For many businesses, state institutions, NGOs and entrepreneurs the concepts of brand and brand strategy are a real problem. In the first stage of branding they fail to realize the difference between a fancy graphic solution and strategic communication design that produces results. In the second stage they realize that they have invested time and money in an ineffective solution that needs to be discarded. This is when they begin to understand how important it is to work with brand experts. The next question they ask themselves is how can I spot a brand expert?
The identity design field is split between two different styles of approaches, each having its own problems and shortcomings.
First of all, many branding agencies and freelancers do graphic design just because it is ‘cool’. Usually they do logo design, and not brand identity, without much or any background either in the field of graphic design or brand identity. Identity design is more than drawing shapes and typing text in a fancy typeface. More than that, branding is much more complex and difficult to master than identity design. Brand experts are those who have gone through an entire process that requires a great eye for design, composition and typography, and an intellectual capability to come up with creative and original solutions that work for a specific client’s business and the intended target audience. Brand experts know that a branding program means strategy, concept, words, animations and many other thrilling experiences that may be included in the design solutions they produce. Much of what brand experts do as visual communicators involves making aesthetic choices and utilizing artistic skills but it also involves professional practice built on research, continuous learning, concept development, structuring and presentation of messages designed to facilitate better understanding of the brand.
In order to find a brand expert that is appropriate for YOUR Company you must first understand your business and be able to communicate your brand promise and where you want your business to be positioned. These days almost anyone can sell themselves as a brand expert and can create a logo or design, but will that concept be right for your intended market? Real brand experts are able to choose the right concept and convey those messages in a clear and effective way.
Secondly there are the big competitive international brand agencies. No doubt it is thanks to their brand experts’ professionalism boosting their image equity that they have reached this level. But, most of the time they are concentrating on winning recognition and awareness by competing for the famous brand identity awards. They forget that brand experts are not only proficient, but also skillful people who deliver accessible, clear and effective advice to businesses. Many brand agencies deliver successful solutions, but cannot actually deliver a viable and on the brief finished product. Real brand experts have a genuine understanding of their client’s business and marketplace and take a customer-centric approach to develop the brand strategy. They stay away from a design solution that only looks good on paper but means little or nothing to the target outside.
So, in order to spot brand experts you have to decide if you want to have a logo that is admired in a design study case manual or to manage a real problem which can affect your company.
What should you expect from brand experts?
Whether you want to revise your brand positioning, create a new brand, train your team or examine the messages your brand is giving to the audience, working with brand experts gives you:
- Expert assessment of where your brand is now
- Practical and inspiring advice to take your brand to the next level
- Advice on brand positioning, strategic decisions and visual communication