What Is Brand Consulting Become A Brand Consultant
What Is Brand Consulting & How To Become A Brand Consultant
Brand consulting conjures images of flashy logos and sleek branding, but it goes far deeper. This complex, multidimensional field blends strategy, psychology, and creative thinking to build brands that truly resonate.
But what exactly is brand consulting? How does it differ from marketing or design? And why might you need these specialized services?
This blog peels back the layers on brand consulting. You’ll discover what it really entails, when businesses need it, and how to embark on the journey to become a consultant yourself.
We’ll also uncover the less glamorous side: the real work behind the scenes. You’ll even get tips on pricing consulting gigs.
Sound intriguing? Read on to master the riveting world of brand consulting from the inside out.
Understanding Brand Consulting
Brand consulting provides strategic guidance to brands seeking to navigate the complex modern marketplace. Consultants act as trusted advisors, leveraging research and analysis to chart a strategic roadmap tailored to the brand’s goals, audiences, and positioning.
At its core, a consultant’s role involves:
– **Competitive analysis** – Thoroughly analyzing the brand’s competitors to identify gaps, opportunities, and areas requiring differentiation
– **Audience research** – Conducting in-depth research to understand target demographics, psychographics, needs, motivations, and problems
– **Positioning strategy** – Determining the optimal brand positioning and messaging to appeal to the target audience and stand apart from competitors
– **Key messaging** – Crafting resonant messaging and taglines that encapsulate the brand’s ethos and emotional appeal
– **Storytelling** – Bringing the brand positioning and personality to life through compelling narratives that connect with the audience
With this multifaceted approach, consultants guide brands through complex modern markets crowded with competitors vying for consumer attention. Their insights and objectivity help brands clarify their vision, polish their messaging, align touchpoints, and launch more focused campaigns.
But how does consulting differ from pure brand strategy? And when might hiring a consultant benefit a business?
The terms “brand consultant” and “brand strategist” are often used interchangeably. Both leverage competitive analysis, research, positioning, messaging, and storytelling in their work.
However, strategists often work with both startups and existing brands. Consultants focus more exclusively on established brands.
Consultants vs. Strategists: Key Differences
Though their work overlaps, distinctions exist between consultants and strategists:
**Business Stage Focus**
– Consultants often focus on established brands already operating in competitive markets. Their role revolves around course-correcting brands that have lost momentum or clarity.
– Strategists work with both emerging startups building initial market positioning and messaging, as well as existing brands needing reinvigoration.
– As external advisors detached from internal politics, consultants provide an impartial, outsider perspective. This objectivity lends credibility.
– Strategists may be either external or internal hires. Internal strategists understand company culture and history but can lack outsider objectivity.
– Consultants are hired to address specific brand challenges around positioning, messaging, or storytelling. Their role is narrower in scope.
– Strategists often participate more holistically in overall brand direction, evolution, and oversight across functions. Their scope is broader.
– Consultants are temporary hires brought in for defined projects and deliverables around repositioning brands over weeks or months.
– Strategists may be long-term hires tasked with evolving the brand over years as market conditions shift.
The distinctions between consultants and strategists boil down to objectivity, business stage focus, project scope, and duration.
But when should leadership hire an outside consultant rather than an internal strategist? Consultants shine when an impartial audit identifies internal messaging, positioning, or storytelling issues undermining the brand. Their outsider perspective lends credibility to recommendations for realigning touchpoints to resonate with target demographics.
When External Guidance Becomes Critical
Growth stalls. Sales plateau. Momentum lags.
Every business confronts phases when internal efforts alone no longer resuscitate brands losing traction in the market. Leadership grows frustrated as tactics that once worked lose potency. What changed?
In many cases, the brand itself needs realignment. Messaging falls out of sync with audience values. Positioning fails to capitalize on emerging opportunities. The storytelling no longer inspires.
Yet these branding misalignments often lurk silently beneath the surface. Without an impartial audit by an outsider, internal teams frequently struggle to pinpoint when and why foundational brand elements have drifted from relevance.
Enter the brand consultant.
With an unfettered external vantage point, consultants identify internal disconnects undermining success. Their assessments center on three areas:
– Has our messaging drifted from resonating with core demographics?
– Do our products still align with our audience’s emerging preferences?
– Does our positioning fully reflect our capabilities in the market?
– Are we capitalizing on potential growth areas competitors ignore?
– Does our brand story inspire our team and customer base?
– How could we better link our purpose to customer values?
Armed with outsider objectivity on these branding fundamentals, consultants guide teams toward realignment across touchpoints. They illuminate where messaging or positioning has drifted from customers. With strategic clarity restored, brands regain momentum.
In short, dispassionate outside audits become critical when despite robust marketing, a brand continually underperforms. Before investing in new campaigns, take stock of foundational branding. An external consultant brings impartiality, objectivity and strategic rigor to illuminate where and why brands have lost their way in connecting with their audiences. With messaging reinvigorated, performance follows.
