Brand design agencies. Brand is the effect and not the cause of the effect

Brand design agencies that deliver effective branding. So you’re trying to kick-start the business growth of your organisation, digitise your business, or reach the next generation of customers (and hot talent). So why the hell why waste time exploring changing your positioning, or tweaking your logo then just creating another lame tome of guidelines?

We’re finding in working with clients that the old ‘positioning + visual identity’ formula no longer delivers – it doesn’t answer the most common questions of the MD, CEO and CMO.

“So Bob, this all looks great . . . and the uplift in turnover from this investment in changing the logo, all our marketing collateral and guidelines – was?”

What is a brand now, today and how can if effect business growth in the modern world in the context of faster change and disruptive business models? Society has moved on, is more Google, WIKI, self-educated, more enlightened, more sceptical, less superstitious, more secular and has higher expectations than the year before.

Brand design agencies. Effective branding. Brand is dead. Brand is alive; Your brand is either one of the two.

Brand is critically important, as never before, It’s design but it’s a different kind of design thinking.

Brand design agencies. Effective Branding. Working with clients, we’re finding that it’s better to think of a brand not just a cause, but as the rippling and magnetic effect. Obsessing about your brand won’t somehow cause magic and growth to happen. But doing the right things will spark life and growth, and a strong brand will follow as the effect in its powerful magnetic wake – like some super bright planet with a full and rich life ecosystem.

Brand development in the conventional sense slows the pace, it’s not fast enough, those that succeed move faster keep evolving adapting to environmental (data, feedback truths and insights) and change to suit don’t get eaten and are less likely to go extinct.

As tools all those brand strategies, brand models, brand onions and brand guidelines (good starting points still) can get in the way, being ridged security blankets that are hard to let go allowing you business, and brand evolve adapt and grow.

Effective branding, wild thoughts again

Brand design agencies. Effective Branding. Imagine if all big brands thought of themselves as, literally or metaphorically, a user interface (“Tron I fight for the users.” Saw the original in 1982 at the cinema and the new version is a CGI triumph).

Or even better, a user interplay, where the ‘Uuuuser in out midst’ doesn’t just mean the consumer with a credit card and the cash, but a colleague, neighbor, investor, supplier a trusted and valued partner. We don’t mean they should enjoy a good user interface (critically they should), but they should be a good user interface, reactive and responsive with an more complex exchange of value and insights.

So then, what should you do?

Firstly, abolish drab positioning above or below acceptance. 
Think absolute purpose. Don’t try to manufacture a superficial place in the world. Don’t just obsess about the competition and differentiating from them. Instead, as with all good design and I know this sound deep, start with the question ‘why?’.

Why do we exist?

Why would anyone really need us?

Why is what we do so useful?

Why would anyone pay (in time or money or whatever) for it or that?

Why is is valuable?

What is the difference you want to make, socially and end game commercially?

We need to change our thinking, to about what we do as the effect and not just a cause; we must do three clear things, and all these three are about designing a clear and valued purpose.

Forget faux identity. 
Think about ‘the’ experience

Don’t start with name, logo, tagline, identity, or any of these things. Instead, design a whole experience for people not just gestures here an there – a completely joined-up experience across all the things you do. ­­Become user interface, in the biggest sense: not the thin skin around the outside of your organisation, but the layer where you interplay and interact with people.

Is everyone having a great time?

Three, stop the fascist over controlling, it kills. 
Think changing, evolving iteration.
 Don’t try to maintain the status quo, don’t secret police your brand to death. Instead, keep experimenting, changing with the fresh insight, keep connecting and sharing up with new people and new organisations. Let things grow from the roots and the spores, the seeds: revolutions, as they say, rarely start from the top.

Don’t try to nail down the future (have you ever tried?): Prototype it test it, change it from greater and faster insights. Replace ownership with sharing, and control with thinking innovation and creativity. (the LEAN Start Up Machine is good read)

It’s easy to spot organisations that embrace this defined purpose notion

Similarities in nature there are plenty. Magnetic brands are ones that are aligned and ‘pulling’ together toward a common purpose. Once this alignment takes place, the rest comes naturally. Target customers are no longer ‘targets or prospects,’ since they will gravitate towards your message and products.

Effective Branding. This wake of magnetism comes from a distilled and powerful sense of purpose. This purpose noisily reverberates with a new positive meaning throughout the organisation.

What is AlignandPull?

Brand design agencies. It intuitively guides the organisation’s workforce to act and behave in ways that promote and enhance this vision. People feel empowered. The cost of top-down and often droning internal messaging is greatly reduced. The process becomes less synthetic more natural, more fluid, eyes, ears and feels instinctive, like a reflex.

Talk to us about how we effect growth of organisations in a sustainable way and how we fire up progressive growth.

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