There are four steps to good branding, which can, rather nattily, be captured by the acronym IDEA.
IMMERSE. DEFINE. ENVISAGE. ACT
No two projects are identical but all benefit from undertaking, in some shape or form, each of the four steps.
Whatever your brief, we always recommend starting a project by immersing ourselves in your business. The deeper our understanding of your business and your ambitions the more future-proofed and effective our advice will be.
How we immerse ourselves, exactly, will depend on your organisation but it will probably involve some research – any combination of secret shopper, desk research, questionnaires, interviews, an identity audit – and at least one workshop. How long this stage takes is dependent on the degree of complexity of your brief – it can take as little as one week (though there is genuine merit in not rushing).
Immersion should be collaborative, provocative and inspiring, where we gain insights from your customers, competitors and partners, as well as your organisation, that help crystalise your brand opportunity and clarify the project objectives.
Whatever your project, central to our approach is to work with a credible, sustainable and differentiating brand strategy. We can help you develop one or sharpen your existing.
Fundamental to the success of your brand – driving and shaping all that follows – your leadership team should be involved in defining your brand strategy. We have found that workshops, brainstorms and using mood boards are the best ways to inspire bold thinking, to stimulate debate and scrutinize ideas, quickly.
If creating a new brand identity, we transform your strategy into a powerful visual and verbal expression including logotype or symbol, typography, colours, images and tone of voice.
At this stage we should start to engage with more of your organisation, working with different functions to explore how the brand could be brought to life across all aspects of your business – operations, communications & marketing and human resources. There really isn’t a part of any company, or a person within it, where brand isn’t relevant.
Finally, we implement all that we have agreed. Ultimately, our aim is to help you create a rich brand experience for your customers and people. To do this we will help you devise implementation plans. Guidelines and other tools like templates will be created. New materials will be designed and written. Internal and external communication strategies will be finalised and launch events and communication organised.
We can do everything for you or we can work with your in-house teams or existing suppliers. Similarly the scale and timing of all these activities is flexible and tailored to your needs and objectives.
The Act stage might seem like a rather scary list of unfamiliar to-do’s but we hope by this stage your team will be very up with the lingo, confident in their own capability and of our expertise and support. It will be less scary, more exciting, and should be really rewarding.