Origin of the word detective

The word detective comes from detecting, which, as the RAE indicates, means “discovering the existence of something that was not patent”. In Latin, the verb detegere (from which it originates) literally meant “to remove the covering”. This is the task of any detective and, curiously, of any professional dedicated to

Especially in the earliest phase of
diagnosis and analysis
(brand audit) but also throughout the rest of the process of strategy, creation, expression, experience and brand monitoring, the brander needs to investigate. Their job and their mission (that of the detective and that of the brand consultant) is to seek and discover answers. From the first moment the case is raised and the client presents the problem, the investigation begins.

Generally, there is a disappearance of brand identity and/or coherence. Sometimes, a sudden death. Other times, a suicide.

To start solving the puzzle, the first step is to know where we are. Who the brand was and how it acted (internal audit) and what the environment in which it lived was (external audit).



Parts of the brand audit

The Brand Consultant resorts to a visual, verbal and attitudinal audit: what was the brand like physically, how did it dress (visual identity)? How did you think (personality)? Was he consistent in everything he said and did (attitude and behavior)? Was he hiding something (communication)?

In addition, it develops a benchmarking: did it have competitors, enemies? Near? Far? Were they very different from her? Did they have many more friends? More than the brand itself?

Another substantial part of the research is that it analyzes market and customer insights: what did their closest groups think of them? How did his friends, family, co-workers, strangers, and his partner (stakeholders) act with him? What was the atmosphere like at work? Why did your boss hire you? What did your boyfriend notice when he first asked you out?

In this part it is essential to understand the context and the trends: what was happening in your city? Was your country also affected by the crisis? Why did your neighbors start leaving your neighborhood?

Undoubtedly, a reputational diagnosis will give many clues: what did they say about the brand before this “crisis/death”? What did those closest to him think of her when he wasn’t around? Did you have followers? Did he listen to them? How many people have complained about your behavior? Did you do anything to fix it?

The tools used in this diagnosis are varied: personal interviews, focus groups, compilation and study of documentation, reports, etc.



Seeing is not the same as looking. Hearing is not the same as listening.

As Sherlock himself explained to his inseparable Watson, “we see but we do not look.”

Everyone can see through a magnifying glass, but not everyone knows how to look in detail at what they are looking for and why they are looking for it. That’s when we can classify a brander as a good detective. Anyone can collect, to a greater or lesser extent, a quantity of information about a case. However, information does not become knowledge until it is analyzed, internalized and used intelligently to provide answers to problems.

It’s easy to hear stories, testimonies, and experiences, but it’s much harder to listen carefully and capture the insights you need to solve the puzzle.


Identify and uncover

The goal is to get to know the subject and their environment as well as possible, identify the gaps between what the brand said and believed it was (identity) and what others thought it was (image) in order to definitively uncover the causes of disappearance, death or suicide.

However, the main difference is that a detective can discover the reason for death but not be resurrected. The brander (brand consultant) and branding, yes.


Ruben Gonzalez-Roman Quignon

Brand Consultant at Branward®

Photos: Images from the True Detective series (Hollywoodreporter.com, Andysowards.com, Facebook True Detective)