At BlueIce Brands, we believe that to be successful, a brand creation project must involve a close working relationship between the brand designers and the key people in your organisation – the people who will be responsible for building their new brand on a day-to-day basis.
Problems can arise then this relationship between client and designer does not exist or is weak. In this article we look at four typical problems that can arise both during and after a brand creation project, along with some advice on how to tackle them.
One of the most common problems that occurs in branding projects is when the client changes the design brief after the brand design process has started. This can have serious consequences for the branding project, resulting in delays, additional costs and a brand that does not work as well as it should. In addition, it can often results in an acrimonious relationship and sometimes even in legal issues.
At BlueIce Brands, we deal with this issue by ensuring that it does not happen in the first place, which may sound simple but it is not as easy as you might expect. We have combined our experience of working with clients on design projects with working with clients in business strategy to create our unique Brand Journey process. This process has been designed to create a collaborative working relationship with the focus on consensus rather than compromise. By working closely with our clients we develop a deep understanding their business and their aims and objectives for both their business and their new brand. This preparatory work ensures that the detailed requirements for your new brand are clearly defined and agreed by both parties before starting the design phase of the project.
The fact that a brand is a critical element of a business’ future direction and strategy means that is normal for a number of people from the client’s organisation to be involved in the branding project. This can create challenges for the branding agency as they have to manage multiple inputs with often differing points of view while trying to create a brand that pleases everyone.
Dealing with more than one person during a design project can be difficult and if it is not managed effectively, it is easy for the brand to end up being ‘designed by committee’. This is rarely successful and often results in a brand that is ineffective due to limited support within the organisation.
Our Brand Journey process enables us to effectively engage with the key stakeholders in the branding project – those people who will make the final decisions as well as those who have an input to the process. It is designed to gain consensus about the best way forward for the business as well as gathering important information relating to the goals and objectives of the business and, consequently, for the new brand. This means that the resulting brand is much more likely to be supported throughout the organisation and, therefore, to be successful is its marketplace (bot current and future).
Many new brands fail to have the impact that the business expects because the creation of a new brand is seen as the end of the process. It is, in fact, only the start of the work – once the new brand has been created it needs to be implemented across every part of the organisation in order for it to be successful.
We solve this problem by working closely with our clients and involving the key people in the business in the brand creation process from the outset and throughout the brand creation process. This ensures that they understand the importance of their new brand but also how it links to their business goals and what projects and actions that need to be implemented in order to make it work.
In addition to client involvement in the branding project, we also create a Brand Use Guide which details exactly how the brand should be used in various different forms of media (both print and electronic). In addition, we offer our clients training for their staff in the use and application of their new brand.
Finally, we offer comprehensive Brand Audit Services that have been designed to ensure that existing brands are being used properly and are working for the business.
Many businesses invest a large amount of time and money creating a solid brand but fail to take the necessary steps to protect it. That is akin to buying an expensive, business critical, piece of machinery and not installing a burglar alarm and not insuring it.
We have found that the main reason for this is a lack of knowledge, both on the part of the brand designer and their clients.
We believe that protecting your brand should not be an afterthought but should be built into the brand creation process from the outset. For example, we run searches and perform check to ensure that every brand that we create is not similar to an existing brand in the client’s marketplace. This performs two functions – firstly it ensures that the new brand is not likely to infringe an existing brand and secondly that it can be protected by a registered trademark if our client wants to take that step.
Other simple and inexpensive steps can be taken to protect your brand, such as educating staff on the correct way to use the brand.
Another very important aspect of brand protection is ownership of the brand. This is not as clear cut as you may think. To cut a long story short, you should ensure that the designers of the visual elements of your brand assign ownership of their Copyright Ownership to you.