No, we’re not a research company: we’re branding through and through, but we appreciate good quality research. We believe that brands need to be based on substance and therefore research is key.
We use research to underpin our thinking and direction, we don’t let it stifle us – research respondents often provide information that reflects the ‘trodden’ path, user expectations, tactical approaches and customer impulse reactions, but they cannot tell us how colour, typography, etc will ‘influence’ customer decision making – that’s the magic that the designer brings.
To create effective and influential brands for today’s markets we have devised tools and techniques to help define a company’s brand so that it is not only closely aligned to their own ethos, but is also keeps within their customers’ expectations, whilst creating real differentiation for their brand.
We use findings from the research phase to help us create an effective brand strategy. The tools we use help us express the brand’s soul with clarity, define its key differentiators and even provide techniques to even that allow corporate strategy to adapt and change in order to create more effective business methods.
An important aspect to any brand is its name. Naming can create excitement, logic, energy, interest and more to a brand. Therefore it is imperative that naming is given relevant consideration. However, naming is not easy, and is famously difficult to work through effectively. The issues often come down to confusion around appropriateness, differentiation and acceptance and, indeed, a lack of bravery! – what may sound wrong at first, can become widely accepted.Examples of this can be examined when we retrospectively look back at brands like Orange, 02, Three, Apple: all were originally received with criticism, but went on to gain ground in part to a memorable name. We have been offering this service for a long time, with great success; we have naming processes in place for name generation, testing and registration.
The world expects brands to stand out, to excite & engage people. Brands need to be built from the foundations up; they need to be clear about their differentiation and true to their heart. With this in mind, creating an effective brand needs to be built with more care than any other aspect of a company.We have a creative process that makes sure we examine and explore all relevant areas, checking that we are not only focused on the brand strategy objectives, but allow client integration into the process as well as customer testing along the way if required.
Branding initially comes alive through a companys channels, whether online, print, TV, apps, packaging, interiors, radio, community networks to name a few, and the key to these is not simply putting your corporate logo in these places, but integrating and aligning your brand across all these channels so that it consistently projects a clear and unified message.
Brands need to be nurtured and cared for, they need strong guidelines, dedicated and thorough brand guardians, tested application tools, brand training, health checking systems to keep a clear understanding of your customers thoughts and opinions & brand teams to continually check and control brand outputs. We have tools and techniques that allow us to create a powerful framework to help achieve perfect brand balance.
Brands need to happen from the heart, changing from the inside and emanating outwards. From the moment you advertise for a new job, for example, you need to express the fundamentals of your brand; the people you employ need to believe the same things you do, they need to believe in the same ideologies, be brand ambassadors, proud to be part of something that theyre involved in.You need to train your staff, share your values through brand engagement programmes, structure your company around your brand, so that you get the most from the right people. Remember, good reputations grow fast, and having your entire company believing in what you do, how you do it, why you are different and what makes you special will add massively to your companys ultimate success.