What is a brand? On the surface, an audience may define and recognise a brand by its logo, typography, or colour palette. Maybe it remembers a strap line, phrase, or lyric? Perhaps it recalls a signature sound, jingle, or music. Any one of these visual and audio elements can trigger brand recognition.
We can all think of a brand identified by at least one of these representations, particularly for B2C products and services. But, beneath the surface, brand is also determined by reputation, such as perceptions of quality and reliability, or societal influences like exclusivity, cost, availability, or coolness. And it’s significantly influenced by user experience, vital for getting sales and conversions over the line.
And while these same representations also apply to B2B, defining a brand in this space isn’t so simplistic. Establishing brand confidence and trust will typically take a lot longer than for B2C. Making purchasing decisions is much more involved and consequential than in the consumer space. This is especially true when you factor in the 95:5 Rule.
As a B2B agency, our methodical approach to brand starts with insights and understanding. It takes great expertise to recognise uniqueness within a business, and hard work to draw out and shape a distinct story. Holding up a mirror to a client can be difficult, as can telling truth to power.
This can be a challenging process, since there are often ingrained cultural misconceptions within an organisation that are proved fallible under scrutiny. With modern data-driven analysis, what we think we know as true and take for granted can easily crumble.
For instance, customer personas derived from long-held human presumptions are more often than not disproved by impartial alternatives derived from data and brought to life through Artificial Intelligence (AI). These days, AI is able to generate a more sophisticated and unbiased set of results that can sometimes contradict long-held beliefs. Or at the very least highlight new personas not previously considered.
How do we help you to determine your Brand?
1. Research, Analysis and Insight
We place a huge emphasis on insight. That’s because however well your internal team may think they understand your business, an external view will always reveal some best kept secrets.
2. Stakeholder Engagement and Workforce Surveys
Through a series of carefully planned exercises and discussions, we draw out the fundamental truths that the business believes about itself. Vision from the top is essential. But so too are the voices of those on the ground – your product, sales, marketing and HR teams each have a view and opinion. Our workshop exercises are designed to draw out answers to the fundamental existential questions: Who are we? Why do we exist? What do we want to achieve?
3. Articulating your Brand Architecture
Our brand planners and creative strategists rationalise all the research and workshop outputs into a clear articulation of your entire brand architecture. Through our Brand Temple framework we structure your Brand Pillars, Mission, Vision, Values and Personality. If there is a strong contender at this stage, we’ll also include ideas around your promise and brand essence.
4. Bringing your Brand to Life
Your brand is so much more than your logo, colour scheme, typographic style and visual identity. However, along with your tone of voice, ensuring that your visual and tonal voice align with your newly-defined brand architecture is crucial.
On occasion, the brand architecture leads to a completely new visual identity. Other times, our design team will focus on evolving your existing visual identity – sharpening and aligning with your refreshed architecture, rather than making wholesale changes.
Working hand-in-hand with your identity is your Brand Story. It’s the role of our creative writers to bring your story to life. Your story is your voice, and it should be confident, clear, and consistently expressed across all your media.
5. Campaign Wow!
We believe that user-experience isn’t a web thing. It’s an everything-thing. Harmonising brand and user experience is vital. Every interaction with your brand, from web to social to outdoor advertising provides an opportunity to influence and shape your brand perception. So when brand architecture has been properly expressed, the campaigns that follow are built on a solid foundation of truth and we max out the wow-factor!
How do we help you to master your Brand?
We can help with defining your brand and devising a look and voice that’s guaranteed to get you noticed. We filter the important stuff from the background noise, and shape a voice and identity that ensures your ‘real brand’ shines through. We’ll develop:
Brand Strategy – Identifying the foundations of your brand. What makes you, you. And what will help you to cut through the noise in your sector?
Brand Story and Messaging – How your brand talks to the outside world. Your customers, prospects, competitors and industry.
Brand Identity – The visual tools that make your brand identifiable and memorable. Your logo, your colours, your imagery, fonts and styles.
Brand Language – Your tone of voice and language style you use. How to ensure this is consistent and always sounds like you.
Brand Experience – Your customers experience, how they feel, what they think, and the interactions they have with your brand need to be consistent with your brand at every touch point.
Understanding and mastering a brand is the foundation on which all successful businesses are built on. If you’d like to learn more, have a conversation with Cite. We’re here to help you achieve long-term growth and success.