Opinion

Let's talk Branding

The role of branding is due a rethink. Design Director, Sarah Fairhurst, discusses how we do things differently at D&P.

SF
By Sarah Fairhurst
Posted 06. 02. 2020

Why we're here

Gone are the days where a brand is merely an identity that’s applied (and policed) across traditional marketing channels and guidelines are shoe-horned into physical spaces. A shift in expectations and a hyper-competitive landscape is leading to a change in brand behaviour.

It’s not enough to just be spoken to: audiences now want to become a part of the brand. They are demanding to know a brand’s purpose, story and values before deciding who they should spend their time and money on. Brands need to offer full transparency, open up and be truthful if they are going to win support and advocacy.

Alongside this, brands need to find their true differentiator to stand out and stay ahead of the game whilst maintaining a constant, connected presence across all channels, from social to spaces.

We’re here to build brands, emphasise and reimagine personalities and make sure brands are telling authentic stories to their audiences in relevant and innovative ways.

The D&P approach

We’re reimagining the role of branding. We believe a brand’s proposition is expressed as the 360° total brand experience, and at D&P we build brands with the full experience in mind – creating visionary strategies, engaging narratives, and new ways for the brand to live, and evolve, as a total experience across all channels.

First we need to identify and establish a brand’s purpose and develop its personality - clear definitions of the ‘why’ and the ‘who’ are critical to a brand’s success. These are the building blocks upon which an entire brand experience is built. Our 6Ps framework below allows us to identify what sets our client apart: whether its a unique mission, a strong set of values, a future-forward outlook or a polarizing personality.

In order to create a strong brand, whether building from scratch or as part of a strategic evolution, we would consider the following pillars of engagement to create a powerful narrative and clear identity.

  • Purpose: why the brand exists, its values and positioning
  • Personality: our attributes: how we look, feel and talk as a brand
  • People: how the brand vision informs and influences our people
  • Place: its role as a brand touchpoint and mode of employee engagement
  • Product: how we communicate, present and sell
  • Process: how we interact with our audiences

This holistic approach ensures brand creativity and consistency across the whole experience, relevant to a new era of audiences and media.

MBC0056 XL
creating a new south korean baby brand - marie's baby circle

Challenges we can address

Clients big and small, local and global, come to us with various challenges:

  • How can I revitalise my brand image, and stand out in a competitive market?

  • How can I tell an authentic brand story to connect better with my audience?

  • How can our brand communicate consistently and creatively?

  • How can I attract new audiences with a new brand idea or sub-brand?

Through our unique approach to integrated branding & communications, we provide them with solutions.

Brand identities that work

A clear strategy and design for brand identity is crucial to allow consumers to engage with and remember your brand. Whether it’s revitalising a well-loved brand - see reimagined Irish independent store CH - or creating a new brand from scratch as we’ve done with Korean baby brand Marie’s Baby Circle, we understand the power of a unique name, the importance of creating an iconic and memorable logo, the use of colour, shape and form, and other visual systems to create a brand identity that’s so much more than just a logo.

CH brand logo
a contemporary new identity for irish retailer ch

New ways to tell stories

Audiences today want to know who you are, why you exist and what your story is. We are experts in uncovering brand truths, identifying untold stories and finding relevant and engaging ways to help brands share them. We can help a brand identify and then own its voice.

We had a lot of fun helping online favourite Missguided make a statement with their first foray into the physical world - a bold tone of voice and brand personality that works in the fast-paced world of social sometimes needs evolving to exist successfully IRL. The specific opportunity with Missguided was to land this established online brand in the real world whilst retaining its polarising edge. To enable the brand to stay fresh and aligned with its presence online, we built-in mechanics for change such as lightboxes where staff can control the messaging and GOBO projections instead of permanent signage so that messaging can be changed at speed.

Missguided branding and communications
making a statement with signage for missguided

We also helped fashion and beauty brand Ardene tell their story more effectively to a Gen Z audience by repositioning them with a vibrant tone of voice and fun visual language inspired by the brand essence of 'effervescent youth’, a celebration of what it means to be young, confident and full-of-life.

Clear communications

From wayfinding to signage to point of sale, we create communications hierarchies and design brand communication systems across physical and digital touchpoints that call out to and connect with audiences.

We’ve created communications for Primark’s stores across the globe, creating clear hierarchies, brand storytelling, navigation structures, inspiration, pricing and local narratives for each flagship city. From bold statement illustrations in Birmingham to hand-drawn map murals in London and art pieces in Madrid, we made sure communications were inspired by the brand’s approachable personality and the spirit of the individual city.

Primark Birmingham branding and communications
localised touches help primark connect with customers

As part of our work for the French retailer Leroy Merlin we created an entirely new communications system and hierarchy to help the consumer dream, build and buy, using clear navigation, defined visual codes and relevant tone of voice and language.

Packaging & brand collateral

We don’t just look at the big picture - we also focus in on the beautiful detail, creating packaging concepts and brand collateral as integrated assets of the total brand experience. A product on a shelf or hanger could be the only interaction your audience has with you as a brand; it has a role to play in communicating who you are and what you stand for. A label, bottle, swing tag or carrier bag often makes its way into a home, serving as a constant reminder of your brand.

We helped Cole & Mason celebrate their centenary by designing a new range of packaging for their consumables, using a mix of contemporary and traditional design language perfectly suited to the heritage brand’s new era.

We also worked with Australian brand David Jones on a packaging concept that celebrated ‘beauty with personality’, threading in a conversational element that helped the brand connect and engage with its customers.

David jones branding and communications
new packaging for david jones beauty is full of personality

We’ve helped many other brands rethink their purpose, reveal their personality and tell their stories to the world, including Skopes, Next, Johnnie Walker, Roe & Co and Sterling Home. Every project has its own unique challenges, but each shares a consistent approach: creating a brand from an experience perspective with a truly defined purpose.

And that's us!

At D&P we believe that to survive and thrive in the world today, all brands need to be insightful and inventive across the entire brand experience – defining the brand purpose, personality, places, processes, people and products. This holistic approach helps our clients create the most engaging and successful brands in the world. If this is something you'd like to do, please get in touch.

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