When I started out in this industry back in 1990, I used to work on projects that were broadly in the area of corporate identity. This used to be about designing a new logo and then applying it to stationery and occasionally putting the logo on a jaunty angle on the side of a van.
This has slowly morphed into the black art of branding, which seems to have its hooks into every aspect of a business and its public face.
So whilst I was writing a presentation this morning about what branding now encompasses, I was surprised to see quite how far it had come in those 19 years.
Branding is now about every aspect of the way an organisation presents itself, both internally and externally. You first have to win your staff over, to allow them to sell the message of what you do, and how you do it, to the rest of the world.
So this is a list of what we have worked on under the guise of a branding:
Brand strategy, naming, design, management and implementation covering all physical aspects such as signage, van liveries, staff uniforms, office and retail interiors, point of sale, packaging and exhibitions.
Literature, newsletters, annual reports, white papers, direct mail.
Advertising production, photography, image management, illustration, print management, copywriting, tone of voice and language guidelines.
Website design and production, social media marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), email marketing, DVD and training film production, TV graphics.
Online PR, marketing research and brand insight, staff engagement programmes, public speaking on Brands and social media.
Merchandise management and strategy
Have I missed anything?
The real danger here is that working in a small agency you end up being mediocre at everything and many, many practitioners do (which is why you still see lots of dreadful work out there!), but I believe you have to have the confidence to hold the brand to its absolute core values and then work with close partners to deliver the specifics in areas you have less than expert knowledge.
Our role moves more towards the brand management and less to do with the specific deliverables.
Any brand that doesn’t cover off all its public and internal facing touchpoints is leaving itself open to problems of inconsistency from the outset, so it may be a good idea to use this checklist and refer back to your brand values.
Are all of them as good as they could be, or will a little bit of new brand thinking help get your brand properly branded?
To be a brilliant brand, you have to be brilliant at everything, not great at some and barely okay at others.
Thanks to Hoppetossen for the lovely Kitchen sink image. You can see more of his good work here.