate for the message is warm, cold… or frigid.

Diving into your industry means going deep and wide. Understanding your business up and down, but also looking across at what others are claiming, then determining whether it’s true… and if the audiences you’re both pursuing even care.

Sometimes, there are obvious tropes we can instantly recommend you avoid. Depicting imagery that’s eye-glazingly common in trade media, or color schemes that will remind buyers of your competitors.

Other times, more nuanced research uncovers less obvious truths that have the potential to wholly reposition an organization. We may find an entire market has focused so totally on mostly-identical products or solutions, brands fail to communicate the working relationship of their staff, or what they’re doing to advance the industry as a whole.

We’ve also routinely found internal gaps — from departmental silos and poorly communicated mergers to abandoned recruitment messaging or overlooked sales insights — that, if properly addressed, make a successful brand launch (or relaunch) significantly more likely to succeed.

If it was easy, you’d have already done it.

Creating a brand identity and successfully marketing it across multiple channels — all while appeasing internal stakeholders and maintaining the goodwill of existing clients — is hard. There are years, and in many cases decades, of precedent and expectations tied into the relationships involved, external and internal alike.

A weekend website flip or logo swap can make it look like something has changed. But a real deep dive into your organization, its value, and how it best connects with audiences will actually change what your marketing — and by extension, your business — can do.

It’s why we’d never recommend anything less. And why we always deliver something more.


See FVM’s approach applied to your brand

Discover our research-powered B2B marketing services or contact us today to discuss your organization’s goals.