Today, creating brand is still as fiendishly difficult as it ever used to be. To create a meaningful brand still requires a deep commitment to really understanding what the business is and who the customers are. What do you do differently to everyone else? Any branding agency will have a suite of tools, which have different names but do the same things. Some like to dig deep to get a grip on the problem while others like to get to the picture bit quickly and present lots of options.
To be frank there is a fair dose of bullshit in the process too, and piles of jargon. It might seem that your agency is talking a lot, but actually we’re trying to get to the truth, which takes much, much more listening.
Listening is one of the key skillsets of any consultant, strategist or designer who informs the project. Listening for the quiet conversations and weak signals that will help develop the brand strategy, narrative and influence the visual bit at the end – what your brand will look and behave like. The end result is discovering a unique point of difference to drive a 15% premium.
I’ve always thought that the role of a brand agency is to make sense of our clients communications problems. It’s roughly a two stage process with a number of other steps in between;
– Strategy; is deciding where we’re going
– Design; is how we get there and what there looks like
The strategy stage is really understanding the business proposition, identifying the problems and opportunities before moving into design and offering up solutions that will improve our collective visual environment while driving results to the bottom line. Collectively both clients and designers have a responsibility to fight the ugliness and delight those around us.
Creating a brand is still a mysterious process though and for all our experience, as strategists and designers – we don’t really know what the end result will look like – however we do know the process and trust the people we work beside to deliver on the promise.
Trust is critical. Because of the known unknowns of creating a brand, working alongside clients who trust us, who like us (and whom we like too) ensures what comes out the end is a brand everyone can be proud of. Creating a brand shouldn’t be cheap, because a brand that makes sense is valuable.