There are ten words, guaranteed to break your designers’ heart. “Could you supply it in a format I can edit?” Ouch. And, if you’ve just completed a branding project, double ouch.
The reasons we may sigh when we hear this question are varied. You might assume our tears roll because of the financial impact – providing files in an editable format inevitably means loss of income for us. Sure, we have bills to pay, but it’s so much more than that. To us, your branding project became personal. We immersed ourselves in it, thoughtfully crafted it, and committed to it. So when the project is complete, the truth is we are worried.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ‘BRAND’ SOMETHING?
It’s a common misconception that brand equals design alone; a brand goes beyond aesthetics. The creation of a brand taps into a variety of different talent streams. The team creating your brand could include anyone from a motion designer to a copywriter, illustrator, musician, videographer, photographer, strategist – to name a few. These experts work together to create an identity, bringing the pieces of the brand puzzle into a cohesive format.
When a designer embarks on a branding project, it (should) go way above and beyond designing a logo or choosing a jingle. It’s a bit like a first date. At BlueMelon we start right at the beginning to get to know your brand, delving into market research, competitor analysis and defining your brand’s personality and value proposition. This happens way before anyone switches on their Mac and starts executing their ideas.
The process of branding is an immersive one, and at the end of it all, we feel like we know you better than our own mothers. But, we also know that if you love someone, you must set them free. And as we watch you happily set off into the world, brand book in hand, we can’t help but worry a little.
What if a designer doesn’t interpret the photography guidelines correctly?
What if a brochure gets converted into PowerPoint, and all the fonts get replaced with Arial,
or what if someone writes a headline that is completely out of line with the tone of voice?
CONTINUING TO INVEST IN GOOD DESIGN WILL BE BETTER FOR YOU IN THE LONG RUN.
It can be hard to immediately see the value realisation when commissioning a brand strategy. It can be even harder to continue to invest in keeping your brand alive – but this is so important. Brands age like fine wines – if they’re stored correctly. A well-cared-for brand will only increase its equity in the market over time, and your assets will eventually become distinctive to your audience – putting decision-makers on autopilot. You can read more on this topic in our post about distinctive assets [here].
HOW TO MAKE SURE YOU AND YOUR BRAND DON’T DRIFT APARTTAKE THE TIME TO GET TO KNOW YOUR BRAND GUIDELINES. UNDERSTAND WHAT THEIR VALUES ARE.
1. A long-term relationship with your brand, doesn’t have to be boring. Mix it up and try new things, but take care that all adaptations are carefully considered, and committed to.
2. The worst thing you can do for a brand is to be reactive, with random experimentation. The best thing you can do is be proactive, and evolve thoughtfully.
3. We always advise that you continue to work with your agency after you go-to-market, at least for the short term. We hate to brag, but we know your brand best and will always jump at the chance to nurture it.
4. You may need to find an alternative way to ensure your brand health doesn’t suffer once your agency let’s go of the reigns and hands the completed project over to you. If you need to engage a new creative, give them the gift of time with your guidelines to get them completely brand trained.
5. Get in the driver’s seat, but don’t become the mechanic. It can be tempting to make tweaks and quick amends yourself. This can be cost-effective at the time, but little by little, it will be detrimental to your initial investment.
6. A brand is a big commitment, so vow to be true to it and you’ll reap the rewards.
Is the spark in your brand relationship missing? Or maybe you haven’t yet found The One, and think we could be a good match for you? Get in touch to see how BlueMelon can help develop your brand strategy.