Freed from traditional thinking, RAW is collaborative by design and inclusive by nature.
The essence of RAW is as a strategic incubator, where Insight and Discovery are uniquely designed in a collaborative and transparent process, working alongside clients to uncover true meaning. By allowing this process to occur naturally, the outcome is brilliance.
Is every client RAW worthy? We doubt it. It takes a unique client to conceptually understand our philosophy and be part of this journey of discovery. It's not for us to tell clients what we think they want to hear. Rather we're here to listen. We are able to sense their meaning and work through a 'raw' state of being to bring them enlightened ideas. We want clients invested in their own success. In a way, we're empowering them with permission to be responsible for their own triumphs. Our team will impart the expertise needed to deliver and realize results.
In doing so, we demonstrate how our unique approach allows us to better understand and share the feelings of others. It comes naturally. It has to in order to succeed. And it does!
The journey is inclusive of all stakeholders, and as broad a range of minds as is necessary to discover the unchartered territory that delivers amplified results. Problems of all types and sizes can be solved in a genuine way.
Together, we are able to gain insights; a deeper, richer engagement with all stakeholders; sharing and learning from our diverse experiences. We build upon each other’s ideas to arrive at the bigger idea. Our team joins alongside as active participants and guides the process, taking all insights gained into consideration, and working to develop actionable marketing and communications strategies.
Find a new beginning or undiscovered territory that will create better engagement, bringing new relevance and meaning. Our philosophy does not include focus groups, rather, by conducting one-on-one interviews with our clients, key stakeholders and involved parties, we learn through a process of story-telling, which gives us a deeper, more meaningful way to gather Insights.
With Discovery, the brand needs to be activated in all areas of communication to engage its diverse target audience. With a focus on creating a comprehensive communications strategy and plan, what strategies will deliver greater engagement? How do we build relevancy into every aspect of the brand?
David embraces challenges… and this business presents new ones all of the time. He recently completed his certification as a Professional Facilitator (CPF) as recognized by the International Association of Facilitators (IAF).
Loyal to a fault, David values loyalty in others and considers himself fortunate to have many longstanding friendships, employee and client relationships. But those that are closest to him mean the most… especially his wife and kids.
In a truly spontaneous moment, David jetted his wife to Venice for two nights to celebrate their wedding anniversary, with tickets to see a James Taylor concert in Piazza San Marco. He will travel anywhere to see James Taylor.
David works hard with the goal of enjoying life. And what are life's little pleasures according to David? Lemon tarts, donuts, Starbucks coffee, and an amazing bottle of wine. He should know. David is a serious oenophile who recently completed the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 course in Florence, Italy.
When asked if he were to give up advertising, what would he do, his answer, "If I weren't doing this… I would be living in Italy, working in a vineyard."
This high-energy guy is known as the Director of Enthusiasm. With good reason. Geoff sees the world of communications with a different eye. Who else but Geoff is as passionate about working with the creative to get the message out there for the world to see? That's why he keeps hitting the proverbial bull's eye, time and time again. He married his love for media, with his excitement for selling – sharp-shooting straight to doing good and working for causes and cause-related events. He can't help but transmit his enthusiasm to everyone around him. He won't stop talking about it!
Geoff lives in the world of 'Yes'. Ready to take action. To answer the call. Born of personal circumstances, Geoff became actively involved in the inaugural 'Weekend to End Breast Cancer' in Toronto. This began his relationship with other likeminded events and causes.
Not one to sit still, Geoff's days move at high speed. This 'wannabe adrenalin junkie' would be on his bike 24/7 if he could. Already having several bungee jumps under his belt, Geoff would love to leap out of a plane or scale a cliff. He breathes in life. Is in touch with nature and is always looking for more opportunities to be outdoors and take it all in.
His passion is also obvious in his love for his wife and kids. As the trainer for his son's hockey team. Catching up on what his daughter is reading. When he does take time to settle down, it's usually to watch a serious movie or documentary. Always with plain old fashion movie popcorn. His life's obsession.
