Today’s post will be a true journey for your unique brand. So, have a seat and buckle up!
Now, first things come first. Before we start this amazing journey it’s important you understand the footprint you are trying to make in your market, how you are different from your competitors and how you are going to create a unique journey for your customers.
BRAND + VISION
THE IDEALS OF YOUR BRAND
The beginning of any project starts with a conversation about the future. What’s the ideal outcome for this endeavor? What is the dream result at the end of the day? And most importantly, how do we as a team make these dreams become a reality? The fortuitous conversation and overarching plan that is made at the stage of conception is what will define the brand’s vision and create a mission statement.
HOW TO CREATE A MISSION STATEMENT
Questions to ask yourself about your brand
Why does my brand exist? Why am I creating this brand?
What is the point of difference of my brand? How is it going to change the market?
3. CORE VALUE
What are the value or beliefs that drive my company and guide my brand?
AMAZON – E-COMMERCE
Make a mission statement. What do you think a Wall Street banker would know about selling books on the internet? In 1994, an innovative Jeffrey P. Bezos left his banking career to embark on the creation of online retailing sensation Amazon. It was a brainstorm of the Top 20 products that he could potentially sell online that landed him with books as his final draw card. And its mission statement? To be Earth’s most consumer-focused company, where anyone can find and discover anything they want at the lowest prices. This might have seemed overly ambitious in 1995, but today Amazon is a multi-billion dollar company.
Take Oxfam, an organization devoted to changing the world. Its single mission statement: a just world without poverty. It doesn’t get more courageous than that. Oxfam stands for the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, founded in Britain in 1942. Its first campaign was to send parcels of food to starving women and children in occupied Greece during WW2. In 1995, a team of non-governmental organizations established Oxfam with the mission to reduce poverty and injustice in a global movement for change.
This mission has proved to be one of the most successful statements known to not only the not-for profit world, but the advertising industry in general. Oxfam has maintained its integrity and promise to create global change for the last 20 years.
BRAND + EXPERIENCE
CREATING A JOURNEY FOR YOUR AUDIENCE
Let’s talk about brand experience.
Before work every morning, you go to your favorite cafe. When you walk up to the counter it’s not necessary to tell the bearded barista your order, because he’s already started making it. You hand over your loyalty card and he stamps it (one more until your free cup!), wishing you a great day and using your first name as a friend would. Within minutes, you have your piping hot latte with half a sugar. Exchanging a smile with the waitress, you rush out of the cafe to get to the bus on time. Once seated, you take your first sip and disappointment stings across your face. He gave you a soy cappuccino with too much sugar. This has not only ruined your morning, but tarnished the once peachy ideals you associated with your local cafe. A bad experience can lose a lifetime of loyalty.
On the flipside, you have companies like The Ritz Carlton, who not only provide an exceptional experience but take it to the next level. Each staff member is given up to $2000 to spend on a guest, to deliver the ultimate luxury hotel experience. This might seem extravagant but they claim it’s how they keep their brand promise. This is not a free-breakfast-kind-of-deal; it’s a “special concept” to make customers feel valued. There are plenty of stories like that of the Ritz Carlton Dubai, where one waiter overheard a gentleman whose wife was in a wheelchair, saying it was a shame she couldn’t get down to the beach. The waiter told maintenance, who by the next afternoon had prepared a wooden walkway down the beach with a tent set up for them to dine in that evening. Now, that’s how you create a great brand experience!
BRAND + ORIGINALITY
SETTING YOURSELF APART FROM COMPETITORS
How to ensure your brand is different?
1. STEP OUTSIDE THE BOX
Challenge your market by making your design style different to your opponents.
2. BEEF IT UP
Make it bigger, brighter and more exciting than your competitors.
American Apparel has created a voice that reflects its brand and speaks to its pop-culture demographic.
Using a functional typeface for its logo together with the bodies of retail assistants and word of mouth, American Apparel has gone against the grain of a mainstream fashion brand. Some might consider it aesthetic purity, intentionally avoiding the sugarcoated stereotype of the fashion industry. To add pack to punch, American Apparel creates marketing material that is both controversial and totally acceptable from an advertising perspective, displaying near naked people wearing little more than the item being promoted. Part of what is so special about American Apparel is that it has created a voice that reflects its brand and speaks to the pop-culture audience while remaining true to the quintessential American Style.
Brand identity is the visual characteristics which define your brand. It is what you see, touch and recognize. It is the tangible aspect of your product. It is the print or digital collateral with logos, taglines and an original aesthetic unique to the brand itself. Brand identity is the fire that connects your business and your customer.
SUMMARY OF YOUR BRAND PERSONA
You’re waiting at the traffic lights on a rainy night and ahead you see a billboard with an image of a beach. A wide, sun soaked, over-saturated cabana shot with a lone beer positioned in the sand. Even with the rain on your windshield, you know this is a Corona ad.
Consider how your brand would be summed up by a consumer. What is the emotion your brand is selling? Are you selling trust? Is it vital your customers feel they can depend on you?
Maybe you have specific values that you are conveying through your brand identity. Whatever it is, these components are what creates your essence. The personality of your brand. It is the way it’s perceived by your customers.
Once you have figured out these characteristics, you will find it easier to create your brand identity. These elements will help you choose the correct typefaces, photo filters, color palettes and style to apply to your collateral.
The essence of the beer is what has helped Corona create its visual assets. The warm imagery and style of Corona’s advertising lures a longing for the beach as well as a thirst quenching need for a cool beer.
A SYMBOL CREATED TO VISUALLY REPRESENT THE BRAND
“The life of a designer is a life of fight. Fight against the ugliness. Just like a doctor fights against disease. For us, the visual disease is what we have around, and what we try to do is cure it somehow with design.” – Massimo Vignelli
The logo or mark that is used to represent your business is often the first relationship that is formed between the brand and the customer. It is the first point of recognition. Create a logo that is not only well-designed but one that is memorable. However, it is imperative to remember that your logo is not your brand. It should not define you, but instead be a visual representation of your company. Your logo is just one element of your visual identity.
I know that now you have a lot to think about so, I’ll let you with all the questions from your head that you have to answer to yourself. Since you make it so far I think we have a date for the next time. We will go in the amazing world of design. Wear your best outfit, I promise it would be one heck of a date.