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Common branding questions and answers

What is a brand?

Many people assume that branding is either the “logo” or something else that falls somewhere between their creative and marketing departments. We firmly believe it’s actually a CEO-level initiative that drives the momentum of an entire organisation.

How do I brand my company?

To build a successful brand you need a combination of two ingredients, uniqueness and authenticity. A new logo and a flash marketing campaign won’t build your brand in the long term. Discovering the authenticity that lies at the heart of your business then expressing this through everything you do, makes you unique. What do you strongly believe in? What do you want to be famous for? What can you promise to people who encounter your brand? Imagine the type of employees and customers you’d attract to your business when you can honestly say this is who we are and what we believe in? Once you understand where you’re going, it’s a never-ending brand building journey to conduct business in a way that delivers on your promise, resulting in a better “brand”.

What is the purpose of brand management?

It’s a question of consistency, knowing what a brand stands for makes it easier to understand. Managing both the tangible and intangible aspects of your brand’s look, feel, tone and behaviour gives a consistent point of recall. You may see your brand every day but to the casual observer or future client who may encounter it weeks or even months apart it builds brand equity. “I know those guys!”. It’s the common-sense way to grow, strengthen & create loyalty for your brand.

How long would it take to align my brand?

90 to 120 days is a comfortable allowance to align a brand but we’ve been known to do it in as little as 8 weeks. The availability of the client team and the decision-making process on the client side are typically one of the biggest influencers of how long the brand alignment process takes. This process will align your entire brand for life, so we believe it’s worth doing right. Nobody likes change and we prefer to be more considered in our approach rather than charging in all guns blazing, making assumptions and having to correct down the track. We also partner with you on how to introduce the new brand internally before rolling on to the external activation.

What happens if I don’t like what you come up with?

Here lies the beauty of our process. We work towards the solution together as we progress, there is no big reveal at the end resulting in 10% of the stakeholders not really “getting it”. It’s the exact reason we get all stakeholders involved earlier from board members and CEO downwards through the entire company. Decisions that feel like they’ve come from a “wacky” marketing department don’t work and do little to build a brand internally. It’s the reason our process listens first and gathers input early. We actually look for the solutions that when presented seem “obvious” but if presented alone might never see the light of day.

Do you produce a style guide for others to follow?

Absolutely, when we align any brand we produce a guidelines document, we call them Brand books. These illustrate to other designers, staff and communications professionals the importance of maintaining a consistent image for your company through careful use of the logo, language, type, colour and placement of elements on a page. Our Brand books also cover do’s and don’ts and provide an incredibly helpful resource to maintain your brand. It also demonstrates a level of professionalism within your company and externally that your brand is an asset you maintain and protect. We periodically revisit Brand books to introduce new learnings into each revision.

Do I really need a brand?

Maybe not? If you happen to be the only business providing a specific product or service at this point in time. You can build your business through personal relationships with your clients in a cost effective way, we’ve known this to happen. But then someone else came along and did it faster, cheaper or shinier.  It’s easy to copy (we all did it at school) and when someone else does eventually build a brand around your newly created category, it’s likely you’ll be forgotten as the first to come up with the idea. Every organisation in today’s world needs a strong, recognisable brand to effectively convey what makes them unique and differentiate themselves from the competition to attract like-minded customers.

If you currently describe your business with, Hello we’re “A” (insert generic descriptor here, IT installer, an accountancy firm, electronics manufacturer etc) then you really need to brand yourself. The result being you stop being an “A” and become a “The”. It’s what your product or service stands for in people’s minds because, the best brands elicit thoughts, emotions, and sometimes even physiological responses.

We just want a new logo, can you help?

Honestly probably not. Even if you have a comprehensive understanding of what makes you stand out from the crowd we always re-check your findings from an outsider’s perspective (measure twice cut once). This always returns brand gold and often realigns the direction of the brand into undiscovered territory. We often get asked to jump straight into the design phase without a strategy – but it’s probably the most frustrating and least gratifying way to work for both us and our clients. In fact, nobody wins because as in the end, we’ll start up going through the whole process anyway (but with a slightly heavier heart). We know our process works, it’s been refined over two decades to ensure we deliver the quality and consistency of authentic brands we’re known for.

How much does a brand cost?

70% of our projects range from $25,000 to $90,000. The biggest variable affecting that price is the scope of the research, size of brand audit and stakeholders involved. We phase projects so you know exactly where you are in the process along the way, this allows input as we progress and stops any surprises at the finish line. All estimates are agreed up front with all jobs tracked to the minute via Harvest™; our cloud based time tracking system. The bottom line is that a brand alignment must be viewed as an investment because your brand is the absolute foundation of your company. We believe that it’s worth the time and effort to check and reinforce the foundations before building your brand for a lifetime.

Who actually owns the work you do for the client?

Unlike traditional agencies, we don’t charge high release fees for our brands. Once your brand alignment is completed and final payment received we grant a perpetual and exclusive licence to use all the brand toolkit materials. We do however reserve the right to feature your brand in self-promotional material (as we’re proud of what we produce) also if our work is featured elsewhere (for example awards) we would like to be credited.

We don’t really have a budget, what’s the best way to proceed?

If you don’t have enough budget to develop your brand, you probably won’t have enough to implement it properly. Let’s talk and we’ll help you plan your budget and timing for brand success (often this is at a minimal cost and often free).

How do we get started

Give us a call and let’s sit down and talk about your brand. We don’t charge for this consultation as it firstly serves as a starting point to see if we can help. Let’s start from the beginning and see where your company is at and where you want to be. From here we’ll prescribe an approach to your brand and move forwards from there.