A product or service should certainly have something unique about it so your customer can make a choice. Otherwise they’re flipping a coin. But this doesn’t mean different for the sake of different. This difference should be relevant to your audience. Maybe it’s a key food ingredient. Maybe it lasts longer. Or maybe it’s the fastest. People need relevant differentiators so they can connect with a brand.
If you’re not honest, people might buy it once, but they likely won’t buy it twice. A key to a positive brand experience is delivering on your promise, whatever that may be. We’re the crunchiest, we’re the fastest, we’re the most durable, we’re the quickest to respond. Whatever your promises are, delivering on them increases brand loyalty and these customers become free advertising.
We’ve always believed that the fastest way to communicate any message is through simplicity. The straighter the road, the quicker the car will arrive. Same goes for a brand. The simpler you make your message, the faster it will be received and the clearer the message will be. This is so important in branding.
How We Work
No two brand undertakings are identical. And we understand that and the value of flexibility. But with each endeavor, there is a method that facilitates a measured, thoughtful process, and in the end, success. Here are the basic steps we take for a brand identity, whether it’s an overhaul, a revitalization or a brand new thing.
BRAND STRATEGY & POSITIONING
A good garden starts with good soil. This is the time to nail down who you are, who you do it for, how you’re different and how this is all relevant. These thoughts, traits and hopes are the seeds of the identity and are planted right here.
INTERPRETATION INTO A VISUAL STORY
This stage is about aligning our words with visuals. Our verbal strategy may clearly suggest a brand that’s ‘futuristic’, but it’s critical to begin defining how this might manifest visually. We’ll put together a Creative Brief which is a recap and interpretation of our strategy for confirmation.
Our creative phase is entirely driven by our newly formed brand strategy and aims to cover a range of visual themes within that strategy. We will create an agreed-upon number of options for the brand and drop them into relevant contexts in order for the team to make an informed decision.
MAKING A DECISION
Whether determining the winning direction is done between agency and client, or involves focus group input, the effort here is to strike a balance between vision and how that vision might connect with people in the real world.
DESIGN AND MESSAGING EXECUTION
The moment we all decide on the winning direction, it’s time to make it all come to life. The new identity — both design and messaging — is now ready to develop, tighten up and extend into the various touchpoints. Collateral, packaging, web, social and onward… are all infused with the new look.
GUIDELINES AND MAINTENANCE
An identity is as strong as our ability to maintain it. The secret sauce to proper maintenance, aside from good brand stewards, is a solid set of brand guidelines. Guidelines can range from very simple to quite elaborate, all contingent on budget and size of the brand. But some is better than none, to ensure a consistent, spot-on implementation and extension of the brand.