Who cares about Brand Strategy?

Who cares about brand strategy anyway?

In our experience, only a few people do. Which makes sense as most people don’t know what strategy actually is.

When branding your business, how often do you think about what you’re trying to achieve outside of the creative process? And, more importantly, who are you trying to attract?

Sevenfive has been lucky to work with several large organisations and prominent brands. They have the vision, experience, and resources to create a strategy and see it through—sometimes. But at the core of our expertise is building brands for SMEs.

For most managing directors, owners/managers, and marketing managers who spend their time at the coal face, brand strategy isn’t a priority. Some don’t even have a plan.

Is it OK to just have a plan?
Only if the plan has a goal. And if you have the goal first, maybe we’re halfway to creating a strategy.
But strategy is hard, and having a plan is not a strategy—even if you tell yourself that it is. If your plan is a list of actions with no real point to them, and you lack any idea of how to achieve your goal, then your strategy is missing in action.

So, what is brand strategy?
This is the crucial bit. Your strategy is a way to position yourself so you can win.

You need to establish the Why: Why does your brand exist? Not what it does, but why it does it?

The How? How are we going to deliver this message to the customer?

The What? So, what actually is it you’re selling? A service, software, a product?

And Who: Who is the target market? Because everything needs to be aimed squarely at this market.

When combined, these elements build the foundations for a strong brand strategy.

This is boring; how does it help me?
Just planning to do stuff is comforting because you’re the customer. You control the situation, and you’re happy if you get what you want. Do you want to post three times a week on Instagram, take out some ads? Go for it. Because when you do it you’ve followed through on your plan and you’ve pleased the customer, you.

However, a strategy identifies a specific outcome that makes customers want you or your product, which is essential. Planning the three posts a week comes later.

You can’t guarantee it will happen, but you can put actions in place to help it happen.

Do you want to make a plan, or do you want to win?

To use a phrase coined by Roger Martin (@HarvardBusinessReview), don’t just ‘play to play’. Create a strategy that makes you better. Play to win.

We help SMEs build brands, and the ones where we can develop a strategy first are always the most successful.

If you only plan, you could lose. If you have a strategy, you have a better chance of winning.

Want to know more? Get in touch.

Illustration in Branding

Illustration in Branding

We all know the saying: a picture is worth a thousand words. So, what does your imagery say about your brand?

Creating imagery for your brand is tricky; it should resonate with your audience and represent your brand and its values. If done right, it will visually differentiate your brand. Creating something memorable and distinct.

Illustration, with its diverse and expressive styles, can bring out a brand’s personality and add character and feeling. It can communicate humour and playfulness and set a mood that photography and type can’t always express. So, why is illustration often overlooked when it comes to the visual elements of a brand identity?

As an essential part of many successful modern brands, let’s explore the reasons many use illustrations and offer insights for those who are new to illustrations.

Why Use Illustrations?
Illustrations can play an essential role in a brand’s communication and how it talks to its audience. It offers many advantages that contribute to the success and effectiveness of a brand’s communication.

Visually Different
Creating unique and bespoke brand illustrations helps differentiate your brand and stand out from your competitors. A distinct and memorable illustration can set a brand apart, contributing to brand recall and making it easier for customers to remember and recognize your brand over time.

Illustrations can tell the story of your brand and its products. This lets your brand communicate its narrative and values visually, creating a deeper and more emotional connection with the audience.

Expressing Brand Personality
Illustrations enable brands to express their personality in a visually striking way. Creating illustrations with a brand’s values in mind can bring them to life, and the style of illustrations can embody the brand’s values, making it feel more authentic.

Creative Freedom
Using illustrations brings creative freedom not found in photography and provides a different perspective on your branding. Illustrations can express feelings, concepts, and ideas, especially useful when representing services or benefits of a product.

Global Appeal
Visual communication using illustrations is universal. It transcends language barriers and makes your brand globally accessible, benefiting brands with diverse and global audiences.

Illustrations can be easily adapted and scaled across different mediums, whether on social media, digital platforms, print materials, or merchandise. This ensures brand consistency across all brand touchpoints.

Branding Evolution
When evolving your brand and message, illustration can be developed to complement your existing visual language and imagery. This provides flexibility in brand communications and allows for rebranding efforts without starting from scratch.

On Trend
Illustrations can be easily adapted to incorporate design trends or respond to changing consumer preferences, keeping the brand current and relevant.

Using illustration helps differentiate your brand and tell its story uniquely and compellingly. Illustration provides versatility in communication and audience engagement, not always found in other brand elements like photography. It is a valuable tool for building and maintaining a robust brand presence.

Want to know more? Is it time to consider using illustration in your marketing? We’d love to be involved and help elevate your brand.