It's Jamie's absolute confidence that allows her to speak softly yet make a major contribution to any conversation, to be able to voice her opinions in a way that she will still be heard, to constantly push the envelope, think outside the box and see any project through to its successful conclusion. Jamie understands the fine balance of connecting people to successfully work together towards a common goal. All accomplished with her own unique sensibilities and perspective.
Jamie is both a city and country girl at the same time. A lover of horses, photography and travel. When she finds the time, Jamie may be off on one of her many adventures, through wine country, hiking in Europe, taking part in a 60 km walk, or chasing sunsets. Jamie is obsessed with sunsets. This lady has style!
Looking forward to new opportunities to continue to think of things differently. Always willing to work really hard, putting in more effort than others, this trained athlete truly hates to lose. A 'cautious risk-taker', Christina's not one to sit back and watch.
Who else do you know that would jump on the back of a stray cow and go for a ride? Just because. Now they're friends for life. Fun-loving, glass half-full optimist. Can't live without laughter. Lover of fine wine and dining, a warm beach, hot coffee, sports, a good book and above all else, fireworks.
Personable and empathetic, Margo was instilled with small town values that shape who she is today. Devoted to family. A rock solid friend. A passionate businesswoman.
Look at Margo and you'll see the vision of femininity, but that belies her tough as nails character. One that never lets her back down from a fight. Margo calls herself a tomboy, growing up playing with boys. Now she plays defence on her women's hockey team. Margo loves pushing herself and feels the need for speed. From the fast track in business to fast cars and riding a Harley, this woman sure is going places!
Margo is the Co-Founder and President at 365° Integrated Inc.
The Collective was retained by HTS to examine their current brand identity and provide strategic council with regard to their annual recruitment program, the launch of a new Capital Campaign and their ongoing communication with staff, parents, students and alumni.
The engagement began by activating The Collective’s strategic planning division, RAW, to implement a 3-phase process intended to reveal a new brand dimension and unchartered territory.
The process began with Insight, utilizing a ValueCentered® methodology to conduct one-on-one interviews with key stakeholders including faculty, staff, parents, students, board members and alumni. Through personal storytelling, subconscious thinking was revealed, which enabled our team to extract the deeper meaning as to why people align to the brand.
Upon review of the Insight Phase results, it was determined that the current articulation of the HTS strategic direction required refinement to create a more accurate expression of the HTS brand, as expressed by our key stakeholders. In the Discovery Phase we facilitated a series of participative and collaborative conversations, joining the agency’s experts with key stakeholders from HTS to see more deeply into the learning from the Insight Phase and to consider new opportunities to bring the HTS brand to life.
Our goal was to provide clarity around:
• The brand identity that will best articulate its core value to the target audience.
• The strategy to deliver sustainable student and donor engagement.
• The direction to vertically integrate all messaging and communications, internally and externally, for competitive advantage.
This experiential process revealed that HTS is a world-class learning environment, which offers a personalized experience through which students become confident and agile thinkers, able to operate independently and collaboratively in all settings. Holy Trinity School is committed to educational excellence, as measured by readiness for university entrance, and to the development of the character and individual abilities of its students within the context of Christian values and personal integrity.
The Connection Phase followed and began to lay the framework for a new brand positioning and a campaign that speaks to HTS’ new vision for internal and external expression. The ultimate goal — to drive awareness and enrollment and raise funds for a new construction program requiring a $20 million building budget. In this last phase of the RAW strategic planning process, The Collective developed a Strategic Platform, Brand Strategy Map, Brand Positioning, and Creative Brief, to support this new vision and act as guidelines; and also authored a Marketing & Communications Plan.
Visuals were conceived in a creative process that was rooted in RAW findings and informed by the Creative Brief and the Media Strategy. The Collective’s ACDC (advertising, copy, design creative) team interpreted the information and began the creative development process. The ACDC team conceptualized and designed two unique campaigns that were presented to key HTS professional staff and board members. Language was developed that captured the essence of the HTS Brand:
The most valuable lessons are those that come from experiences lived every day. At HTS, a well-rounded education goes beyond academics, athletics and the arts, to instill character and values that last a lifetime. Young people are shaped by experiences to achieve their full potential mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually.
