Brands should be built to last. Sounds straightforward. You want to create a brand that will differentiate you from your rivals, determine how your customers perceive you and, crucially, that will be aligned with your success story for the foreseeable.
In building your brand, you’ll have considered the look and feel of its personality and the core values you’ll set out your stall on. You’ll be ready to project your corporate identity through the colour of your logo, the font you’ve adopted for your strapline, your chosen style of imagery and the tone of voice that will carry your message across every touchpoint.
Your brand guidelines will be protected by your gatekeepers; the brand guardians who will strive to ensure, at all cost, that everyone who comes into contact with your brand, inside and out, will recognise the same consistent communicative style and form an allegiance to it.
This, your most ubiquitous of corporate investments is defined and ready to endure.
Not so fast; there are fundamentals to master and relationships to forge before your brand is best placed to stand the test of time.
The recipe for a strong brand and long-lasting success
According to renowned corporate branding specialist, Jean-Noel Kapferer, there are six key elements when it comes to building a strong brand. In 1996, Kapferer developed the Brand Identity Prism, a branding model that highlights the critical elements of a brand’s identity, how they relate to each other and how, when applied correctly, they can inform a brand’s strategy. Ignore the key components of this concept at your peril:
- Physique: the physical characteristics, such as logos, packaging and signage, that help consumers identify the brand.
- Personality: how the brand’s character is conveyed, e.g., through tone of voice, colour palette or attitude.
- Reflection: the way the brand presents and aligns itself with its target market.
- Self-image: the way the consumer associates with the brand and visualises themselves in it.
- Culture: the values and principles that underpin the brand.
- Relationship: how a brand connects with its target market and inspires engagement from it.
Certainly, each disparate element of Kapferer’s Brand Identity Prism should stake its claim within a considered brand strategy. But, it’s when these elements are deployed in harmony betwixt the business and its customers that you have a recipe for growing and sustaining a strong brand.
However, there’s another ingredient that must be added to this mix: your people. The collective experience of your team is integral to your brand delivery and the potential for its longevity, so your brand vision and the way you articulate and communicate it must, must, must be on point. Essentially, if your business doesn’t have a real understanding of its core focus and raison d’être, you’re likely to leaveboth your clients and your people confused and, worse, alienated.
The relationship between your team’s creativity, its expertise and the clarity of your direction are intrinsic to your successful brand delivery – for this is where strategy meets creativity and when truly remarkable things can happen.
The take-home here is that you’ll need to develop a unique business culture that reflects your brand identity and your desire to differentiate it and nurtures the attitudes and behaviours that free your teams to deliver your brand vision, your way.
Signbox on brand
Signbox has thrived on a brand proposition that has evolved very successfully over 35 years. What’s worked for us is the way we’ve aligned our business culture to our brand identity: we’re artisans of the iconic, out-of-the-box thinkers and finishers and we love to turn heads. But that’s more than just a strapline – it’s the very essence of our culture and it’s what fuels our creativity.
Our in-house design teams are often tasked with creating brand collateral that reflects our clients’ brand visions and adds real value. For example, we’ll design customised signage solutions, from the application of branding to a workplace glass manifestation scheme to the personalised wayfinding systems that project a brand identity from the first point of contact. What they have in common is that they’re all designed on brand.
This ad hoc creativity is also invaluable for clients who don’t have the luxury of an in-house design resource – and for those whose brand strategy hasn’t yet been defined. Clients who know their brand, but don’t know how to project it for the best rely on us to develop their corporate identity and create a designed scheme around it that reflects their brand personality and portrays their core values.
In doing so, we’re helping to make our clients’ brands last. We’re helping them stay consistent and true to their message and we’re helping them to inspire loyalty and demand attention – and to keep it. But, more than that, we’re protecting their brand by building in adaptability that will keep their identity working harder for them in the long term, whatever life throws their way.
If you want to find out how Signbox’s own unique brand of branding could do more for your proposition, please contact us on +44 (0)1784 438688 or email our team.