The team’s main project will involve branding a product. The product is a jewelry line that was previously being made in a local cottage industry. Following the success the jeweler had among the local community, she now wants to brand her products. This branding will be followed by a marketing campaign. The jeweler has contracted me to lead a small team that will be in charge of the branding process. The jeweler started making these products to be able to cope with the effects of the recession four years ago.
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Initially, her work was part time but it has since become full time. Because of the economic situation during the inception of the business, most of these products are lowly priced. By branding her products, the jeweler is hoping to raise the products’ stature. The jeweler is hoping to use my expertise to make sure that the branding transforms the market value of her products.
Having been contracted for this project I proceeded to set up a creative team that would accomplish this task. Unfortunately, all the three people I requested were in different states. The budget set aside for this project would not be sufficient to gather the group in a central point. This is why we decided to collaborate virtually.
Virtual collaboration seemed like a viable option because it saved costs and ensured none of the team members would have their social life disrupted by the project. All the three members are in different states across the country. Two of the members in this team are my former college mates while the third member is a former colleague. The virtual collaboration will encompass different platforms such as video conferencing, instant messaging, and audio conferencing among others.
The project at hand might seem simple but it is actually very momentous. If the jeweler’s products are well branded, it might be a stepping-stone to a bigger market for her products. On the other hand, if the branding fails even the little progress made by the products could be reversed.
The team’s first task will be to conduct intensive research on the jewelry market. The initial research will focus on the jewelry shops within this state. Then the research will explore online marketing options. After exploring these fundamentals, the research will then explore the impact this branding can have on the national and global markets.
The latest research indicates that some of the most successful branding and marketing campaigns in recent times are the ones that had both originality and simplicity. However, originality does not translate to ignorance of market principles. This is why the research part of the project is very important. After this initial research, the group will embark on the real collaborative activities.
The first will involve sharing of the information each member gathered through individual research. Then we will move on to brainstorming sessions. During these sessions, there are two important details that the group needs to agree on. The first is the jewelry line’s brand name and the other one is the logo for the brand. When going about this, it is important to put into consideration the brand’s future expansion.
For this collaborative project to be successful, all members of the team need to commit themselves to this project in the course of the next one month. As the team leader, I am in charge of specifying the modes of collaboration as well as the time commitment procedures. When selecting the team, I took several factors into consideration.
The first of these factors is the ability of every member to employ fresh thinking. Fresh thinking means that there is no room for conservativeness in the team. To meet this criterion, I chose to start by considering those people I have worked with before.
The two first members of the team are my former college mates. In college, we had already collaborated in several successful projects. The third member is someone I worked with during my internship at an investment firm. I preferred this member because he has the ability to supply original ideas and at the same time be a team player. Most original thinkers are reserved people who have trouble collaborating with others. The third member of the group transcends this impediment.
The next requirement was the members’ ability to work seamlessly with up to date collaboration tools. This simply means that all the members need to be technologically versed. In today’s terms, these are the people who often use the virtual communication tools on a day-to-day basis.
This means that their facebook or twitter accounts are regularly updated, they take part in online forums, and they most likely run blogs. Two of the members in my team possess all these three requirements. All the members of this team also need to be able to interact with one another comfortably without having to meet face-to-face. In modern times, people do not necessarily need to “meet” in order to be comfortable with one another.
However, there are people who are yet to grasp this concept. All the members of my team need to have overcome this hurdle. For instance, at times the jeweler might be part of our video-conferencing sessions and this should not be a discomfort to anyone. Finally, all the members of my team need to have covered brand development either in school or during later careers. It is also important that all the members have access to high-speed internet and up to date video conferencing software and hardware.
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My role as the team’s leader will be to coordinate not to dictate. This means that all decisions have to be agreed on by all the team-members. Each individual’s contribution to the group is equally important. However, in some instance the members will be assigned tasks that relate to their areas of residence.
For example, a member might be required to visit the jewelry shops in his/her area of residence and purchase a particular product. These tasks are very important as they are meant to capitalize on the collaborative nature of this project. Nevertheless, the final decision belongs to the jeweler herself. If she is not satisfied with a particular idea, then the group is obligated to supply a new one.
The group will undertake this project as a networked team. This means that the group will dissolve at the end of the project. The budget provided for the team can only accommodate two face-to-face meetings during the entire project. However, these are only on a need-to basis and they are not scheduled. All the other communication will be through virtual means. At the stipulated time, the group will hold video conferences to discuss matters concerning this project.
Only one member of the group is in a different time zone. This member is already aware of this, and has agreed to make adjustments. Video conferencing will use laptops or personal computers. All other pertinent information about the project can be communicated through mobile phones and emails. This can either be in form of calls or text messages. In case connection is lost during a meeting, members can reschedule or take short a recess until the problem is resolved.
There is a single payment for the entire project. As the team’s leader, I am in charge of the budget. I have also managed to negotiate salaries with all the other three members. The salary structure for all members is similar but there is a stipulation for penalties.
The structure allows me to earn a profit from the entire project. My profit margin is however dependent on the speed with which the team is able to deliver. Therefore, it is my goal to keep the team motivated and efficient in order to avoid a loss-making scenario. As an added perk, the jeweler has promised to extend our services to advertising and marketing if we do a good job with the branding.
The success of this project depends on the ability of the team members to work under the stipulated environment. Given that all the team members have a commendable level of experience in branding, the team is likely to come up with a good brand name and logo. The main advantage for the team is that most of the members have interacted before. This means the team has already overcame one main limitation of virtual collaboration. The jeweler who has contracted the team also supports this idea because she believes it is a great way to gather talent.