Question. Has there ever been a better time to take stock of your brand, its audience, its values and how it presents itself to the world? I have some recommendations for you.
The first step is to ask yourself: why? If it’s a new company it’s obvious, but you may be considering a brand refresh or a complete brand overhaul and the one you choose can have a significant impact on the success of your brand. You may be thinking that your identity is looking a little dated in comparison to your competitors, but you’re keen to conserve cash, so a refreshed colour palette and a new font might just do the trick. But without truly understanding the following points you could just be throwing money down the drain, and looking at the whole process again in six months.
Know your audience
This is fundamental and not just about your existing audience. You may be looking to reach a new audience, or there may be an audience you haven’t considered; so defining and understanding them is the first step to creating a unique and powerful brand.
You can’t be everything to everyone, though you’d be surprised how many briefs I have seen that do want to target ‘everyone’! Once you know who you’re talking to, look at how other brands in industries different to yours are communicating with them. Finding new ways to talk to your customers can often be influenced by other industries.
Something else to think about is how you would like your customers to talk about your business. Imagine you overheard someone in a cafe talking about it – what would you like them to be saying? Happy customers are your greatest form of advertising!
Understand your competition
Who are they, where are they, what are they saying, what do they look like, who are they targeting, how are they operating, what do their customers say about them.Not only will this knowledge undoubtedly influence how you operate, but it will give your creative team a steer on how not to be like them.
Be clear about your proposition
Why do you do what you do, what is your USP? Not all brands are lucky enough to have a product that no one else makes and that everyone wants, but every business has something that makes them different. This is often referred to as ‘the sweet spot’, the thing you have or do that your competition doesn’t.
It might be how you operate (your speed, your choice), it might be about the customer experience, or your internal ethos, or your environmental credentials; whatever it is, make sure that you always deliver on it, the most beautiful brand design in the world can’t save you from unhappy customers.
Then test you proposition against the audience you have defined. Do they align, if yes, great; if not, why? Your audience and your proposition must align, you’re going to really struggle to sell meat to vegans.
Get brave and get creative
Now comes the fun part.
For us this is about experimentation. Taking the knowledge we have gathered and creating an identity for you that not only aligns to your audience and your proposition, but also truly enables you stand out confidently amongst your competitors. It’s not about being different for the sake of being different, but about making sure that you have a voice and an image that is undeniably you!
We often talk about how brave a client is, or is likely to be, and we’re lucky to work with lots of brave clients. But there is definitely a ‘brave scale’ and this is impacted predominantly by industry. For example, what is deemed brave by the hospitality industry is likely to be very different to the healthcare industry. It’s our job to understand this and extremely important for you to think about when briefing your project.
Great creative doesn’t happen without great partnership. We work closely with our clients until we become part of their teams. Because of the processes we go through, we get to know them and their businesses. This leads to open conversations and trust, which in turn leads to work you will all be invested in, all be proud of and most importantly, that works!