The "Bad" - allowing too many cooks in the kitchen while you are redefining and redesigning your brand
Just a few weeks ago I left Entrust and joined a great VC-backed company called ReachLocal. We are one of the biggest/best local search marketing companies you never heard of. Hence the reason they needed a new VP of marketing. On my 5th day we held a two day brand summit with 20+ execs, salespeople and product experts. It was an excellent way for me to get up to speed on the company strategy, our core values, competitive advantages and persona. As you would imagine the discussion was lively with lots of points/counterpoints but ultimately we locked down a brand pyramid that everyone agreed with.
Wary of design by committee we commissioned a small core creative team to develop the brand concepts with creative and copy points, as well as an updated logo treatment (always a risky thing to do but it really needs it). In just a little over a week we developed 5 concepts, pitched them to the execs, selected the best one and got approval to move forward to execution.
I write this post not to brag about achieving a quality brand makeover so quickly (though it is pretty amazing) but more to say that you don't have to pay an outside agency millions and take 4 months to achieve great results. I'll write another post in a few weeks when we take the site live and you can see for yourself. At the risk of being stupidly obvious, I'll point out that you absolutely cannot allow design by committee -- and must shield your creative SWAT team from the interlopers who want to offer their commentary about liking/disliking certain colors. I used the analogy of an award winning chili recipe with all the interlopers and it seemed to work...i.e. if a chef lets each of 20 chili experts add their favorite ingredients the chili is totally ruined. Here's a great video that shows the disastrous consequences if you don't heed this warning.