Brand Design. What is it?
This is a question that a lot of companies either don’t ask themselves or don’t know the answer to. People may think the answer is, ‘My logo is my brand’. Other people may push the boundaries further by thinking their brand is a consistent use of their logo across all their marketing materials.
Both these answers are correct, but they only form one part of what your brand design is all about. If you focus on just applying your logo across your marketing materials then you are putting the cart before the horse and missing the most important step in establishing your brand.
Your brand identity is set by the ethos and principles of how you genuinely want to run your company. It’s very important that it is a genuine ethos as well. Something that is entrenched in your personality and carried out naturally to your colleagues and clients.
This will ensure that your ethos and brand principles will be always be adhered to, and when you are looking to recruit you can hire people that match your brand DNA. You can also explain your brand principles and how your business operates at the interview stage.
So how do you determine your Brand Design and principles?
This should be determined at the very start of your business journey. Have a think about the positive qualities that you have as a person and the strengths you have that can be utilised in forming a potentially successful business.
I’ll give you an example
When Sugarcane was formed 10 years ago, we found that we had a certain way of doing business that came naturally to us and proved to be an effective strength in winning work and gaining clients. It’s quite simple really, we found that we were most effective when we got the chance to talk to people face to face, rather than by telephone or email.
Don’t get me wrong, we still ring people and send emails, but we found that by having an initial meeting face to face it presented an opportunity for both parties to get a feel for each other by using all our senses and intuition that we naturally have for each other as people.
We realised we had found a comfortable, natural, effective way of doing business. Being a creative company we thought, ‘how can we maximise this simple brand principle that we have discovered’.
So we thought, what would make people even more comfortable when they came in to talk to us about their marketing needs. Well, a comfy sofa for one, good coffee (or tea), comfortable surroundings? Simple ideas, all with the desired effect of making our customers feel comfortable and relaxed.
Enter the Sugarcane Sofa
We invested in a 2 seater sofa that at first was to fulfill our brand principles of offering comfortable surroundings while applying our ethos of face to face discussion. We also produced our own brand of coffee to offer customers when we had our chats.
But in order to turn our brand ethos into something that would get people talking, raise our profile and ultimately win more work, we decided to take the sofa on tour. The idea was two fold, firstly we wanted to get our clients on the sofa in unusual or outdoor locations and secondly we wanted to take the sofa round the country to increase our profile and show our personality.
This is where the fun element to promoting our brand ethos came in. Our aim was to take the sofa around the country and get it photographed or videoed in different locations around the UK. Places like Silverstone Racetrack, Sheffield Arena, Keepmoat Stadium and the Angel of the North to name a few.
We use the sofa to continue our brand principles, to increase our profile and PR opportunities, to create a buzz and to add a bit of character and personality into our brand.
And of course, it’s good fun!
So, maybe it’s food for thought for your own brand. Does it truly represent your personality, your positive working practices and your strengths? Is it an area that is letting your business down?
Could you find a strong brand design that you can truly have a bit of fun with?