Each week on 5 Minutes With, our host Wes Benwick talks to experts in the advertising industry. Today, Wes is joined remotely by Scott Markman from The Monogram Group. Founded in 1990, Chicago-based Monogram Group are experts at repositioning brands for business performance. Some are local, many global. They all have one common denominator: the need to adapt, engage and thrive.
Company: The Monogram Group
Website Address: www.monogramgroup.com
Interviewee: Scott Markman
Short company description: Founded in 1990, Chicago-based Monogram Group are experts at repositioning brands for business performance. Some are local, many global. They all have one common denominator: the need to adapt, engage and thrive.
Why is it important for a business to hire an outside ad agency as opposed to having just an internal marketing director?: When the leadership of any company or firm arrives at the conclusion they need to rethink their entire brand (regardless of the reasons), they need to access external expertise from professionals who have done this hundreds of times using global best practices to achieve an A+ outcome.
Who inspires you and why?: Business leaders such as the company founders featured on the podcast “How I Built This” that have pursued creating the next generation of great brands, and have all brought great vision and tenacity to their work while overcoming adversity.
The Biggest change in marketing that I see coming in the next 5 years is?: Through new technologies, ready access to capital and a broad range of innovative strategies, entrepreneurs will be able to build and establish great brands faster with more reliability than ever before (think Allbirds).
Tell us a little about The Monogram Group.
Yes we’re a branding agency. We’ve been around 30 years so we have done lots of buying. But our focus today is change brands for our clients. I’m a graphic designer by training so I’m a creative, love the creative process, love producing great creative. For many agencies it’s sort of their own agenda to do interesting, hip, cool, sexy, great, work and the real value in what we all do is to own something and make it interesting. The mantra in our agency is that brand is DNA. And so everything is about brand and if it isn’t on brand it’s hurting the client.
What would you suggest to someone a business owner or another creative type in the media space marketing space. What kind of homework should they do before they come to an expert like you to either refine their brand or make their brand bigger better stronger.
We first of all we never persuade any clients that they need to change their brand. Management has decided for one of three reasons that they need to find an agency with resources and experience like ours. if they need a brand it is because it’s a start up or maybe a carve out of a bigger company. And so they physically need to create something because they have to. That that’s the situation. Sometimes when we do research it leads to a conclusion that the brands that exist today should be literally blown up and started over and we never walk in and say Excuse me. That’s what we would do. The work we do normally though is evolutionary it is not blowing things up or start from scratch. It is evolving, it’s a little tickle.
What does a client really need when it comes to branding?
The appetite for this kind of work both bandwidth wise and importance to their company and then obviously budgeting so that our fees and the production costs and the implementation across the enterprise are approved from top down. Because if this is not top down it will fail.
What comes first brand or the business?
Great question and I would say depending upon the circumstances. So if it’s something a startup or a corporate carve out let’s say you know a division being spun off from a parent company, brand comes first. But if we’re going to grow the brand up or are going to evolve the brand, the business is where we take our cues from the business products services markets competitors market audiences.