My Background In Branding
Jess Brown oversees a cross-disciplinary team of motion designers, art directors and UI experts at Planit, Baltimore’s top communications, marketing and interactive agency. Brown’s work has been recognized by the Webbys and the National ADDYs, and she has created award-winning experiences for PBS KIDS, Marriott International, Ritz-Carlton, Universal Music Group, McCormick, Mally Beauty and The Kennedy Center, among many others.
Don’t Save Digital For Last — Even in today’s highly connected world, we still see this costly mistake quite often. Regardless of your product or service, there’s a good chance that your audience’s first impression will be online — probably on their phone. Saving digital for the end of the branding process leads to retrofitting and last minute changes that bungle your brand before it’s even up and running. A mobile-friendly website and logo system are only the beginning. Spending the time up front to consider how your brand looks, sounds, and feels in search results, on social media, and even in email communication will create a solid foundation for your digital presence and ensure a cohesive brand experience on and offline.
Have Patience — If you study some of the strongest branding case studies (and I highly recommend that you do — consider that #4 on this list), you’ll notice they are incredibly consistent in the way they deliver their unique voice and express their purpose in everything they produce. When done well, the branding process itself takes time, and the culmination of all those efforts is likely an exciting campaign strategy that will take your brand to market. But then you’re done, right? Nope. This is actually when you’ll really need to dig deep and be patient. Branding consistency takes time, and it takes time across multiple channels, in various campaigns, and at all points in the customer journey. While you can make sure it’s handled with care, you simply cannot rush this process. Coke didn’t own happiness overnight, but over the years they chipped away at that broad-reaching sensation by weaving it into every facet of their branding. Now, it belongs to them and their customers.
Evolution Is Inevitable — Perhaps the greatest argument for making sure your branding stands for more than a logo or an identity package is every brand’s need to — at some point — evolve. Like products or services, your branding should evolve to stay relevant to your audiences and to avoid growing stale. For obvious reasons, entrepreneurs tend to stay particularly close to the brands they build, but I recommend not wasting time fighting the inevitable. Even if being progressive isn’t part of your branding DNA, embrace the opportunity to grow and modify for new customer generations and even new technologies. And, evolving will always be smoother than the total branding revolution often required to shake perceptions that a business is outdated.