Brand owners have all the answers to these questions, sometimes buried away in their heads. As designers and creatives it’s our job is to extract and capture the essence of their reason for being, the thing that gets consumers excited, the magic of the brand, and bring it to life in a visually compelling way.
So how does a young emerging brand achieve and communicate this magic (or their ‘Ikigai’) with their audience? Considering factors such as tight purse strings and a business that evolves and changes almost weekly. That is quite literally, the million dollar question. But it’s so important for brand owners to tackle it.
If you don’t love your brand, the chances are no one else will. Make it something emotive, with purpose, and with character. The brand is not the product, it’s not the business plan, it’s not the fonts and colours, it’s the magical idea, the single identifiable concept that distinguishes it from everyone else. No brand is for everyone, but for those who you’re for, you need to pull the heart strings and tick the all the right boxes.
Punch above your weight
It’s important when realising the manifestation of this brand magic that it doesn’t become a creative money pit. Big ideas communicated effectively with great design speak volumes, whether they’re made in Southampton or Shoreditch. The large prestigious multi-service agencies will no doubt produce the goods but young brands need to work smarter than that, and get maximum bang for their buck. To truly realise the brand dream you need a creative partner that can elevate your brand to where it needs to be without taking it to the cleaners financially. So as nice as it is to have ideas pitched to you in W1 postcodes by teams of hipsters wearing tweed jackets and indoor scarves, is it really the best use of limited resources? As with all parts of growing a business, developing the right connections and sustainable relationships is key.
Stay relevant. Embrace change. Roll with the punches. Consumers are fickle, so don’t be afraid to move quickly if you see a chance to engage them. A great example of this is the flavour innovation range we’ve recently produced for Ugly Drinks USA. They spotted an opportunity in the market for short run, collaborative flavour developments and jumped on it. It was a tight turnaround from concept development to product artwork for 6 new flavours and required our studio to pull out all the stops, but we understand the importance of taking these opportunities, and love making these kind of challenges happen. They managed to engage with their audience quickly and effectively, in a way that would never have been foreseen in a business / marketing plan.