Computer Arts - - Special Report -

Like an ex­plorer be­gin­ning a chal­leng­ing as­sent, the first step to­wards a fi­nan­cially suc­cess­ful project, once you’ve as­sessed a client’s ob­jec­tives, is to sur­vey the land­scape. Taxi Studio as­so­ci­ate cre­ative di­rec­tor Jonathan Turner-Rogers, whose new pack­ag­ing for Fin­nish cider Golden Cap re­versed the brand’s di­min­ish­ing sales, ar­gues that im­prov­ing a client’s bot­tom line hinges on full mar­ket im­mer­sion. “We went out there and wit­nessed peo­ple pur­chas­ing both on-trade and off-trade,” he says. “You need to un­der­stand how new mar­kets be­have, what makes con­sumers tick and what drives them to pur­chase – now and in the fu­ture.” Tim­ing is also es­sen­tial, Turner-Rogers con­tin­ues: “The mar­ket is con­stantly shift­ing, so once you’ve got those in­sights, make sure you get out there quickly so you don’t miss the boat.”

Dig­ging into ar­chives for in­spi­ra­tion might have be­come a trendy ex­er­cise in re­cent years, but if you’re aim­ing for brand loy­alty, tap­ping into some­thing – ei­ther vis­ually or con­cep­tu­ally – that cul­ti­vates nos­tal­gia and a sense of own­er­ship can be hugely ben­e­fi­cial fi­nan­cially. “It’s not about retro de­sign,” says Turner-Rogers. “It’s about tap­ping into some­thing that did work for the brand be­fore, and see­ing whether it’s rel­e­vant now – and whether it can be re­pur­posed and made cool.”

The word ‘iconic’ is easily thrown around, but think­ing about a project in terms of creating a ‘fu­ture icon’ can be a help­ful way to strip away ex­cess and con­cen­trate on core prin­ci­ples. Hulse & Dur­rell part­ner Greg Dur­rell says that both sim­plic­ity and the right con­cen­tra­tion of mes­sages are es­sen­tial in stand­ing up next to big brands. “The big­gest mis­take a lot of agencies make is try­ing to tell too much of the story in one tiny spot, which is of­ten the logo,” he says. “The mean­ing of the brand is ev­ery­thing you do around the mar­que; the mar­que is just punc­tu­a­tion.”

Not only did sim­plic­ity help Hulse & Dur­rell ma­noeu­vre Team Canada into a place where it ap­pealed to fash­ion-con­scious mil­len­ni­als, but the straight­for­ward mar­que was finely tuned for its even­tual ap­pli­ca­tion on mer­chan­dise and so­cial me­dia. Leav­ing your client with a sim­ple but flex­i­ble frame­work – whether that’s to ac­com­mo­date new sub-pro­grammes or flavour lines – is a sure way to im­prove con­sis­tency across brand, as well as save money. “It in­creases your over­all brand im­pres­sion and gets your grass­roots com­mu­nity fa­mil­iar with that mar­que,” re­flects Dur­rell, “and it also saves the client hav­ing to in­vest in a new de­sign each time.”

It’s fun­da­men­tal of any cre­ative process, but on-point sto­ry­telling that gets to the heart of a USP is also es­sen­tial. How­ever, rep­e­ti­tion isn’t al­ways the way for­ward: “When you’re launch­ing a new brand you need to imbed recog­ni­tion, but be rel­e­vant,” says jkr de­sign di­rec­tor Stephen McDavid. “If you’re al­ways com­mu­ni­cat­ing the same mes­sage, it can be­come quite pre­dictable, quite quickly. Use ev­ery touch­point to its fullest po­ten­tial.”

Re­think­ing an iden­tity and am­pli­fy­ing strengths can help an or­gan­i­sa­tion hone its of­fer, as well as in­stil pride in its em­ploy­ees – both of which im­prove rev­enue. But a re­brand won’t work on its own: “You have to have an or­gan­i­sa­tion that’s on that jour­ney and be­lieves the things that the brand is say­ing,” says Mov­ing Brands co-founder and chief cre­ative of­fi­cer Jim Bull. “The busi­nesses that be­come suc­cess­ful are those that take brand very se­ri­ously, but are also striv­ing to re­ally do some­thing in the world.”

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