Cicero’s client, a non-profit foundation with an interest in clean energy technology and policy, had identified a promising solution that would address a fundamental problem facing nearly all Americans; its problem was how it should talk about its brilliant ideas. The issues surrounding the foundation’s targeted problem and solution were politically charged, and it was not clear what messages about the solution’s benefits or the foundation’s mission would best resonate with the American population, and whether different sub-groups would require different messages. As such, the foundation sought Cicero’s help in defining a branding and communications strategy that would enable a successful solution launch in targeted pilot markets and also underpin a national awareness campaign.
Cicero conducted multiple phases of focus groups and quantitative testing, and advised the client on the development and implementation of key messages, brand elements (e.g., tagline, solution name), and overall positioning. Cicero also segmented the American population according to relevant attitudes to enable message targeting and gauge likely solution acceptance and adoption. At the end of the project, the client clearly understood the key talking points it should use to “sell” its ideas to the public and which messages to avoid, and it had also gained a more nuanced sense of how it should present the foundation itself. Because of Cicero’s robust analytics, the foundation was also prepared to take persuasive data to potential partners with whom it could collaborate in rolling out its solution nationally.