Stuck in an era of slow build deliverables and a victim of it’s own success, branding decided to keep pace by developing an ever more complex array of acronyms and buzzwords to stay sexy. In doing so it has alienated many, confused itself and pretty much failed to engage with digital. Never the twain shall meet it seems, unless under duress and late in the day.
I’m being extreme of course. There are examples of decent digital branding but they are few and far between and frankly they don’t go far enough. Brands need to wake up to the fact that their core ethos, personality and reason for being must drive every facet of their communications, physical and digital. Reception area to error message. Every interaction, no matter how small, is becoming more and more important. The consumer demands it and demands it in no time at all.
That said. Help is at hand. The skills are available to solve these issues, but more often than not they exist across different specialist companies and lack the cohesion, language and where-with-all to co-ordinate an effective response. In desperation global media titans with both digital and branding arms have resorted to ‘magic’ to help. Digital Disruption Units, Innovation Jedi and Elite Special Ops Brand Engineers have become the slippery slope of our industry.
The road less travelled is the one taken by ourselves. It’s hard and we’ve not solved everything. Let’s call it a work in progress, but it’s one we strongly believe in and have done for ten tough years. Digital is branding and branding is digital. It’s a simple premise but integrating the teams involved in delivering effective cohesion is challenging to say the least.
To even start, you need a common language. That language is brand, but you need to articulate it in the right way. A way so simple everyone can understand it. From the CEO to the front end developer working on his site. From the interior team, who work with the front and back end developers to ensure the best experiences everywhere, to the guy on the shopfloor who needs to know the right tone when dealing with a complaint.
The language is the written word. Distilled to something so emotively simple that everyone gets it, buys it and adopts it. A core ethos. Guiding principle. Personality. A True North. An Organising Thought. And if you get lucky, a platform to drive every facet of your branding.
We call it a SimpleTruth. It’s nirvana for the cohesive delivery of great on and offline experiences. No design necessary. That’s a given. That we and many others like us, can make whatever is needed to engage with your chosen target, seriously sexy.
What differentiates and makes the magic possible is the SimpleTruth. The simpler and more emotive the better, but it has to be the truth. It’s the foundations we use to build communication castles in the sky. The lifeblood of physical and digital branding. Get it right and everything falls into place and aligns with everything else. From design principles to digital strategy. Internal comms to social media and the mandatory details on the back of your pack.
As I said earlier, this isn’t a vision. It’s a reality we’re engaged in trying to deliver every day. Our planners, 3D designers, developers, brand directors, project managers and everyone else working together in a single focused team. It’s a long way from perfect and we make mistakes all the time, but we’re learning and you can’t argue with the results we’re getting from the people and processes we’re developing. Of course there’s really nothing new here. The key is super simplicity, in an ever more complex world. No bull. A unique simplicity that captures purpose and personality. A foundation on which to build strategy, creativity and innovation wherever it’s needed. A reality that can only be built by teams of specialists speaking the same language, working in unison with a common goal.
Sounds easy and of course it’s not, but we believe it’s the future and it’s here right now.