Author: Andrew McGuckin
Categories: brand activation, branding, Creative

Building better brands

So, you’re thinking of rebranding? Or branding something new from scratch? Good for you – there’s nothing we love more than brands that go out of their way to portray themselves in an interesting and unique light.

But before you start scribbling down new logo ideas, there are a number of things that we think are worth considering. Firstly, and yes we know there’s a lot of info out there on this, but it’s important to remind yourself what exactly a ‘brand’ is.

Brand basics

This is also important when speaking to an agency, but clarifying exactly what you’re after – either a new brand identity or a new brand – can be crucial in your planning, not to mention costs and timings. A ‘brand identity’ typically includes a logo and other graphical devices, along with fonts and colours. But this alone doesn’t make a brand.

A ‘brand’ includes all of the above plus so many other elements, which help your customers form an opinion of your organisation. Things such as images, feelings, products, words, sounds, smells, events, people and places, can all make up a brand too.

Beginning the brand journey

With the above definitions in mind, once you’ve clarified what you want to do with your brand, it’s time to think about where to start. Try these steps on for size:

  1. Conduct a brand audit – if you’ve currently got a brand, look at all the elements and see what’s working, and what isn’t. External consultants who aren’t so close to your brand can often give a fresh, unbiased perspective.
  2. Do your research – look at competitors to see what their brands are like, and what opportunities might be available to you. Also, look for inspiration outside your category or industry.
  3. Conduct a brand workshop – this will help you dig up useful insights, and to develop a plan for where you want your brand to go and what you want it to portray.

After completing these first few steps, you should have plenty of information to brief in your internal comms department or external agency on the job ahead of them. Of course, here at NWO we specialise in branding projects, so get in touch with us today to see how we can get involved.