Successful brands have two things in common. 1) They have a unique and inspiring story of what they want and what they can do, and 2) Their actions and results show that it’s not just talk.
What is branding?
Branding is about translating business, data and insights into stories, visual identities and communications that evoke emotions, respond to people’s needs and add value to our society.
Like people, brands have strengths and weaknesses. For example, some brands have an incredibly charismatic and well-known personality at the front, who almost “are” the communication strategy and the brand. Others have a long and traditional history behind them that needs to be nurtured and lifted. Others are brand new to the market and need to build awareness, reputation and prove their worth from scratch.
Whatever their strengths, weaknesses and place in the journey, we see that successful brands have stories that are rooted in more than catchy slogans and a great visual identity. The story must be visionary, authentic, credible, inspiring, and there must be room for poetry. The brand has to touch something in us, move us a little. Make us listen, make us curious and make us remember. And we don’t remember it if it’s too generic, if we have heard the story many times before, or if it’s too boring.
When we work with branding, purpose and core stories, we put a lot of effort into the creative processes. We draw inspiration from trends, cultural life, music, art, literature and inspiring people, events and movements in world history.
It has to evoke emotion, be unique and inspire us if it is to work.
The purpose of it all
“Purpose”, “vision”, “raison d’être” – it goes by many names. These may sound like buzzwords, but branding is actually better and more credible if the organisation’s actions and results are not just about making money but are also fuelled by a – slightly – higher purpose.
Maybe we want to make the world greener, maybe we want to create new needs in new markets, maybe we want to change and improve our society in a given area, maybe we want to get involved politically, maybe we want to save lives, maybe we want to start movements that change the way we see things. We want to understand why we are here, and it will be easier to understand if you have an interesting story that their communication supports creatively and intelligently.
Branding in a social context
At LEAD, we work with what we call “branding in a social context” for companies, authorities and NGOs. The work stands on two legs:
First, we help brands ensure that their purpose story is reinforced through the right words (every word counts), a strong visual expression (logo, CVI, etc.), engaging digital communications (SoMe content) and, most importantly, marketing that hits home with target audiences.
Secondly, we believe that the success of brands today is determined by their ability to understand and act in the social context in which they find themselves. Be it public and political agendas shaping the brand’s market and their target audiences’ preferences and actions, or their ability to understand, prepare for and take a view on what the future holds. Current trends and tendencies usually give us some clear indications of what will shape the market in the coming decades.
In other words, your brand must sing clean and, at best, set the tone so that clients, stakeholders and competitors are tempted to follow suit and taste your success.
The best and most creative brand work is created when all these elements and perspectives are taken into account and developed together with you. In addition to our brand specialists, we have staff with backgrounds in advertising, political organisations and ministries, journalists, designers, musicians and even a theologian. And the genius conception for your brand often comes when we step out of the echo chamber and go new ways.
Branding handler om at omsætte forretning, data og indsigter til historier, visuelle identiteter og kommunikation, der vækker følelser og svarer på menneskers behov og giver værdi til vores samfund.
Eva Svavars, Partner