During the seven years we've been accompanying brands, we've lost count of how many startups we've worked with. Maybe 200... or even more. We've always seen this digital ecosystem as an explosion of opportunities and possibilities: The emergence of other business models, the democratization of information and communication channels, new methodologies focused on agility, a different way of understanding work…
In recent years, these possibilities have been extended not only to the entrepreneurial ecosystem but also to the vast majority of companies and businesses in all sectors. Even those that were more established as offline, such as education, Pharma or energy, already have their tactics integrated into the digital sphere.
For years, this exponential increase has had some not-so-positive consequences for growth. There's a lot of talk about fierce competition, especially in B2C. Also about the increase in the price per acquisition in advertising, a tool that until not so long ago was key and very profitable for many businesses. There's talk about the saturation of organic channels and the problems of connecting with your audience through third parties that have all the control over your visibility — or even over the privacy and security of your users.
But the complexity of the digital ecosystem is even deeper. Messages that worked yesterday don't work today. People who were considered influential are no longer relevant or are even considered counterproductive. Channels that we might have considered infallible are no longer so. Faced with this volatile and changing environment, is trying our luck our only option?
Change is the only thing that’s permanent… or not
Anyone working in the digital ecosystem has heard a thousand times that the only permanent thing is change. At Soluble we don't agree. Since we first started we advocate — and can already say that we’ve proven — that there’s something else about brands that won’t change: their essence.
This is significant when we’re working on rebranding, designing our website, or simply activating our brand, but this exercise is feasible from the moment we have a fairly clear idea of our market fit.
In any of these cases, dedicating time and resources to discover what a brand is as a first step to grow in a consistent and flexible way is one of the most profitable investments a brand can make, and also efficient, honest, and, above all, sustainable.
Why? Because this will help coherent business decision-making, will help you choose only the best opportunities to achieve the defined objectives, and allocate time and resources to provide value, instead of engaging in a trial and error loop that can become endless if you don't have a clear vision of what your brand actually needs.
Based on this premise, at Soluble we design strategies according to what an organization and its people already are, what they already do, and what they could do, as well as their true motivation. This approach requires us to stop focusing on the latest trends or on the latest brand that has managed to be talked about so much. In fact, if you stop and try to figure out the reasons for those successes, one way or the other you’ll reach the magic word: authenticity.
Observe and put into perspective
Authenticity means finding out a brand's attributes, however aware or unaware of them its creators are. This requires immersing ourselves in the reality of the company, its context and, above all, the people who are part of it. We never tire of saying that this immersion is the most crucial part of any project, whether it’s rebranding, web design or development, or the launch and consolidation of an action plan.
Once we complete this observation, it's time to put everything we've found into perspective. Setting our goals — whether short or long-term —, really understanding our audiences and knowing what the playing field is like is fundamental to this stage. We seek to bring out the strengths that’ll help us connect with the right people.
We don’t lose sight of the fact that all this must generate useful tools that are easy to apply. That’s why it is essential to create strategic and practical concepts that capture the benefits of the strategy: to facilitate decisions, leverage opportunities, guide acquisition, align the team and connect with the people we're trying to reach. The aim is to be more effective in meeting the goals we have today and to get closer to the transcendence we are looking for tomorrow.
A brand platform to capture the essence
In this final part, we build the brand platform, a limited number of phrases that must be able to encompass the brand's complex universe, its possibilities and its opportunities, to be actionable tools. A challenge that would seem impossible if we didn’t count on the power of words, their meanings and nuances, which are key to embracing the consistency and flexibility that a brand needs in the digital sphere.
If we do a good job, the moment we present the results to the people we work with, they experience only one surprise: That of seeing themselves reflected in words they’ve been seeking for a long time. That feeling that the suit fits perfectly with the brand's reality and aspirations makes it very easy to continue with the next step: congruence. But that's a whole other Solublabla.
Nothing happens at Soluble due to the efforts of just one person. This article would not have been possible without the participation of: Marta Factor in writing; Andrea Martínez in English translation; Daniel Senior in visual design.