The ‘Shaped by Experience’ campaign was immediately approved and presented again two days later to the HTS Advancement Committee, where it was again unanimously approved.
The illustrative style for ‘Shaped by Experience’ is based on a myriad of school-related iconography that comes together to form the ‘shape’ and represent the experiences of the HTS student.
Our process built consensus at every stage, allowed us to take action and redirect the course as needed, while together we charted the path forward for HTS’ rebranding.
The Collective’s media planning division, INTENT Media, began work on a parallel strategy for media allocations and total dollars to be spent. A combination of direct response tactics were used to drive interest and enrollment for Open Houses, as well as to activate brand building tactics aimed at articulating HTS’ mission and vision to stakeholders and prospective parents and students.
We were retained by Apri (formerly BComm Financial) to examine their current brand identity and provide strategic council with regard to their corporate positioning in light of a recent national expansion program that saw new partners join the ownership group.
Apri underwent a brand discovery through a very RAW process. The outcome was the realization that their company was unique. Apri is not your typical insurance and benefits team. Their very core is based on how they care deeply for the wellbeing of their clients. The company was, and always will be, different in this regard.
We were able to gain insight into the company’s objective process, which ensured that consultants provided clients with the products and services that fit their unique needs. Other brokers often ‘sell’ products that earn them the highest commissions. Through this process, we learned that this is not the case for Apri, and it was essential that this ‘higher’ purpose be communicated to Canadians.
Apri, which in Latin means ‘what comes before’, was tested and selected as the company’s new name. From it, the new positioning, ‘Living As Planned’, was derived.
The branding speaks to the company’s belief: that the essence of insurance is not a product, rather, it is actually an expression of caring – how an employer cares for its employees, and how parents care for their families.
The identity breaks through and is exciting; among a sea of insurance brokers, this identity and story is highly unique. The Collective’s creative team worked to ensure the brand identity was very approachable, much like the people behind the name.
From the new identity, a website and communications plan were created. Recently, a refreshed, enhanced website was launched, featuring ‘in-situ’ photographs of families, businesses, and Apri consultants. A new Blog feature hosts an on-going series of blog posts derived from true stories contributed by Apri consultants, which speak to the level of CARE that Apri represents. Highlights of the enhanced Learn section are the no-obligation Q&A and Resource features, and five new educational videos that were created to speak to viewers about real-life situations. All of these are meant to help facilitate a dialogue about future planning – without any ‘sales pitch’.
Training and development programs are in place, which continue to further realize the power of the brand that Apri delivers vs. what they sell.
These tools enable Apri to speak to more and more Canadians and help educate them about their future needs. The company is full of pride and inspired by the real purpose of why they are in business.
SickKids Foundation had begun working on the notion of their very own fundraising walk. We understood the challenge of this monumental undertaking and the complexity of the SKF environment.
How to create a fundraising event that did not focus on one specific disease, but rather was meant to raise dollars for the hospital’s most urgent needs? The hospital, foundation, board of directors, staff, patients, families and friends all came into consideration, to realize the vision of what could be. Taking this new brand beyond the hospital walls, into the hearts and minds of all Canadians. Creating a movement that would focus on changing behaviour – starting with, and empowering, healthier, more active kids and including the entire family. Representing the belief that anyone can be the hero of his or her own life story.
Trusting the process, SKF allowed RAW to take them back ten steps, in order to move forward. Working side-by-side, from beginning to end, a spectacular new FUNdraising event was created. Blurring the lines between agency and client, the concept came to life in phases, in a collaborative and inclusive process.
Phases 1 & 2 were achieved and completed in a total of six weeks. It began by extracting meaning through Insight and Discovery that lead to the development of ‘Camp’, laid the groundwork and charted the course.
Insight, our process of finding a new beginning or undiscovered territory, created better engagement and brought new relevance and meaning to the ultimate vision. RAW began by conducting interviews in an authentic storytelling fashion for better understanding of the subconscious drivers behind our respondents’ decisions.
