Ministry of Iron is a company that excels in the production of durable and environmentally friendly iron products. They have a new, innovative product – a smokeless fire pit, dedicated to everyone who wants to enjoy hanging around the fire, without worrying about the smell, about the smoke entering their eyes or lungs, or the clothes, and guilt-free of the impact to the environment.
The company now needed a brand positioning for the new product as well as a brand communication strategy, built from scratch. The biggest challenge was that fireplace and the gathering around it, as a sociological phenomenon, is very closely tied to the traditional, whereas the potential target market mainly consists of generations that have more or less broken with a lot of traditions partitioned in the past.
Our most significant opportunity was that they are at the same time very environmentally conscious, so our product is entirely eco-friendly and could be appealing to them, only if we could connect them to the tradition in a new, revised way.
First of all, we went on a mission to explore in-depth the terms that we knew are the key to the solution, in order to get to know all their meanings better and their usage and popularity over time. We started with “tradition”.
As expected, the use of “tradition” as a term was declining in popularity. We continued with research to see why the tradition is really losing respect and popularity. We found out, as was always the case – one aspect was that every “modern” time in history had its traditions that were considered retrograde to follow. And this was obvious and expected. But, what aspect in our modern era is dominant when moving away from tradition?
The answer was an obvious one, and the research just confirmed it. The aspect that we were looking for was “sustainability”.
So it was obvious to us now, that what we should offer to our target group would be “A sustainable tradition”. And that we need to revolve the brand communication strategy around this unusual symbiosis.
First of all, we did a Brand sprint with the client. We were very lucky to have a very informed and knowledgeable client for this project, so we did a wonderful session and we put a strong foundation for our project with his great insights, but also very creative ideas and on-point remarks.
In this session, we covered the brand values, the target personas, and the brand personality and we definitely decided together on the “sustainable tradition” as the central communication pillar.
With this, more or less, we covered the general brand communication direction. But we didn’t stop here, because for this project we decided to go with a Subaru-like communication strategy, crafting separate messaging for every important target group. Therefore, we segmented the target personas as specifically as possible, defined their needs and frustrations, and developed appropriate messages for each, with a recommendation to put a strong emphasis on targeting in the content distribution phase, so every message reaches the appropriate target group.
After mapping the direct and indirect competition that solves the same problem/need of our target groups, we were able to position the brand in the competitive landscape. Here, we also continued with the multi-segment approach, developing several axes based on the specific competition base.
Now we were ready to develop the main messaging, the channels, the aesthetics, and the appropriate communication formats. We looked upon some iconic brands that are at the same time modern and traditional, such as Subaru, Volvo, and Ikea, We adopted some of their proven approaches in brand communication, the most important of which was, and common to all was communicating the experience before the product.
Now, we are looking forward to having the first fire pit from the production line and discussing the go-to-market strategy with the client around the fire, brainstorming the basis of the marketing strategy.
Darjan came to our workshop well-prepared and helped me to better understand how could I develop the business in short and long term perspective. His ‘tool box’ and competences are very valuable for anybody who wants to build not only great product, but also great brand! You will not be disappointed.
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