Branding a better world
How design in branding matters most
While we have been designing identities and creating brands for over a decade now, I occasionally get this question: Does branding really matter? Believe me, I haven’t always been so sure, but after 10+ years of experience I can wholeheartedly say:
Yes. Branding matters a big deal. It gets you seen, it makes a difference in building trust and — when done right — it makes people love your brand. If you consider that most sales are made on AN EMOTIONAL LEVEL, these are the exact pre-requisites for a sale: Getting known, building trust, and being liked is what matters most. And branding does just that.
There are of course different routes to take. A company in need of a rebrand comes from a different place than one that’s starting their brand from scratch. We’ll get to that further on in this article.
First I’d like to propose there’s one extra, special step to incorporate in better branding, one that has become more important to all of us, especially in the light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic: making your brand actually exist for the betterment of this planet.
If your brand isn’t already (genuinely) doing that, it’s time to get on that bandwagon. Any buyer when considering two equally good brands, will choose the one that makes him or her feel like a philanthropist. So why not add this extra differentiator? In the end: no one can possibly dislike a brand that makes the world a better place.
At Studio MINSK we try to only work with brands that in one way or another genuinely try to attain this goal. Our ideal client is not Industry bound, but Benefactory bound. And when we get started with a new customer, we propose these steps towards building a better, more meaningful brand:
1. Start with a good strategy
Strategy is always a big word. And while it is extremely important, it needn’t be complicated. In fact, the more simple it is, the easier it becomes to execute. We know of many strategists who write pages full of ‘strategy.’ This is usually an indication that there is no clear strategy, but rather a unclear, unfocussed mix of things to do.
Monsieur Pascal is famous for comprising much in few words.
So now that we know what strategy is not, what is then? Simply put: It’s the steps you take and the order in which you take them to get to your goal. So if the goal is ‘to get known, build trust and get liked,’ then branding is one way to get there. Our point is to add to that goal: do good.
Now – words mean nothing if you don’t actually back them up. Saying your brand does good when everyone knows those are idle words, can actually hurt your brand. When you define your strategy, make sure the ‘good’ part is an essential component in your marketing mix.
Emphasizing the ‘good’ part?
Good can happen on a big scale – like our client Equigy – transforming the energy world and putting power (pun intended) in the hands of the consumer. But it can also happen on a much smaller scale. We rebranded PerfectPro, a job site radio maker that creates the highest quality radios for the sake of bringing quality – not for the purpose of selling more batteries, like so many of its competitors do.
2. Quality not quantity
We may be overly positive, but we believe people want products that last, that have the least negative effect on the environment and / or that support others. In all these cases it is a win-win for people and the planet. So think durability (go second hand if you can), care about an efficient supply chain or be socially conscious. Think of how all these options can become a bigger part of your brand. And then think of how you communicate this best.
3. Branding sustainability
Using green in your brand design may be the first thing you think of, when talking sustainability or environment, but the term: “go green” has been taken too literal. Green as a color is overused for this purpose. The same goes for pictures of leaves. Sure, use them in icons when you need to communicate something at snap second, but other than that, green leaf tactics are on the nose.
The truth is – your brand design is inspired by all your brand’s qualities. And if your brand is inherently ‘good’, the design doesn’t necessarily need to follow ‘good’ cliches. Remember your brand is more than just your logo. It’s in all the messaging and other touch points.
Here’s a good example of brand design for one of our clients Planet Hugs: a fluid logo with a fluid shape language. Soft pastel colors. Shapes that represent brand categories as well as sustainable, durable and conscious topics. Not a leaf to be seen. And no Planet nor hugging for that matter 😛
How is your brand making this world a little better? We’d love to hear. If you’re not doing so yet but are ready to start steering a better course, give us a call. We’d love to help you succeed. Because we love helping brands that matter.