Every now and then, I’ll invite one of my professional colleagues to guest blog.
Our first one is Paul Woodger from Mivvy Creative, based in King’s Hill.
What basic things should businesses consider when creating their brand identity?
Firstly, let me start by saying that branding is much more than your visual style – and among your considerations you should be thinking about who your audience is, what your identity will look like, how you differ from others in your arena (what’s your edge?), what is the purpose of the brand? What are your goals for it? Branding is a continual process, with many facets to it – for the purpose of this blog I am focussing on my skillset, which is visual identity branding, or to put is more simply, how your business looks. When it comes to looks, it is not just a matter of your personal choice, you aren’t designing for you, you’re designing for your customer. My job is to capture the ‘feel’ of a company in graphical form and in a way that resonates with the audience the company is trying to communicate with.
How do you work out what your brand’s personality is?
By looking at who it is you want to attract and through conversation – going back to the previous question, if you know who your audience is, what your brand values are and how you differ from your competitors then finding the personality sort of forms from that information.
What common mistakes do businesses make when creating their brand?
Scattergun approach – you cannot and will not appeal to everyone, so know who it is you want to talk to and then create your marketing, branding, tone of voice, core principles and everything else around them. Being a generalist rarely works so be specific in your approach. Think about the colours you use, the fonts and the language. Inconsistency is the biggest shortcoming I see when people start creating their brand materials.
What makes a great brand? Any examples?
Clear messaging, by being relatable, honest and true to your values you will make a brand that stands out. Couple that with a visual identity that is clean, simple and well considered, with consistent messaging that refers often to your values and you will be headed in the right direction. It’s easy to take a scattergun approach to your branding and marketing, especially when starting out but it’s those who niche and refine who they’re talking to in the marketplace who’ll stand the test of time.
Examples of great branding for me are:
They just get it right on every level. Their messaging talks directly to you and makes their beautifully designed products even more desirable. You’re invested in their solution simply because of their understanding of how they fit the lives of their audience. Unboxing their products is an event, and when you come to use them they’re so intuitive you don’t even need a manual to dive right into them. And then there’s the logo… simple, clean, elegant, amazing.
A simple idea, customer focussed, clear, authentic marketing and again a simple, memorable logo mark coupled with a unique colour scheme that they’ve taken ownership of. It’s instantly recognisable and has disrupted its marketplace significantly because it is always true to the core values. They have successfully branched the business from letting rooms and homes to experiences too. What makes Airbnb fairly unique is that they don’t actually have a product at all – they’re merely tapping into our desire to experience and providing a platform to bring it to fruition.
Probably one of my favourite brands of all time, Guinness draws on its rich history and goes against the current trend of simplifying every aspect of its branding. The latest version of the famous harp is a beautifully textured and detailed mark. It is a brand not scared to tread its own path. Along the way though, they have stayed absolutely true to the brand elements, making small evolutionary changes as the years have gone by. Because of this, their most recent logo allows them to call back on long-standing heritage and that is why this most recent logo works so well. It’s authentic, recognisable, modern and yet it looks as though it could have always been this way.
What tips would you give for choosing a branding agency?
Meet them, try them out on a job or two. Designers can be a funny bunch (I can say that because I am one), so it’s a good idea to make sure you’re going to get on when you work together, after all, what they create will be used to represent your business. Different agencies work in different ways; I like to involve the companies I work with and get their feedback as the projects progress. To me I think the client becomes more invested in the job if they’re involved along the way, the process becomes more collaborative. Other agencies like to do ‘big reveals’ and others insist their way is the correct solution to your problem so it’s important to know who you’re working with – like any solid relationship it’s best to take it slow and if you can, work with your chosen agency on a couple of smaller projects before you fully commit.
Check their previous work, if they’ve a portfolio of work you like already, chances are you’ll like what they do for you.
Get comparative quotes, but don’t underestimate the value someone might bring to your business. Branding is about giving the right impression to the people you want to engage with your business.
If you’d like to find out how Mivvy Creative can help with your branding, contact Paul:
07919 161 738