COMBINING ART WITH STRATEGY
The rumours are true – branding is that important. Of course, it’s not easy either; there are many steps involved in formulating an effective and beautiful brand. Take a step back and personify your brand. Who are you trying to reach? What are your goals as a business? Is there a certain feeling you’re trying to capture? These are just a few of the questions we would answer and reflect in your branding. We will work with you to understand your values, story, tone, and goals.
The start of a branding or re-branding effort is always the same. Who are you? The answer to that question should shape every aspect of your brand, from your tone to your logo. A customer should be able to identify with your values and passion and form a connection with your brand, and it’s important to remember that the small details are key.
For example, take a look at the following graphic. There are 5 main components to brand strategy: Research, Strategy, Design, Touchpoints, and Assets. In the graphic, there are important components to consider. Although there is almost certainly more to consider, this should get you to think about the right things. Something like stationery is a relatively small detail, but the effectiveness of your brand should be felt in every aspect of your business to truly make its full effect. There is a lot more to branding than simply creating a logo and picking out some colours.
It’s important to continue the momentum after establishing your brand. Much like SEO, social media, and other components, it’s impossible to be relevant and not continuously make changes and improvements. The key to building your brand and reaching new levels of success is to not get comfortable, to adapt, and to be flexible.
Trends can be cyclical or have a limited lifespan. Styles and customer preferences are constantly changing, too. Brands are often faced with the difficult challenge of evaluating themselves – are they still relevant? Is it detrimental to continue the potentially stale brand, or should it be viewed as “heritage”? Should a brand change its tone and feel to be modern and appeal to new audiences, or will this complicate the relationship with longtime customers? For anyone, answers like these are extremely difficult to make, and oftentimes, harder to do internally without having some form of bias.
There are so many elements to branding, but one element we chose to focus on for this page is personality. It’s something that is constantly overlooked and is rarely ever strategized or executed to a high degree of effectiveness in small to medium-sized businesses. The best way to explain how much of a difference it can make is Wendy’s – by far our favourite example of a company revolutionizing their brand just by adding a bit of flare. This Forbes article perfectly articulates why businesses need to stop worryingabout what could go wrong. Wendy’s had tweeted continuous (and truly funny, not corporate funny) “roasts” directed to McDonald’s, which performed so well that it has become common to do so with anything and anyone. This isn’t the approach that everyone should take, but brands should take note of the level of confidence that it takes to have success. Take some risks, have some fun, and keep it consistent. That’s what the best brands in the world are doing right now, and it’s working.