The Essence of Brand Building & the Art of Strategy: Interview with Ondřej Vataščin, Business Director FLO BX

Dive into the world of brand building with Ondřej Vataščin. Gain insights into tailoring strategies, creating the right storytelling within narratives, and achieving global success in brand guidance. Explore the success stories of Qinshift and the personalised touch of Homepot, uncovering the unique secrets that define FLO Brand Experience's approach.

How do you tailor strategies for different industries?

Each strategy must be unique in that it must reflect the specifics or current state of the business sector. Using the same frameworks and processes for all clients according to a template is impossible.

That is why it is crucial for us to understand not only the client but also the entire industry from the beginning of the collaboration. Spending maximum time on the client side during onboarding certainly helps us to do this. We often participate in strategy meetings, business planning, and CxO meetings. It is also necessary to do our education before the start of the cooperation to be the right partner for the client.

But if needed, we bring in external experts and strategists who specialise in a given segment, which may be specific (regulated industries such as Pharma, etc.).

And we must also remember the experts on the client side. We meet with experts and specialists on the segment and need to onboard them into the project right from the start so that they have a sense of involvement and "ownership" of the project.

Why do you think investing in the brand is crucial for the companies?

Brand building is necessary for several reasons. Although there is a dogmatic implementation of brand purpose across the portfolio in association with P&G, branding is still essential and impacts the business.

"Many studies confirm that strong brands don't experience as much of a slump in an economic recession and can recover and return to their original market values more quickly."

Brand value creates a substantial part of a company's value.

So, a strong, credible, recognisable, and consistent brand will always have an advantage, which is unquestionable.

Explain your creative process for brand enhancement.

This process is varied at different stages of a company's life cycle. If we are building a new brand at the beginning, the process is much more complex. We start from scratch and go through the entire brand strategy and positioning process with the client, defining brand attributes, which we then try to translate into distinctive assets and codify across communication platforms and formats.

The process is more about validation and verifying the current attributes if it is an existing brand. We often find "outdated" brand attributes or underdeveloped distinctive assets. It can impact further brand development, maintaining consistency or sufficient recognition.

However, it is not only the process of brand development that is important but also its further implementation. That is why the "brand guardianship" phase comes after the initial stage, where we supervise the client as a consultant to maintain the strategy, visual style and consistency.

How important is storytelling in your strategy?

Although storytelling is often more associated with classic communication and advertising, it is essential to brand development.

"Storytelling brings emotion and can engage in delivering the desired message."

That is why we work with storytelling from the beginning of brand building. Our task is to prepare a brand "story" where the brand is in the starring role, and the brand strategy writes the scenario. It starts with the name, where the brand embodies and delivers the first emotion. Then, the brand story is crafted into a visual identity and developed into other distinctive assets or the product itself, where it is already a customer experience. And it is the integrated storytelling that connects everything into a consistent brand experience.

The best example of consistent storytelling is Homepot's brand identity. A premium broker service offering a personal approach to clients and properties. The insight of the home and the first gift of a home in the form of a potted plant began to write the brand story. It gave a clear direction to the name and permeated its way into the visual identity itself and even into the original gift that new property owners receive from Homepot.

Can you outline the typical project timeline and milestones?

Every project is unique. For us, the critical part is the initial stage of the project, knowledge of the segment, the client's current situation and the goals we want to achieve.

That's why we set the basic timeline and individual milestones after the initial workshop with the client, where we get everyone in one room.

Subsequent steps vary in length depending on the complexity of the project. But if we build a new brand, we start with a brand strategy. We define its core attributes, values, or purpose using appropriate frameworks. Next, we work with the tone of voice, personality/archetype, or primary visual filter. Then, we elaborate all these inputs into a visual identity and distinctive assets. The following codification focuses on real-world use in specific formats and channels.

Our years of experience in classic communication allow us to be a suitable partner for the client in applying the identity to actual use and the subsequent brand guardianship phase.

Can you share successful brand-building examples?

My favourite project is Qinshift . It's an ambitious global brand from KKCG's technology pillar. It's a dynamic segment, which classic consulting companies enter, but also by early-stage tech companies or start-ups.

We created a visual identity that was implemented very quickly. We are now in the process of extensive rebranding and merging of the different business entities, which until now were under their names or brands. It is about creating a unified "branded house," it is great to see how such a young brand can develop quickly in different countries and markets.

And even though the client has a robust internal brand team, our collaboration continues. After the successful launch of a new brand, it needs to be kept consistent and further developed. To maintain consistency, we have regular "strategy reviews" where we go through applications as part of brand guardianship and optimise proposed rules or templates when needed.

Consistency is the key to success, and technology helps us here, too. For example, our AI tool helps maintain a set tone of voice or prepare marketing texts. Which a client operating in the technology segment appreciates.

Who are your traditional clients?

The appropriate answer would be every client. We are fortunate to be able to choose which clients we align with. We are very close to local brands or start-ups with the ambition to grow and are fearless in making quick decisions. This mindset is similar to our setup. So, we carry a senior team, a reasonable price, and functional chemistry for the client.

Conversely, we've had several successful global B2B brands in the last year and a half. It's a particular segment with a specific target audience, but we have been able to relate well to the client's needs, and together, we are still building and developing these brands.

And that's the essence of FLO BX's success—a boutique approach to brand experience consulting for different types of clients.

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