Branding. Let’s address the elephant in the room.
As design consultants and brand experts we are regularly asked to look at developing particular marketing assets for various businesses. In most cases the clients’ brand has never been reviewed to convey the true direction of the business.
No we don’t mean the logo peeps, the logo is merely the symbol of the brand. We’re talking about a brand: how the company looks, sounds, listens and interacts with its customers. Think of it as the story of your business. It frames all your comms materials and campaigns moving forward.
Some of the most common mistakes we see businesses make with their branding is often the business name doesn’t reflect their audience or market position; there’s no hierarchy, the colour is wrong, the language and tone is off, there are no pillars, the communications is not on point and assets aren’t any better than a first year design competition.
Most businesses start without brand guidelines. They believe that branding is not important because business goes well, five years roll by and no one has paid any attention to the brand. As a business owner in this scenario, you should count your lucky stars.
But, while business “may” have been good during those years, 10-20 competitors may have entered your market (or to assume they are about to). All have brands which are likely to be sharper and more emotively appealing than yours.
So, who do you think will take a good chunk of your business? That’s easy. The one that’s more developed and modern, interesting, fun, slick and well-designed. As a consumer, we’re hard-wired to connect with brands with more emotive buy-in. It’s a physiological fact that our brains work this way. If we know this, then why do so many business owners fail to review their branding on a regular basis? Or have brand communication guidelines?
It’s a good question.
As an owner of an agency that’s founded upon delivering the distinctive wild creative ideas for clients, I often find ourselves addressing ‘the elephant in the room’: that is, a great business with a poor brand. When this happens we often think, “Sure we can build you a shiny new website, but if we don’t address your terrible business name and brand, then you’re wasting your money.”
Every business should:
- Have a current brand guidelines document
- Review all marketing assets against the brand guidelines
- Hold a brand review workshop every 12-18 months
Brand building is a fun and dynamic experience that shouldn’t be considered daunting. Business owners and marketing managers need to see branding as a worthy investment, not an expense. It’s definitely one of the more rewarding roles here at wildminds. I know we excel at it and our clients’ successes are proof of this.
If you think you have branding issue or have some digital creative challenge, let’s address the elephant. As wild thinkers, we don’t bite and we definitely don’t lie. Now back to those cat videos people.