Why is Brand Design such a valuable business tool?

Every time you communicate with your customers, business partners, investors or staff you have the opportunity to clarify and strengthen your differentiated brand value proposition.

What's the difference between Brand Design and Graphic Design?

Your brand connects with your audience in a range of different ways we call brand touch points. Those touch points should have two layers of communication; Functional and Brand Positioning. By example, the functional layer would communicate information about the products a web site may sell - but the strategic brand layer positions those products in the most powerful manner increasing consideration, purchase and margin.
Traditional design agencies deliver on the functional layer of communication, but it takes a specialist brand agency to understand and deliver both communication layers woven into powerful and consistent brand touch points.

What are the advantages of Brand Design?

What value does Brand Design add to my business?

Competition has never been more intense in every category in every market than it is today. Brands that compete on functional attributes alone are playing a losing hand as competitors from here and overseas find ways to beat those functional attributes. The only brands with significant and sustainable success are those that build a greater sense of connection with their customers. This is done by providing layers of brand meaning whenever you communicate and is the most important part of your brand for capturing the attention of prospective customers and clients, being selected for consideration and purchase, and building the level of value that allows for strong profit margins.

Brand Design is the craft of building that layer of communication that most brands are missing.

Why is the strategic layer of Brand Design so important?

Understanding the most effective value proposition for your business is the critical foundation of all successful brands. This cornerstone and the brand strategy that is built upon it provide your clients and customers with an understanding of the benefits of doing business with you and how those benefits are different from and more valuable than your competitors.

How do specialist Brand Agencies create this layer of strategic meaning?

Brand Design is the craft of translating brand strategy into all of your brand communication touch points. The skill set of a specialist brand agency includes the ability to develop a palette of visual language that communicates the many layers of differentiation and definition to the market.

When developing the Brand Design for TOM Organic’s new packaging we developed a palette of brand visual language that communicated the brand strategy and it’s differentiated value proposition. The result for the business was an increase in sales of more than 1000% in the first six months after launch with no additional spend other than our brand Design work.

Click here to read our case study on the Brand Design work we did for TOM Organic.

When would I get value from brand design?

The simple answer is; Every time your brand communicates to your customers, business partners, shareholders or staff. However, not every business can justify the return on investment for strategic brand design for every piece of communication.

However, every business should understand which are its most valuable and important pieces of communication and ensure that those are working hard to build brand value.

These high value brand communication pieces might include; Web site, Annual Reports, Signage, Product Brochures, Marketing Brochures and Campaigns, Sales Tools, Product Catalogues, Company or Delivery Vehicles, Staff Uniforms or Local Area Marketing.

Which businesses get the most value from Brand Design?

The simple answer is that if you have a business that sells products or services to clients or customers than Brand Design will help you sell more and with a better margin, but there are some businesses and brands that will get a greater value.

Online businesses that rely on a static, digital presence to build customer relationships get great value from well considered Brand Design. Retail businesses need to build enduring and meaningful relationships with their customers in order to stand apart from a competitive online and offline marketplace. FMCG businesses with a product to sell will find their ability to be selected by large retailers and then by the customers walking the aisle of their category is greatly enhanced by the right Brand Design. Professional service firms often operate in a market where the competitors look and feel very similar, in these markets a professional Brand Design can make a significant difference to the ability of a business to stand-out from their pack.

Our experience across Government, events, packaging, annual reporting and shareholder communication, superannuation, finance, health and property is that organisations and businesses in every category stand to gain a significant advantage from the benefits of Brand Design.

How is Brand Design different from logo design?

A businesses logo (or brand identity) is usually the cornerstone of the brand design. A well designed brand mark captures the essence of a brand’s strategy and communicates it cleverly, powerfully and emotionally through a visual symbol, type or combination. However the role of the brand mark (logo) is to communicate a broad message with a simple mark. Brand Design then takes the layers of meaning that sit behind the brand mark and communicate those with more room to explore the important subtleties of the brand.

Often we are working with an established brand mark that cannot change for a host of reasons (recognition and brand equity being two of these). However the business is wishing to communicate a fresh direction or emphasis, or simply a refreshed presence to stay relevant to their ever changing market. In these cases, the Brand Design becomes the major weapons in a brand’s arsenal to connect with the market and communicate their differentiated value proposition.

How can I judge the quality of my Brand Design?

The simplest measure is to answer the question; ‘Have you invested in a comprehensive brand definition process?’ When our clients hear terms like ‘differentiated value proposition’, ‘brand personality’, ‘Key brand messages’ and ‘Brand proof points’ they understand what we are referring to and how that relates to the way their brands communicate. If you are unclear of how your brand is communicating it’s differentiated value proposition through each and every way it connects with your clients and customers, you can bet it’s currently failing the Brand Design test.

Click here to view our strategic branding process in detail.

How much should I budget for Brand Design?

This is a tough question to answer, but also a very important one. The first step in developing Brand Design is to have a well defined brand strategy. If you have one, then the translation of that strategy into Brand Design through your touch points will cost no more than you’d spend with a professional graphic design agency. However for businesses without a brand strategy, that critical first step involves an investment of between $15,000 and $25,000 depending on the scope and level of market review required.

In terms of costs for designing the individual elements of brand communication, hourly rates can range from $150 to $450, but are less relevant than the overall budget. Always take the time to develop a clear scope for any piece of brand communication and get a fixed quote for that scope. You will find that often the most expensive hourly rates represent a higher degree of experience, meaning those agencies can complete the project more efficiently. In these cases a high hourly rate may equal the same project cost, whilst delivering greater long term value.

Click here to view a more detailed breakdown of the costs associated with rebranding.

Give us a call today

To find out the benefits of transforming your graphic design into strategic brand design, give us a call and we can talk through a better way for your brand to communicate.

We believe

Design without strategy will not build your brand.

We believe

The only way to predict the future is to create it.

We believe

Brand design is your greatest ambassador.

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