Will Burns

Brand Work


Click image to read Will’s original Forbes post.

Click image to read Will’s original Forbes post.

As you can see if you read my Philosophy page, I believe a brand idea galvanizes a company. I've seen it.

It's in that spirit that I work with clients on the following types of projects:

  • Brand ideas

  • Presentation narratives

  • Creative brief development (read this)

  • Brand/blog writing

  • Communications plans

  • Lead brainstorms

  • In-house agency organization

  • Ideation via Ideasicle


A simple three-step process that helps a company see itself in different lights, ignites healthy discussions, helps navigate internal politics and ultimately leads to a brand idea:

  1. Immersion. I visit the client's offices and we spend a day together where the client presents an overview of the company - products, business health, goals, distribution, competition, etc. After some careful review of what has been presented, I will then personally interview employees and sometimes customers to get a well-rounded view.

  2. Ideas. Subsequent to the immersion I will prepare 8-12 completely different brand ideas that I believe could work. If appropriate and budget allows, I will tap into my idea factory Ideasicle. The ideas take the form of tag lines (though may not end up being used as such) with an explanation of the idea and rationale. This presentation is often quite therapeutic to companies as the decision makers are able to talk about the future of the company in the context of these potential brand ideas. Relevant article from the Ideasicle Blog.

  3. Manifesto. Once we land on one of the brand ideas, I will write a one-page manifesto that romances the idea and makes sure it's clear what we mean and what it means for employees. In the end, it's not about what our employees would do in the marketplace; it's about what the brand would do in the marketplace. The manifesto helps everyone internalize the brand idea so that they can channel it into what they do every day. Relevant article on the power of a brand idea from my Forbes Blog.

Clients who have benefited from this branding work: Cambrooke Therapeutics, Deloitte Digital, Ketovie, LogMeIn, Airing CPAPRR Donnelley and several others. Also, I’ve written about the importance of having a brand idea on Forbes in my “Branding Requires Character, You Are The Author.”

Brand Idea Case Studies (password required, so Contact Will below to get one)

Also, if you're just looking for a quick hit of feedback on an urgent project, consider my "When In Doubt: Run It By Will" service.