Quick Reads

A great brand strategy is like an owl

Gonzalo Alatorre

Founder/Creative Principal, étude Digital

For each of our services, we used an animal as an analogy. So, I am sure some of you may be asking yourselves why?

Well, quite simply because we love nature, and we feel each of these animals is a fantastic representation of each of our services.
Here is why:

Brand Strategy > The Owl

An owl needs to pin point the location of a meal opportunity, discern if it is a meal or not, plan its attack, keep track of its movements, and make sure it can approach it without being noticed.

In our view, an owl is a great analogy for brand strategy.  They can see what they are after when others can’t. They have adapted their feathers for completely silent flight. Owls need to pin point the location of a meal opportunity, discern if it is a meal or not, keep track of its movements, plan its approach, and make sure it can do it without being noticed. How is this not different than planning a well executed brand strategy?

So in summary, they have identified an opportunity where there isn’t as much competition for resources, evolved the necessary adaptations to thrive in these new conditions, and remain very focused on their specialty.

How is that not identical to a great brand strategy approach?





An Owl Brand Strategy: Pathfinder Asset Management Limited

When we start working with a new client, there are the obligatory stakeholders interviews where we learn about how they go about their business. In this particular case, Pathfinder was looking for redefining their brand strategy, as they did not feel they were communicating anything different than anyone else. They felt they were just another asset management firm.
When we are tasked with this endeavour, we always run internal and external (clients) interviews to understand why they have such loyal customers, and what makes them recommend our client’s organization to their peers or friends. If we can find an intersection point between how a company thinks of itself, and what position they actually hold in their clients mind, we can find that one compelling idea of value.
Finding a disruptive business model is like finding a unicorn. Unknowingly, Pathfinder was running a very disruptive business model for the industry by having started as a family practice, and extending its service to friends and extended family: Everyone at Pathfinder invests in the same funds. Clients, staff, executives, you name it. If you work at Pathfinder your savings are invested in the same fund as what they are investing in for their clients.
This allowed us to work with them in developing a brand strategy that set them apart from everyone else: Everybody in Pathfinder is as Equally Invested® as their clients.
So to bring it back full circle, we observed the opportunity, identified it as not having any competition (this allowed Pathfinder to trademark Equally Invested as their tagline), and evolved the necessary adaptations to thrive under this promise of service. To this day, this strategy remains as solid as ever, and as far as we can tell, they can still claim to be the only ones offering this unique selling proposition. Just like the owl.




Gonzalo Alatorre

Founder/Creative Principal

AKA “El Presidente” - Gonzalo Alatorre is credited with discovering the Rolling Stones 40 years after everyone else.
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