Core Brand Strategy

Guidance that helps you build a brand that matters.

To do the real work of branding, we must begin with a simple truth:

Most brands are irrelevant.

No matter how much we marketers may tell ourselves otherwise, consumers wouldn’t miss most brands if they disappeared tomorrow.  They’d quickly find a substitute and get on with their days.

Accepting this fact allows us to embrace the core challenge of building a brand strategy (and a business):

Creating something of value and meaning for a particular group of people.

Because when we do that, we take the first step in a virtuous cycle.  Consumers (humans) reward us with their loyalty, and we are rewarded with a more stable future.

So when we say our mission at Three Deuce is “to help good people build great brands,” we mean we want to help make your brand matter – a lot – to the people that you serve.

As we seek to build a brand that matters, the most important thing is getting the core right.  That’s why our services focus on what we call Core Brand Strategy.  This takes the form of outputs like:

  • Brand Strategy – What does winning look like? Where will we play?  How will we win?
  • Positioning – What do we want to stand for in the minds of those we serve?
  • Purpose, Mission, Vision and Values – What are we here to accomplish? What’s the change we seek to make in the world?  What do we want our legacy to be?  What do we stand for as people?

To get to these core brand elements, we can work with you in a variety of ways, including:

  • Consulting engagements
  • Brand strategy workshops, in half-day, single-day or multi-day formats
  • “Blue-sky” ideation workshops
  • Joining your existing strategic process as a fresh set of eyes
  • Coaching
  • Interim Chief Strategy/Marketing Officer
  • Quarterly or biannual strategic alignment sessions
  • Brand audits

No matter how we work together, we always prefer a collaborative approach, because a range of perspectives beats just one. We’ll start by immersing ourselves in your business, asking questions and listening closely to your answers. Whenever possible, we’ll dig deeper with focused consumer research and employee interviews. And we often become long-term strategic partners with our clients, lending perspective to execution as your brand strategy unfolds.

Some of the brand challenges we’ve solved for our clients include:

  • Translating a firm’s unique values and approach into a new brand positioning to create difference in a crowded sector.
  • Serving as a de facto CMO, leading the marketing plan and execution for a European brand that was launching in the US.
  • Articulating successful brand strategy platforms for several clients facing well-established, deep-pocketed competitors.
  • Establishing a strategic reason-for-being for each brand in a conglomerate’s portfolio, some of which competed directly with each other.
  • Uniting a brand’s multiple business units under a single “umbrella” positioning.

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Why Three Deuce for Brand Strategy?

 We’ve walked in your shoes. Unlike many consultants and agency staffers, Three Deuce founder Matthew Fenton is a former CMO who understands the internal challenges of managing brands, people and the P&L. And he delivers – in each of his seven years of client-side brand management, he grew brands by double digits.

 You’ll get senior-level attention.  Three Deuce founder Matthew Fenton handles every project personally.  You’ll never have your challenge handed off to a junior person.

 We’re not here to sell you other services. Designers will tend to tell you that design is your best answer. Social media agencies will say it’s social. At Three Deuce, brand strategy is all we do, so we have no motivation to recommend other services we sell.  We’ll only recommend the best path to growth for you.

 Here’s what our clients say…

“Matthew made the branding process seamless, easy to grasp and extremely worthwhile. He helped us clarify our goals and positioning in the market and gave us a fresh new approach.”

 ~ Anne Lisbin, CEO, Elegant Fare


“Matthew didn’t begin our relationship with a pre-baked solution.  He took the time to get to know our customers, our employees, our collateral, our history and our challenges.  Having this understanding really allowed Matthew to speak on behalf of our brand.  Many brands could benefit from his calculated and disciplined approach to strategy.”

~          Scott Brandt, EVP-Marketing,


“Brand development with Matthew is truly a pleasure. He immersed himself in our industry (one in which he had little prior knowledge) and, within a matter of a few weeks, was able to contribute as though he’d known it for years. He retains information at an alarming rate and he actually listens and learns before drawing his conclusions.

When a process like this starts off so strongly, excitement builds for the conclusion – and Matthew did not disappoint. He crafted a unique position that captures us perfectly – it’s exactly how we want to be perceived. Moreover, his strategic recommendations demonstrated an intimate knowledge of us that was immensely valuable and a bit frightening in its level of accuracy. The effect of Matthew’s great work will be felt for years to come.

In short, Matthew is amazing. He knows us, he understands where we should go, and he shares the wisdom that can get us there. He’ll take a good look at the hand you’ve been dealt (and do his best to read the hands of the other players), then help you figure out how you can play your hand to your advantage – and to the advantage of those you seek to motivate. I am certain our paths will cross again.”

~ Dan Stuby, Sales Manager, Youth National Accounts at Disney Youth Programs

Former Brand Development Manager, Bob Rogers Travel


“Matthew took a tremendous amount of time to understand all aspects of our firm before presenting his recommendations. The final product demonstrated his knowledge of our culture and client relationships as well as the services we provide. I strongly recommend his services to any firm looking to strengthen their brand.”

 ~ Chris Oberholzer, CFP, Wealth Dimensions Group


“Matthew is one of the best brand consultants I know. Period. His strategic recommendations are smart and well thought-out. And his approach is subtle enough to make everyone else think that, just maybe, it was their idea. (Hello, organizational buy-in!) When I asked that he join my team and partner on a key project at Cheskin AV, I entrusted him not only with important clients but also with my professional reputation. It was trust very well placed. I can’t recommend him highly enough.”

 ~ Leah Hunter, Former Strategic Director, Cheskin Added Value

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