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Corridor Company Spotlight | Stephens & Associates Advertising

by Alexis Ellsworth | Jul 18, 2017

Stephens & Associates Advertising
The Brand Whisperers®

As the Brand Whisperers®, Stephens & Associates (S&A) is a specialized agency focused on building brands and businesses that help improve the lives of animals. Over the past 37 years, we have worked closely with a long list of clients in the pharmaceutical, biological, parasiticides, nutrition, diagnostic and financial categories in the U.S. and globally. We have helped launch, position and grow products, services and companies of all sizes.

But what exactly is brand whispering? Years ago, while attending an animal health conference, a renowned horse whisperer was one of the featured speakers. As he shared his philosophy on working with horses and the approach he uses to achieve results, we came to a realization. His principles and techniques are very much the same as those used in effective branding. This was the inspiration for “the brand whisperers.”

“One of the things he expressed that day was that there is no magic or one method that works every time,” explains Chuck Stephens, S&A president. “It’s knowing that everything you think you know may change with the very next horse or, in our case, the very next brand. That’s why research is one of the foundations of our approach. While we have a deep level of experience, we never assume we have all of the answers – we actively go out and find them.”

This includes observing the audience in their natural surroundings, another principle of our approach. This is the best way to get a complete picture of the influences, emotions and environmental dynamics that drive behavior - within context. If you only make decisions from the confines of an office or a focus group room, you can miss the actual problem you’re trying to solve or a nuance that hones your strategy.

“That’s why we visit veterinary practices, go on ride-alongs with sales, walk around feedlots, observe surgical procedures and conduct mystery shopping,” explains Stephens. “There’s nothing like observation in the real world.”

Beyond this belief in total audience immersion, other brand whispering tenets include:

  • Always respect your audience and approach them with empathy.
  • Gentle persuasion is more powerful than force.
  • The full language of communication is clearly expressed if you take the time to  interpret it.
  • Tap into the power of emotion.
  • Look at inward motivations to change outward behavior.
  • It’s not about how much pressure you put on. It’s about how much you take off.
  • Think of your customer as a partner and it’s all one great dance.

The agency applies this philosophy across all agency disciplines including strategic planning, business consulting, creative, public relations, digital and content to build sustainable brand platforms that drive success for years to come.

We’d love to talk to you about how the S&A team can help solve your marketing and business challenges. Please contact Patrick Stephens at 913-661-6804 or patrick.stephens@stephens-adv.com. For more information, visit TheBrandWhisperers.com and follow the conversation on Facebook and Twitter (@BrandWhisperers).

Information submitted by Stephens & Associates Advertising

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