what we do


Build
Brands

(that resonate and last)

 
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Lasting brands don’t just have an offering that people want and business model that works, they also convey a core belief system that goes beyond momentary trends and connects deeply and intrinsically with their audiences—consumers, employees, partners, investors, etc. To develop brands like these takes the courage be honest and forthright about who you are and why you do what you do, and the conviction to back it up every day. When you’re firm in your understanding of yourself and your core motivations and consistent in your expressions of them, it permeates everything that comes next, from your company name to your identifiers, marketing strategy, approach to product development, hiring and company culture. When this happens, your brand doesn’t just describe you, it is you—and it’s a lot easier and more natural to maintain.

 

How We Develop Lasting Brands

In addition to user and market research, we start every brand exercise with a deep dive to get to your Big Why—the thing that drives you to get out of bed in the morning and do what you do. Once we understand that, we can distill it down to get to the more tangible things like a name, logo and brand guide. Those are the tools that help keep your brand tethered to who you are while allowing it to stay fresh and relevant through time and change. And all the while, we check in with users (we’re user centered, after all), to make sure what you’re saying resonates.

 


Positioning & Strategy

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This is the foundational work that gets to the why, how, what and who of your brand. Usually done in a workshop format, this is the “Discover” phase in which we gather any existing materials and resources, talk to stakeholders and key audience members and begin to define what the brand is really all about.

Sometimes companies have a lot of information already pulled together and a clear perspective on who they are and why they do what they do, and just need it organized. Sometimes there are gaps and, with new companies, we’re starting from the ground up and defining the brand from scratch.

Activities & Tools

  • Stakeholder Interviews

  • User Research

  • Audience Analysis

  • Current Positioning & Materials Audit

  • Landscape Analysis & Competitive Audit

  • Big Why

  • Core Values

  • 20-Year Roadmap

  • Brand Architecture Analysis


Brand Definition

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Once we know what drives your organization and have defined key attributes of the brand and target audiences, we can begin to make things more tangible, whether it be naming, initial identifier concepts or the refinement and expansion of an existing identity and brand architecture to bring it in line with the ideal positioning and strategy.

Depending on capabilities and capacity, sometimes this process is collaborative with internal resources, other times, this is a phase where we go do our thing and present vetted options back for review and evolution. Either way, it’s highly collaborative throughout.

Activities & Tools

  • Is / Isn’t

  • Personality Sliders

  • Naming

  • Visual & Verbal Moodboarding

  • Concepting

  • Final Design Development

  • Key Communications Points Definition

  • Voice and Tone Framing


Brand Application

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With a finalized brand identifier and system, we’re ready to codify all the brand information into a single guidebook that serves as a framework for understanding and applying the brand. In addition to the brand strategy and positioning, these guides include example applications and critical communications pieces that describe conventions, styles and limitations for future applications. In the end, this is your brand, and it’s crucial that your team be able to own and maintain it over time.

Activities & Tools

  • Brand Foundation Summary

  • Usage Guideline Documentation

  • Physical & Digital Application

  • Development of Communications Pieces


Brand Extension

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Often times, after defining (or redefining) their brand, organizations are eager to roll it out and quickly spread the word. To make this happen, we work with in-house and third-party partners to bring the brand to life, through website development, PR campaigns, trade shows, packaging systems, pop-up experiences, apps, immersive experiences and much more.

Activities & Tools

  • Ideation Sessions

  • Creative Direction

  • UX/UI Design

  • Rollout Strategy

  • Concept Evaluation

  • User Testing

 

Some Brands We’ve Developed