Be a Brand, not blandIncreasingly we are seeing the stripping away of complex graphics and a move towards simplicity. There are a multitude of brands who have removed style and substance from their logos to 'get back to basics' and minimalism - Google is a good example of this, gradually flattening the logo until a simple sans-serif logo remained.
The mark of successful branding is a consistent visual and vocal tool kit that ensures that even if the logo isn't present, the style and tone of voice reflects the brand, however simple. Try it, cover up the logo on a brochure, website or even walk around a space - if the logo wasn't there would you know who the company was? If you wouldn't then their logo and brand aren't aligned.
Stand out for clout
As simplicity is implemented across all brand touchpoints there is a real danger of losing differentiation. This can certainly be seen with many of the open plan workspaces which are often described by staff and visitors as lacking personality. Some implementations of agile workspaces have introduced style, colour and designer furniture but these new spaces are all starting to look the same!
Even when stepping into the digital world we see different websites that have the same structure and user journey, and in some cases the same overused stock imagery! This lack of differentiation leads to a seriously underwhelming user experience. From generic layouts to generic words, it seems the craft of creative writing has been over looked. Never underestimate the difference good content and story telling can make in helping to communicate the offer and the authenticity of a brand.
With our work in print, digital and workplace environments, we are constantly looking for new ways of achieving differentiation for our clients. Our projects involving workplace environments have really helped us to explore opportunities. For Twitter, instead of huge digital screens in reception we opted for the more tactile 3D distressed wall of type featuring some of their more memorable hashtags and tweets. This makes up a 20 metre wall in their London office reception and it has become the ideal photo backdrop when their VITs visit (Very Important Tweeters). For Yahoo we created a series of art installations that reflected their new focus on content over technology, providing a visual representation of the yin yang of key subjects. For example for news 'war vs peace' there is the image of a dove of peace made up of toy soldiers painted in the Yahoo purple.
Truth will outWe work closely with clients at all stages of their evolution, getting to know them as well as looking to understand their audiences, both internal and external. One thing is clear though - it isn't just about talking the talk... the successful companies are those that deliver what they say they do. With the world watching, tangible proof or evidence of your achievements is essential, and no matter how powerful your brand, your messaging and your values, if what you deliver doesn't reflect what you say, the power of social media and a connected world will ensure everyone knows...
Our best work is with the companies and staff that believe in their values and what they are doing and share this with us - it inspires us and helps us deliver the craftsmanship to differentiate and elevate a brand. Some more examples of us bringing brands to life in workspace environments can be found in this pdf of a book we've just produced here. To find out more about how we bring brands to life across print, digital and workspace environments get in touch with us at tothepoint. +44 (0)20 7378 6999 or for more background visit our website www.tothepoint.co.uk/work.