Last month, for the first time in 30 years, I did a jigsaw. As a child I used to love jigsaws; so did my parents as they kept me quiet for hours! The actions of building and implementing your marketing strategy are just like a brand jigsaw. There are pieces that are easy to fit together, others that are more difficult, and there are usually different zones that build into the overall picture. The bigger the picture, the more distinct zones a jigsaw usually has.
I was completing this jigsaw alone. As someone who is used to leading teams, and creating overarching brand concepts, my natural approach was to create the outside frame first. My plan was to then work in from each corner, one zone at a time. But of course, finding that next piece in a thousand from the pile was hard at the start. And so, as I started to search through the different puzzle pieces, smaller sections from the centre of the picture also started to take shape. Pieces just seemed to land together, even though they were floating far from the frame. It wasn’t a linear process.
As a team of one, it was totally possible for me to accommodate this. To flit from one section to another, in whatever order I chose, because no one else needed to follow what I was doing.
With a brand jigsaw – which is also not linear – you rarely have the same luxury. Even as a solopreneur, you have customers who need to understand the frame, and the relevance of where they fit, and of course how you fit into their jigsaw. But once you have a team – even one more person – the frame becomes a vital guide.
- Does your brand jigsaw have outside edges to help your team?
- Do people know where their part of the picture fits, at least roughly?
- Do they have access to enough of the pieces to complete their own section of the picture?
- Do they know how their section fits with the next one?
- Are there some common patterns in every section?
Marketing strategy is necessarily implemented piece by piece. How you frame those pieces – and help people make sense of the picture – is how you build a strong brand that your team are invested in.
Whether you’re visual – and need a brand jigsaw; or more auditory/kinaesthetic and need a brand symphony, working with someone who can help you and your team create and implement a consistent brand image and marketing strategy may be what you need.
Jill Pringle is a brand & marketing strategy consultant. Her book, The Brand Symphony, walks you through the five key steps to creating and orchestrating a winning brand.