In our Discovery phase, we facilitated a participative and experiential series of conversations. This brought RAW’s key experts, and those of SickKids Foundation, into a joint learning process to determine what emerged from Insights, and what would then be needed from each of our teams, to guide the development of a strategic plan to ultimately achieve success.
The Connection process followed in tandem with the client. This ultimately led to the creation of a Brand Strategy, Creative Brief and Brand Guidelines, and a Stakeholders’ Decision Guide.
The creative process began with visuals, expressed as ‘The Great Camp Adventure’. An up to 20 km challenge-by-choice adventure walk, with all things ‘camp’.
Taking a cue from the deep blue colour of the SickKids palette, the logo was designed. ‘Changing Kids’ Health for Keeps’ became the tagline to create awareness in year one. The ultimate goal was to raise FUNds to support hospital initiatives, engage current donors and recruit new supporters. All in a tone that spoke to the FUN, STRONG, CONFIDENT, FIERCE, KIND and HUMBLE. Creating an inclusive event that removed barriers and embraced everyone, from 0-99 years young.
Designed as a multimedia campaign that spoke to and connected with the kid in you, the first flight of The Great Camp Adventure, created to build brand awareness began rolling out at the end of February 2013. The second, more tactical flight of advertising, continued in June 2013, and was focused on increasing registrations and fundraising dollars.
The Great Camp Adventure has already proven it is here for the long run. Assuring initial success by securing a multi-million dollar commitment from Canaccord Genuity, their presenting sponsor, before the event had even signed up a single registrant, based solely on the event creative.
The spectacular inaugural event took place on September 28, 2013 with 1,400 camper participant walkers, camp crew and volunteers, who raised a total of over $1.3 million.
The Collective was retained again in 2014 to refresh the creative campaign and all event day collateral for the second Great Camp Adventure Walk, a family adventure to benefit SickKids. Interest and FUNdraising proved even more successful as the event continued to build momentum with additional corporate sponsors, over 2,000 participants and $1.8 million raised.
In an Agency/Client relationship of over 20 years, the challenge was to create a new and exciting marketing plan and creative campaign.
The Collective’s mandate was to develop a holistic marketing approach that considered all aspects of the Brookfield Place brand and their communication in all forms. In 2014, our RAW strategic planners took Brookfield Place through a discovery process to ascertain and better understand the current top business and marketing objectives and challenges, in order to ensure tenant and retail space was fully leased, and to increase sales and customer traffic.
Our strategies included developing a unique creative concept and positioning that would apply to all aspects of the Brookfield Place offering including Corporate, Retail and Arts & Events, and developing a communication program that would reach the target audience through digital and print formats.
Our aim was to encompass all this and to move Brookfield Place forward on a journey of digital discovery that would capture the quality of the place, its retail offerings and services, and the level of corporate tenants located at this address.
RAW created a marketing program under the ‘State of the Art’ banner, which highlights arts Brookfield, on-site events, special promotions and retailer activities.
Based on the RAW finding, The Collective’s ACDC team (advertising, copy, design creative) undertook a new way of looking at Brookfield Place. One that is modern, urban, relevant, and that embraces the grandeur of the building, the new age of communication, and the inspiration of the arts. In its elemental state of being, it is the body, mind and soul of what truly is Brookfield Place.
‘State of the Art’ became both the new positioning line, and the overarching theme, of the new campaign. Together with the positioning line, our designers created a new branded identity that incorporates a linear motif of the Brookfield Place property and its iconic Calatrava-designed Galleria. The lines of the symbol are also representative of a unique thumbprint and a digital signal.
Since the launch of the ‘State of the Art’ campaign, there has been greater social media outreach to highlight contests, events, exhibits and retailer promotions. January 2015 saw the launch of a monthly social media contest incorporated in the annual Brookfield Place desktop calendar. We encouraged tenants to participate and showcase their day-to-day experiences at Brookfield Place by uploading personal photos to Instagram and Facebook, using unique monthly hashtags. These photos would then be entered to win monthly prizes.
