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Gianni Spradley on Crafting a Unique Identity in Crowded Markets


Gianni Spradley on Crafting a Unique Identity in Crowded Markets

Founder and CEO, Fifteen East Media Group


Could you tell us about your business and its brand identity?

Fifteen East Media Group is a marketing and public relations firm that has been proudly delivering for our clients since 2015. A certified Small Business Enterprise (SBE), Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), and Minority/Women-Owned Enterprise (MWBE), we specialize in helping clients drive viability, awareness, and brand recognition through full-service public relations strategy and execution. Serving both medium and large organizations, we focus on enhancing public perception and curating digital identity. Our mission is to strengthen brand reputation and increase recognition through public relations and digital media marketing initiatives. We will always work creatively, thoughtfully, and ethically to integrate public and community relations with the latest trends in technology.


How has your unique brand identity contributed to the success and recognition of your business in the market?

Resourceful, innovative, and nimble, we aid our clients in defining and achieving their overarching public relations and marketing goals. A result of our success, we have become known for needle-moving and forward-thinking communication initiatives. Each client's needs are assessed individually and followed by expertly-devised, proactive public relations, digital media and marketing campaigns that drive results. In a constantly shifting digital world, where people are bombarded with information and news travels in seconds, Fifteen East Media Group helps clients navigate ever-changing media, business, and consumer landscapes.


Can you share the journey of how you developed and refined your brand over time?

Developing and refining our brand at Fifteen East Media Group has been a dynamic and rewarding journey. Initially, when I founded the agency in 2015, our brand identity was rooted in the core values that I envisioned for the company - integrity, creativity, and a commitment to delivering exceptional results for our clients.


As we started working with clients and gaining more experience in the field, our brand evolved alongside our expertise. We listened to client feedback and adapted our services to meet their changing needs. This feedback loop was crucial in shaping our brand into one known for adaptability and client-centric solutions.


Over time, we also invested in building a strong online presence and thought leadership. We consistently shared valuable content, case studies, and industry insights, positioning ourselves as experts in marketing and PR. This helped us not only in refining our brand but also in attracting clients who resonated with our approach.


Another significant milestone in our brand's development was expanding our team. The talented professionals who joined us brought fresh perspectives and skills that enriched our brand's offerings and reputation.


Through continuous learning, adaptation, and a commitment to excellence, we've refined our brand to be synonymous with innovative marketing and PR solutions, a client-first approach, and a team that's passionate about delivering results. Our journey is ongoing, and we remain dedicated to evolving our brand to meet the ever-changing landscape of marketing and public relations.


Branding in crowded markets can be challenging. What obstacles did you face in establishing a strong brand, and how did you overcome them?

Establishing a strong brand for our agency was indeed a challenging journey, particularly when it came to securing corporate clients and entrusting us with their brand. One of the main obstacles we faced was building credibility and trust in a highly competitive industry.


In the early days, our agency lacked a track record and portfolio of corporate clients. This made it challenging to convince larger corporations to trust us with their brand's reputation.


What we did was focus on smaller clients and local businesses. As we successfully delivered results and built a portfolio, we could showcase our capabilities to prospective corporate clients. Client referrals also played a significant role in establishing our credibility.


How do you ensure that every customer interaction reflects your brand identity, and why is this consistency important?

Ensuring that every customer interaction aligns with our brand identity is paramount at our firm, and it's a process that involves thorough vetting and careful consideration of our clients. Our approach to maintaining consistency in customer interactions is twofold:


1) Rigorous Client Vetting: We place a strong emphasis on client selection. Before taking on any client, we conduct a rigorous vetting process with our client questionnaire. This involves assessing whether their values, goals, and industry align with our own brand identity and expertise. We prioritize clients who share our commitment to ethical practices, quality, and excellence in their respective fields.


2) Detailed Client Onboarding: Once we onboard a client, we ensure that our team thoroughly understands their brand, objectives, and specific needs. This includes conducting in-depth research on their industry, competitors, and target audience. By immersing ourselves in their world, we can tailor our strategies and interactions to align with their brand identity seamlessly.


In practical terms, how do you measure the impact and success of your branding efforts?

We are laser-focused on being a results-driven agency, and we approach marketing services as a valuable investment for our clients. Measuring the impact and success of our branding efforts is an integral part of our commitment to delivering tangible results.


Here are some ways on how we practically measure the impact:


1) Clear Objectives and KPIs: We start by establishing clear objectives with our clients. Whether it's increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or generating leads, we ensure that our goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). These objectives become the key performance indicators (KPIs) we use to measure success.

2) Data Analytics: We leverage advanced data analytics tools to track and analyze relevant metrics. This includes website traffic, conversion rates, social media engagement, click-through rates, and more. By continuously monitoring these metrics, we gain insights into the effectiveness of our branding efforts.

3) Regular Reporting: We provide our clients with detailed, regular reports that highlight the performance of our branding efforts. These reports include insights, trends, and actionable recommendations for continuous improvement.

4) Client Collaboration: We maintain open and transparent communication with our clients, collaborating closely to align our efforts with their evolving goals. This ensures that we adapt our strategies as needed for maximum impact.By combining quantitative and qualitative data, ongoing client collaboration, and a commitment to delivering measurable results, we ensure that our branding efforts not only align with our clients' objectives but also provide a significant return on their investment. This approach reflects our agency's dedication to being results-driven and understanding the value of marketing services from the client's perspective.



Can you share an example of a branding misstep, what you learned from it, and how it influenced your approach going forward?

Too many to name! One of the most significant missteps we encountered was related to scope creep with a client we held in high regard.


We had a client we genuinely liked and believed in, and we were excited to work with them. However, as we progressed with our branding and public relations efforts, they consistently requested additional services beyond the initially agreed-upon scope. These requests ranged from event planning to influencer management, all of which were outside the original contract.


The primary lesson we learned from this experience was the importance of setting clear boundaries and expectations from the outset. While we wanted to accommodate the client's needs and build a strong relationship, we allowed scope creep to affect our agency's profitability and operational efficiency.


Following this misstep, we revamped our approach in multiple ways. Specifically, we now ensure that our contracts explicitly outline the scope of work, deliverables, and any additional services or costs associated with changes to the original agreement. This clear documentation protects both our agency and the client.


What key pieces of advice would you give to new businesses trying to establish a strong brand in a competitive market?

Establishing a strong brand in a competitive market can be challenging, but it's certainly achievable. We prioritize actionable results and a hands-on approach; below are some key pieces of advice for new businesses looking to stand out:


1) Define Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP): Identify what sets your business apart from competitors. What unique value do you offer to your clients? This should be the foundation of your brand identity.


2) Know Your Target Audience: Understand your ideal customers inside and out. What are their pain points, needs, and preferences? Tailor your brand message and marketing strategies to resonate with them.


3) Create a Consistent Brand Identity: Develop a strong and cohesive brand identity, including a memorable logo, color scheme, and brand voice. Consistency across all touchpoints builds trust and recognition.


4) Utilize Social Proof: Showcase client success stories, testimonials, and case studies on your website and marketing materials. Social proof builds trust and credibility.


Remember that brand-building is an ongoing process. Continuously seek feedback from clients, adapt to changes in the market, and refine your strategies accordingly. With dedication, a focus on results, and a commitment to delivering value, your new business can establish a strong and competitive brand presence in your market.







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