Strategy & Activation
your story matters. own it.
It’s what you say about yourself and, more importantly, what other people say about you. Own it! The first step in effective marketing is creating an authentic and persuasive narrative. The next step is communicating it. We work with companies to write this narrative strategically, and then ensure that it sticks. Through our workshops, we collaborate with clients to develop positioning and brand strategies that come to life in a library of key messages we like to call a Message Architecture, a blueprint for any successful marketing strategy. These key messages are more than just building blocks; together they tell a company’s story. The Message Architecture is the most important tool in any marketer’s toolbox, but when used incorrectly, or ignored all together, it’s useless. Don’t waste your money or blow your budget on marketing that will never go anywhere. Invest in a partner with the ability to see the project through, to activate your big ideas, to communicate who you are and why you matter. In short, to tell your story.
It’s imperative that every employee, from the CEO to the security guard, understands your messaging and uses it correctly. Alignment from within makes your messaging authentic and consistent, and in today’s information-heavy digital landscape, authenticity is key to effective communication. But internal alignment goes beyond consistent messaging and memes. It’s also about incorporating your strategy into every channel of your business. It’s critical that all departments not only use the narrative, but also make departmental decisions with the new narrative in mind. A company that sells itself on outstanding customer service, for example, needs to align everyone from sales to HR in order to deliver on that promise, or its branding will fall flat, taking the company’s credibility down with it. Just as effective communication drives authenticity, authenticity drives success.
Aha! communication—from message architecture to market resonance
In order to initiate the desired reaction to your brand, you must communicate who you are and why you matter. It’s not enough for your C-suite to know the answers to those questions: your customers should know them too. This sounds easy enough, but without an activation plan and internal alignment, your communication efforts will be lost in translation.
Our Aha! communication strategy goes beyond press releases and influencer marketing. First, we immerse ourselves in your competitive landscape to make sure we are communicating to the right people, at the right time, and in the right way. By understanding your category, community, and competition, the context in which you exist, and your core DNA, we not only position you for success but strategically communicate your narrative to your target market in a way we know they’ll hear it. Or see it. Or read it. With roots firmly planted in communication, we are able to deliver an honest and persuasive story each and every time.
It all started with (Cunningham) Communication
Our founder, Andy Cunningham has been an entrepreneur at the forefront of marketing, branding, positioning and communicating “The Next Big Thing” for over 30 years. She came to Silicon Valley in 1983 to work for Regis McKenna and help Steve Jobs launch the Macintosh. When Steve left Apple to form NeXT and acquire Pixar, he chose Andy’s public relations agency, Cunningham Communication, to represent him. She continued to work with Steve for several years and has developed marketing, branding and communication strategies for game-changing technologies and companies ever since.
Andy Cunningham has played a key role in the launch of a number of new categories including video games; personal computers; desktop publishing; digital imaging; RISC microprocessors; software as a service; very light jets; and clean tech investing. She is an expert in creating and executing marketing, branding and communication strategies that accelerate growth, increase shareholder value and advance corporate reputation.
At Cunningham Collective, we leverage Andy’s communication expertise to ensure our clients achieve internal alignment while successfully engaging their target audience.