Your brand is the most precious heirloom you have. Your company can rise, fall, and pivot on the perception of your brand. The success of your business is determined by how well you listen and react, because your brand is completely in the hands of your employees and customers. Follow the money and you find your audiences, the ones you need motivate and those you need to please, to increase your business and the value of your brand. No thanks to omnipresent media channels, when someone downgrades your brand for any reason, it quickly echoes through the digital world. While you manage your business, it’s our business to manage your brand.
Brands live outside your company, with your customers. Marty Neumeier explains, in his best-seller Zag, why it takes a specialist to manage brands. “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company.” He continues, branding is “a company’s effort to build lasting value by delighting customers.” Today, many technology companies embrace branding with customer surveys and A/B testing, both aspects of user experience engagement. User experience drives branding and measures metrics of delight in an effort to influence the customer’s gut feeling. Every aspect of a brand’s presentation, from Google search to online store to physical shop, constitutes the customer’s experience. It is on all fronts, not just technologically, that the user experience must be tracked, iterated and improved to positively influence a brand.
Our Core Beliefs inform our branding paradigm, vision of the customer experience, and approach to increasing your brand value. As our mission and vision define why and how we proceed with our creative endeavors, I propose our Core Beliefs are the foundations of our contributions to the world.
We primarily believe that to increase sales (or orders, subscriptions, memberships, listings; etc.) your brand must stand out from the crowd. Standing out gets more complicated daily due to the quantity of global brands and overwhelming jabber of media. Brands are ever evolving, entering new forms of media and showcasing their own unique vision of the world. Because of the need to evolve, we like to say that branding succeeds through the art of active differentiation. Active, as in, not one decision but an intentional series of choices throughout time that reinforce a brand’s uniqueness in a positive light. Intention brand management embraces a strategy of careful steps forward to reach a destination. Be different, disrupt your industry, antagonize competitors; make sales.
Design should be creative, thoughtful and purposeful. Creative design visually differentiates your brand from scores of imitators. Thoughtful design elevates the brand in the customer’s eyes by anchoring on classic design principles, like balance and contrast. Purposeful design aligns your brand’s voice with appropriate aesthetics to connect with customers in an authentic way. Together, these resolve to bring creative design with purpose, which delivers targeted experiences designed to connect and elevate your brand with your customers.
Strategy and design. Yin and yang. Chocolate and peanut butter. These things work together to create a solution greater than the sum of the parts—one that’s obviously different and hungry for attention. Together, they tell the story of your brand. Strategy alone leaves your brand flailing in the wind, and tends to speak the wrong visual language to customers. Design alone is weak, pretty, hollow, and too often relies on an army of bullet points to make a sale. Bullet points are neither convincing nor emotional, and brands are about emotions, feelings: confidence, power, happiness, and togetherness. When strategy informs design, experiences emerge and customers start to feel taken-care-of. When care is taken to anticipate the customer’s wants and needs the brand value grows because the experience becomes magical.
I don’t believe most companies in the world operate this way.
If you agree with us, super. If not, that’s cool. Let’s start a dialogue. Share your opinions. Comment, and be civil.