In order for us to apply effective branding to any company’s service or product, it is vitally important to gain a comprehensive understanding of the brand and its environment. Fundamental strategic communication is a logically planned programme, which will cater for the ever-changing needs of companies, their products, services and environments. Without an understanding of what the values of the brand are, what the perception of the brand is amongst stakeholders and what the desired positioning of the brand is, strategic design is impossible.
Therefore at the outset of any project we carry out extensive qualitative and quantitative research with regards to all aspects of the design development. These Key Personal Interviews (KPI) and analyses are conducted at every level and from every aspect of interaction with the brand ñ including shareholders, current customers, business peers, users, potential partners, potential customers and staff. This phase determines the brand’s positive and negative perceptions or associations and forms the foundation from which to build the brand into its desired end-state. It also determines what is needed to develop the strategy or process for arriving at this point by evening out the current reality of the brand.
- Data Collection
- Paper and Primary Environmental Audit
- Key Personal Interviews
- Establish existing perceptions of the brand
- Establish desired perception
- Formulate a strategic approach to closing the gap between reality and desired reality
- Define exact target markets and variables
- Understand competitor set and offering
- Set benchmarks
- Differentiate brand from competitor set
- Allow precise creative interpretation and direction
- Indicate a measurable response mechanism
This process is strategically managed in conjunction with the client producing high quality yet functional branding while ensuring acceptance and understanding of the process and the brand development on every level.
3.1. Brand Architecture
Steps 1 and 2 result in a profound understanding of where the brand wants to be. From this information a Brand Architecture is extrapolated which consists of a set of principles that will allow us to express the brand and its values in a way that is both unique and consistently recognizable. It provides the foundation to what the brand represents and demonstrates the way we can express the brand through all dimensions. Brand architecture is one of the single most vital tools in transforming a brand name and identity into a valuable asset for any business. Brand architecture expands upon the brand positioning and the brand strategy to develop a style or ‘design language’ that communicates the essence and values of the product or service. It becomes the ‘Brand Identifier’. The initial development of the brand architecture (or style) provides a solid platform from which to communicate to all audiences across all interfaces ñ 2D, 3D and digital platforms.
3.2. Brand Philosophy
Branding goes beyond pure aesthetic value and transcends pure style. Branding is multidimensional. It exploits all the senses, including the sixth sense of impulse. A brand philosophy reflects these impulses through the emotional, physical and rational values of the brand. The Brand Philosophy answers the “How and Why?” of the product or service. “How is it the product made?”, “why is it better than any other product?”, “how does it make me feel?” These questions may be answered simply through style, imagery and colour or more obviously through iconography, design and product qualities. The Brand Philosophy always maintains the integrity and the values of the brand.
3.3. Brand Language
The brand language personifies the brand philosophy, communicating its values in a manner that is both unique to itself and also universally understood. The brand language is the collection of mechanisms used to confront and involve the audience in powerful and pertinent imagery. Every element from typography, colour balance, forms and shapes to materials, tone of voice and visual equity create a feeling. This brand language has the power to create recognition and communicate the differentiation. Each element of the brand language is utilized to maintain consistency in the message across every application. This is how a powerful brand is created and consistency ensures growth in its equity and subsequently in its value.
The process of developing a brand includes the extension of the brand across every platform of the brand’s communication. These extensions are as complex or as straightforward as the brief demands and are customized to suit the particular needs of any brand communication programme.
The points of interaction would include everything from digital and broadcast media to experiential and presence campaigns. Our creative studio explores all possible solutions to the concept, symbols, colours and names; taking into account the design criteria. These ideas will then be sculpted into a synergist combination of elements to form a single communication.
5.1. Two-Dimensional and Three-Dimensional Design Development
The primary identity will then be made ready for multiple applications. Different executions of the identity and cost effective applications will be researched. These two-dimensional and three-dimensional executions will then be presented to client for review.
2-Dimensional design elements include:
- Primary elements
- Product application
- Primary stationery
- Marketing materials
3-Dimensional design elements include:
- Form designs
- Promotional items
- Exhibition systems
- Interior design
- Architectural design
5.2. Digital Branding Development
Companies lacking a solid effective digital branding strategy will be left far behind in a world fuelled by technological advancement and a growing need for accurate and relevant content. This is why the development of your digital brand should be placed in the hands of those who truly understand and embrace the necessity of a consistent, high-quality image projected across all platforms, devices, applications, browsers and operating systems.
Digital Branding elements include:
- Animated symbol
- Web banners
- Electronic communication
- MS Power Point
The process of evaluating the brand development assesses how the creative meets the requirements of the brief and how it evolves the existing perception to move the brand into its desired brand positioning. The evaluation process also serves to harness advisory groups / stakeholders to support a common image and vision for the brand.
It is a vital step in the process of the brand campaign to refine every element in a way that will ensure real quality and consistency and a strong, clear and relevant message across every application. On completion of the creative development every element is reviewed and approved through sign-off by the client. It is this refinement and control that will ensure brand distinction.
Equally important as the creative itself is the execution and implementation thereof. It is only on achieving successful implementation of the total system that the desired image and response will be achieved. The rollout of a brand campaign is a critical element in the development programme.
The more strategic and efficient the rollout is, the more cost effective it will be, the more impact the brand will have. We have a strategic alliance with the DNA process. This registered process is a hugely successful international system, which customizes the rollout process to suit the individual needs of the specific brand guidelines across any application internationally in considerably less time than the traditional manual systems.
Also considerably reducing the risk of human error, it allows for a more exact and efficient rollout while we follow every procedure during the course of the creative development to ensure relevancy.