Kick ass branding
I was asked straight off the bat in a meeting recently, “so, can you make us a kick-ass brand?” That's a tricky question to answer when you’ve only just met. This person obviously liked to get to the point. And to be fair they were probably just searching for some confidence and referring solely to the design of a brand identity. Sure, we can do that.
The thing was, we had only just met. I didn’t really know much about them or their business. And whether their ‘brand’ could kick-ass, largely relied on them. You see, kick-ass brands don't just have a slick brand identity, they create a total brand experience. It’s this experience that people remember them for. It becomes the brand.
I stumbled through a response, on how a well considered and designed brand identity can certainly put them on the path to being kick-ass. Not just because their brand looked great and evoked the right feelings, but because throughout the process we revisit what the experience for customers looks like and what that actually means for the brand.
I think this is where their eyes glazed over and I lost them. But let me explain. I find one of the main benefits clients get out of a branding process is actually getting under the skin of the business to understand the essence of the brand and its audience. We take insights from this to inspire the design of a brand identity. But they can take these insights back into the running of their business.
For example, how do employees reflect the fundamentals of the brand? They’re at every human touchpoint with the consumer, and so it’s their actions that determine how the customer feels about the brand. Employees are brand amplifiers, so it’s crucial that they too understand the brand and are engaged and inspired by it.
And then of course there’s marketing across all channels. Lets use their website as an example. What does the online experience they provide say about their brand? This of course is often a customer's first impression. Does it look credible, trustworthy, exciting? Does it tell a great story about the brand in an immersive way?
Understanding the brand can also be taken back into the product or service. How is it the product packaged? Is it environmentally friendly, reflecting the brands values around sustainability? You’d hope so.
Kick-ass brands have more than a nice identity created by their design agency, they follow through with applying their brand throughout their entire business in very real and measurable ways.