Great brands, either by evolution or design, are clear about what they stand for and the value they deliver. A holistic approach to brand development ensures genuine value creation over time.
Far outweighing the importance of brand symbology, the level of connection you can create with your customers depends on your brand speaking compellingly, consistently and with authenticity.
DPR&Co’s brand development process begins with strategic brand elements and moves through to the creative and executional elements.
Gaining the deepest possible understanding of the objectives and requirements for the strategy is vital and includes:
We canvass key stakeholder views to further inform the brand strategy:
We work with you to define your positioning – who you are and what you stand for – along with a set of values and competencies that shape culture and inform key decisions moving forward.
Then we can build out the full brand platform – your Brand Story.
An important part of this stage is assessing the implications of adopting a particular positioning territory and your ability to deliver.
It’s been said that there are only seven basic plot archetypes in Hollywood movies.
The archetypes in most textbooks include; the innocent, the everyman, the hero, the outlaw, the explorer, the creator, the ruler, the magician, the lover, the caregiver, the jester and the sage.
Similarly, people say there are 12 brand archetypes. Choosing one as the basis for your strategic positioning can be a valuable pathway to agreement and progress. We think this list is overly simplistic, so we’ve made our own.
Here are our brand archetypes:
The enabler – positioning as supporting you to achieve your goals; Amazon, CBA, Australian Unity, Lite and Easy, Accenture, IKEA
The innovator – on the leading edge of thought; Apple, Google, TAG, Mercedes Benz, Tesla
The contender – making a virtue out of not being the biggest or best known but striving; Avis went number one using this approach against Hertz in a famous case study. Also, Bendigo Bank, Samsung, Airbus
Safe hands – offering certainty through excellence; Qantas, Toyota, Seiko
Naturally empathetic – in tune with nature and people’s better natures; Patagonia, Natio, Peregrine
Anti-brand – a brand for those that eschew brands; Saab, Birkenstock, Jalna, International Watch Company,
Strength in size – IBM, Microsoft, Boeing, General Electric (especially a decade or so ago)
Only for the few – an unashamed positioning around conferred prestige; Purdy, Rolls Royce, Bugatti, Patek Philippe, Manolo Blahnik, Domaine de La Romanée-Conti, Hermes
Won’t be beaten – a quotient of value; Bunnings, Kia, Harvey Norman
Choosing from one of these brand archetypes is often hard. There will be elements of several that may be present in your brand articulation. Remember that you’re looking for the dominant archetype.
In the concept design phase, DPR&Co explore how the brand story is best brought to life creatively and seamlessly – how will the brand feel, sound and behave – across multiple touchpoints.
Using visual references and language, we begin by putting together a series of mood boards and narratives to convey the brand’s key attributes and express its personality. The team will then brainstorm effective ways to experience the brand at the key point of interaction.
We present our ideas as initial concepts, covering the brand experience, from visual identity and communications to physical spaces and digital interactions; This ensures a holistic, integrated approach.
As brands communicate verbally and visually, a unique voice is often a quicker road to market differentiation and resonance with your audience.
Your verbal identity is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve the brand experience – it’s an opportunity to deliver the brand consistently on every platform.
DPR&Co will develop a brand voice that aligns with your brand strategy and identity. It may also be based on a brand archetype. This ‘persona'(e.g. the Pragmatic Optimist), is defined as an example of a person with similar voice characteristics. We will provide you with guidelines so you and your team all deploy your tone of voice consistently.
Based on the approved creative framework, we develop the identity for all agreed elements of the brand experience within our scope.
We create concepts for your brand look and feel, then build out the core identity – both visual and verbal. Working to your unique selling points, we will utilise the key messages and supporting proof points to develop a compelling brand experience.
DPR&Co develops user-friendly guidelines that enable the simple and consistent application of your branding across all communications touchpoints.
These simple tools and rules ensure your brand has a consistent look and feel and contain best practice examples so that each constituent can execute the new brand identity confidently in any situation.