It all starts here
In 1998, if you were given $1000 and asked to bet on an internet search engine, would you have put your money on a company called ‘InfoSeek’ or one called ‘Google’? Just three years later, InfoSeek ceased to exist. Two decades later, Google is still going strong; it now ranks second in market capitalization, behind Apple but ahead of Microsoft. In June 2006, the company achieved the Holy Grail of marketing: its brand became part of the vernacular when the Oxford English Dictionary officially listed “google” as a verb.
There are no great names, only things that make them great. Google offered a vastly different experience from other search engines in the 1990s – none of which are around today. Larry Page and Sergey Brin started the company with a vision – they were more interested in ‘why’ than ‘what’ or ‘how’. They articulated the things that inspired them and drove their work, and used this to underpin every part of their business and products.
A good brand lives in all aspects of an organization: from design to manufacturing, from sales and marketing to customer service. A good brand inspires trust, both inside and outside the organization. A good brand is not a mystery. It’s not a logo or a website.
The key to building a good brand starts with defining a brand strategy, then building a brand story and ultimately the final architecture. This becomes the roadmap not just for everything that touches the consumer, but also your own internal processes. We begin every branding and identity project by documenting the vision of the company stakeholders so the brand and how it’s presented are aligned and authentic. From there, we follow a proven methodology summarized in the diagram below:
Our brand building process
Following a proven roadmap produces an authentic brand and supporting identity. Together, they ensure that you achieve a central unifying idea, which:
- aligns behaviours, actions, and communications
- is consistent across services or products
- builds on a vision and is aligned to your business strategy
- illustrates who you are and what you do – and most importantly why you do it
- defines your positioning, differentiation, and competitive advantage
- resonates with all stakeholders, both internal and external
- guides your marketing around the company’s core values
- gives your sales force a clear message to communicate
- provides clarity and inspiration to employees.
Branding demands commitment; commitment to continual re-invention; striking chords with people to stir their emotions; and commitment to imagination. It is easy to be cynical about such things, much harder to be successful.