Pathways To Becoming a Brand Consultant
Multiple roads lead to brand consulting. Diverse professional backgrounds equip candidates with the strategic skills this advisory role demands.
While some consultants pursue a specialized education in brand strategy, many transition laterally from operational branding roles. These pathways build advanced expertise in understanding audiences, crafting messaging, designing experiences and formulating wider growth strategies.
Common springboards into consulting include:
Architecting visual systems and touchpoints requires innate appreciation of how branding strategically differentiates and positions organizations. Transitioning client-side designers grasp both creative and business facets in building brands.
Distilling messaging means understanding what motivates target demographics. Skilled copywriters recognize which words and narratives inspire action in carefully defined groups. This grants strong instincts for research-driven communication.
Navigating audiences across websites and social channels develops acute sensitivity to shifts in preferences and behavior. Marketing strategists know how to optimize content and engagement to continually capture attention.
Designing products and associated experiences demands sharp focus on evolving user needs and pain points. Product developers live at the intersection of business capabilities, technology trends and emerging consumer expectations.
While these specialties concentrate on specific aspects of brands, consulting requires tying these facets together into integrated strategies. Fusing vision with operational realities proves essential to actionable guidance.
Once basics are established, consultants never stop honing expertise through continual education, testing approaches and refining methodologies. Success ultimately traces back to how distinctly one sees through the eyes of a brand’s audience.
Pricing similarly correlates to mastery. Early consultants gain competency pricing in the mid four figures. Experienced advisors with sophisticated strategies command fees in the low to mid five figures. High six figures reward preeminent authorities integrating psychology and technology to engineer cultural phenomena transcending typical branding.
Of course, founders passing this threshold likely care little about money itself. Like famed consultant Wally Olins, those reaching such stature express fulfillment from the thrill of channeling creativity into frameworks eternally shifting how audiences engage the world around them.
They think in brands. They dream in experiences. They see strategies everywhere. And they open unseen pathways forward for every organization ready to advance how they connect with consumers.
In the end, branding mastery unlocks not just financial freedom, but intellectual and creative abundance allowing you to leave an indelible impact on the organizations and audiences you touch.
The Thrill of Building Connections
The brand consultant journey promises adventure, but not comfort.
Mastery arrives in fragments. Momentary victories give way to new challenges. Early ideas once deemed brilliant reveal their flaws when tested by time, trends and the collective consciousness of audiences.
Yet with each stumble comes revelation. Failures expose blind spots, while nudging perspectives wider. What first seemed bitter frustration in the end yields sweet understanding.
In place of concrete answers, questions become a consultant’s closest companion. Not those leading to predictable outcomes, but rather the unsettling inquiries sparking flights of imagination.
What if we…?
How might we…?
The curiosity to peer around life’s next corner, wondering what opportunities or insight it might unveil. This spirit of exploration separates the visionaries from the managers.
Of course, chasing inspiration risks losing sight of practical realities. Consultants dance daily between dreams and details. You envision, architect and articulate the impossible, then break it down into bite-sized building blocks simple enough for clients to swallow.
Patience, persistence and persuasiveness become prized mental muscles. Is this truly the hill you’re ready to die on, or just a clever concept you became temporarily enamored with? Choosing battles wisely preserves political capital for when it matters most.
Through it all, the ultimate rush springs from those rare moments when lightning strikes. Bold ideas once dismissed as crazy gain traction. Imaginary scenarios materialize into experiences delighting audiences. Whole market landscapes shift almost overnight.
In these instants, the deep empathy developed for those you serve pays dividends. By thoroughly understanding audience motivations, you learn to guide clients from where they are today to where they need to be tomorrow. Progress unfolds, one insight at a time.
The mentor you didn’t know you had. The innovative leap no one saw coming. The partnership producing results neither party could achieve alone. Such breakthroughs make the difficult days worthwhile.
This is the life of a brand consultant. The thrill of building connections. The joy of conjuring the future others can’t yet see. The pride in playing a small part in progress for people and organizations making a difference.
Are you ready? The journey awaits…
Greetings! I’m Jack, founder of Scythos – where I’ve helped over 50 brands transform into unforgettable identities and stunning digital presences. As a brand strategist and creative consultant, I have over a decade of experience taking brands from wallflowers to the centre of attention.
Looking to get your branding noticed and your business thriving? Reach out anytime to brainstorm creative strategies for making your brand impossible to ignore. I love collaborating with passionate entrepreneurs to conceptualize innovative ways to connect with their audiences.
Whether you need help with a logo, website, content or entire rebrand – let’s chat! I’m always eager to share my ideas, creative concepts and expertise to help brands reach the next level. Together, we can make sure your business gets seen and heard. Follow along on social or send me a message to get the conversation started!