There’s Brand Style even in the most conservative spaces
Style is subtle, it can be understated, and it is a nuanced expression of aesthetics and values. It feels elusive. Developing a style for your brand requires coaxing of your company’s true core characteristics. We are not talking about a style guide or the suite of assets created for your brand, Brand Style comes from your Value Proposition and needs to be cultivated before breathing life into any creative asset.
This applies to any brand at any stage. You may be suffering from a boring, parochial brand. Take a closer look at how your company can offer a more vibrant brand, with unmatched personality and vision.
Who are you? Or who do you want to be?
The starting point is what you want your brand to mean Do you want to be a leader? A creator? An original?... or are you more reactive? We aren’t saying what’s good or bad, some businesses are reactive. That's the way they operate. They're serving a utilitarian function, and they're reactive and very prescriptive. But if you are a leader, a creator, or an inventor, then your brand needs to start with your vision and your value proposition, if you will, your value and your purpose for existing.
Do you want to be a leader in your industry? Let’s unpack that. To be a leader, you need to be proven, reliable, forward-thinking, and trustworthy. High performance. You create. Maybe you are also an innovator in tech, you have multiple products that can be customized. Your brand is future-friendly, you need to be insightful, flexible, smart, you're modular, and you have an ecosystem. It's workable, it's customizable, right?
All that comes from your company culture, and your people. Look outside the boundaries of your particular segment for inspiration. If you can define the core characteristics of your company, maybe the people there and the way you work is playful. Maybe you're spontaneous. Maybe that's a characteristic of your company, spontaneity, and playfulness. Do those characteristics exist with other competitors in your segment? You should really get to the root of those ideas, playfulness and spontaneousness, and what does that mean to you or other people or anybody for that matter? Maybe you wind up going in a direction that nobody in the industry has gone before. You could find inspiration for playfulness in how children's toys are made, is there an appeal there? Spontaneity, you might be looking at jazz music or adventurous travel.
Don’t become reactive to your design
Your industry in the B2B Tech sector already has a style. You notice this common style in all of your competitors. How will you fit in, how will you differentiate your company from the others? It’s easy to think if you're in the automobile industry, and you’re going to develop a brand for an automotive company, you ought to fit in so people recognize you as that they recognize you as an automobile maker category, right? The danger in that is that you can become reactive to your design.
Value translates design
You need to look better than your competitors. The level of attention to your value proposition, identity, and vision should translate into a design style on a level that breaks boundaries and is called your own. Here’s a little exercise we use to approach a Brand Refresh or when creating a brand with our clients. To the left, we list the values and characteristics of the company, and to the right, we list what type of styles that translates to in design.
Let’s use our aforementioned value proposition and identity…
From here for inspiration, we looked to architecture. And we thought this is some really innovative architecture. This has a similar kind of rectangular shape to this particular client's existing website. It has a similar kind of feel to it. Why does this architecture look so much better than the website? The reason is because this is designed, and has a structure to it and balance. It conforms to a grid and it gives us this feeling, right?
Core brand style
Once you’ve defined your Core Brand Style, you are now elevated to that type of person we all know who has such definitive style and clarity on who they are. A Core Brand Style will give you a sensibility and voice for the style. Then it’s easier to get excited about it and continue to add to it. What will enhance your style, compliment it, or accent it? All of those things start to become more clear because you have an idea of what your Core Brand Style is.
To build a genuine brand that has true differentiation in the marketplace, you must start with Brand Style.
If your team is looking for experts to cultivate unique value for your brand, BayCreative would love to work with you and bring your brand to life. Schedule a chat today to talk branding with our team.
- The BayCreative Team