We have seen a steady growth of new followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. In the first quarter of 2015, the Brookfield Place Facebook page had seen an increase in new ‘likes’ and 71% of all content posted was engaged with by our viewership. By March 2015, the total of 747 Twitter followers grew by 155 from December 2014.
In Phase I, we conduct one-on-one Insight interviews to understand the motivation and behaviour related to the brand experience. This is a story telling process. We enable the respondents to share stories in a relaxed and pleasant way. This 'story telling' process captures the authentic subconscious drivers behind their decisions. We use subconscious, emotional need(s) to identify the best features and benefits. Getting the story right provides you with the most effective 'brand' / 'conversation' / 'marketing tools' leading to accelerated engagement and awareness.
There are four steps required:
Understand the behaviour and motivation of the Insight groups.
Understand the brand's complete experience by Insight group.
At the subconscious level, a brand's point-of-difference is in sharp contrast to the competition. Understand what makes the brand unique vs. other brands. This clarity will help differentiate this brand from the real competition.
Every brand has a core purpose greater than the physical features and benefits. Once we understand what is unique, we have the real compelling gain or benefit to communicate.
The goal is to communicate directly to the subconscious where decisions are made and activate the behaviour to engage. What is the impact of all cues of the brand experience?
Phase II is where we facilitate a series of conversations (two to three discovery conversations, of two to three hours in length, joining the agency's experts with key stakeholders in your organization to see more deeply into the opportunities to better activate your brand.
Our Discovery approach is a co-determined series of conversations that are meant to 'unpack' the information revealed during the Insight Phase, and provide clarity around:
— The brand identity that will best articulate its core value to the target audience.
— The strategy to deliver sustainable participation and donor engagement.
— The clarity and direction for vertically integrating all messaging and communications, internally and externally, for competitive advantage.
Key stakeholders will be invited to uncover the undeniable strengths and most compelling stories through conversations that are participative and collaborative.
The focus of our conversations will steer us toward what is already affirming, positive and enabling. This process aims to connect our teams and to stimulate creative strategic solutions and optimal implementation, aligned with the overarching intentions of our work together.
Our Discovery process is designed to produce our best creative work, but also for the client's key stakeholders to learn alongside our agency's experts. Through this joint learning process, you will begin to shift your thinking about what is possible with this opportunity and what is needed from each of our teams to achieve joint success.
Intentions of this phase include:
— To join client and agency teams in shared understanding of your brand's opportunity: vision, core values and common ambitions of success.
— To jointly and through participation, make sense of what emerged from the Insight process.
— To co-determine and align with the most compelling stories, emotions and insights that should guide the development and implementation of a strategic plan.
— To identify potential pitfalls that may require future awareness and contingency planning.
Phase III is where we begin to create the basis for the conversations that will take place within your organization and between external audiences and your business.
The outcome of this final phase will include the development of a strategic plan, including:
— Brand Strategy
— Communications Plan
— Decision Makers Guide (built from Insight and Discovery process)
— Creative Brief (to inform creative development process)
The Brand Strategy development process begins with a deep analysis of the data collected in the Insight and Discovery phases. We will craft brand outlines, ultimately distilling the strategies into "essence statements" providing a clear expression of your brand. The Brand Strategy will provide the foundation for creating sustainable employee engagement and visual brand expression.
The Communications Plan forms the roadmap to creating a stronger relationship with your target audiences. The relationship is created inside a conversation, which can be articulated in all forms of communication. And so, our job is to create powerful conversations, which in turn produce deep, long term relationships between your target audiences and your organization, and ultimately build your brand and drive engagement.
This report serves as a foundation for the development of the Communication Plan and Creative Vision. Having completed the Insight phase and finding consensus during the Discovery phase, it is essential that future decisions about the public expression of your brand remains rooted in our previous learning and planning. All stakeholders with responsibility for implementing the Brand Strategy can rely on this report to ensure alignment to what we have previously learned. This removes personal bias or opinion from the evaluation of future efforts.
The Creative Brief provides clear and unified direction to inform the creative concept development process and helps to ensure that recommendation remain true to the Brand Strategy.