Storytelling to engage your client and their audience.
Creating a brand identity for a new company with no previous branding can be the most rewarding and also the most challenging of experiences. It can pose different challenges depending on the client and their exposure to the creative process. Explaining what you are presenting to them and what decisions they have to make during this process can be difficult, however managed in the right way can often make for a smoother ride.
Understanding your clients products and services is incredibly important, it gives you that insight into the business and their customer’s experience. Traditional research and practical application of the product are essential to achieve deeper clarity before designing for the company.
The starting point for us is talking to the client and understanding their product and importantly their tastes and their story. This is always important, especially when your client has a strong emotional connection to their company. Take a new business owner for example, the branding experience can be an incredibly personal journey. It is the agency’s responsibility to carefully select the right design approach for these circumstances. They will need to engage and involve them in order to gain their trust with the brand direction and decision making process throughout the project.
We often find the best design approach is through storytelling. Bob Greenberg—founder, chairman and CEO of R/GA says, “It’s all about one thing: creative problem-solving to get the story out.” A brand story must be easy to remember and hard to forget. A story is an engaging way to communicate a brand in a memorable narrative. If people are confused, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to retell your story or have the desire to do so.
I was recently in a meeting with a new client and we presented a number of logo concepts for a new brand. The strongest logo design was clear and simple and the one with the strongest message first communicated to us by the client. We then drew from this inspiration and packaged it in a way their story could be told to others. This was the design we also liked best in the studio and the client expressed she would enjoy telling the story over and over.
Creating real connections
A beautifully crafted brand identity will generate an emotional connection between the audience and the brand. It gives them a reason to believe in your company and tell others about it.
Clever technical execution of an identity without a story becomes just a pretty picture. However carefully choosing the right signals and systems through storytelling becomes a powerful message with an exciting dialogue. A strong company brand is just the beginning of the personal story and it should magnify what the company is all about with hints towards literal and more subtle connections.
So the question becomes if someone asked you about the story behind your brand, how would you respond? This dialog is what makes a special brand and one that is memorable to your customers, a brand that will standout.