Since the pandemic, Hello Finch has been working ever closer with Corr Blimey! With a relationship spanning over 25 years (yikes, we really are that old!) Jemima “Bird” Bird and Michael “Longers” Longmore are redesigning how young energetic start-ups can access great design and creative talent. This is the first blog in a collaboration we hope will last another 25 years at least. There will probably be a little bit of cricket watching too! We hope you enjoy.
Establishing a brand from scratch, or reinventing an existing one, should follow the same process, which will always deliver a result.
We have worked with quite a few startups recently and they all seem to have a number of things in common. Unbelievable amounts of energy, huge self-belief and the ability to make decisions that make regular businesses look positively pedestrian. This level of vibrancy and JFDI is fantastic but does it necessarily mean that everything is as efficient as it could be.
Get the thinking done early.
There are certain things such as a brand essence and brand identity that should have a little more time taken over them so that companies don’t act in haste and repent at leisure.
Developing a new brand and identity need not cost a fortune or take months to complete but a little time spent at the birth of a business can save so much pain later on. A brand identity is something that you have to live with for a long time so it’s worth sweating over the detail at the beginning.
Maybe the word brand has been overdone and everyone thinks a brand comes with a huge price tag and a whole bunch of consultancy bingo into the bargain.
The truth is somewhat different. The constituent parts of a brand are already known to the brand owners.The skill of an agency is to tease them out of the individuals through using workshops and interviews.
It’s always worth taking the views of all interested parties, not just the loud ones, to get under the skin of a business to find out what makes it different.
Words matter. Passionate…really! The most overused word in a brand’s make-up.
Everyone says they are passionate, but how many brands do you engage with on a day-to-day basis that are truly passionate? Certainly, on the day to day commute it’s hard to find.
Avis got it right, “We try harder”. They knew they weren’t the best years ago but at least they tried hard to deliver great service.
The process of generating a brand is one that works and should be trusted to deliver a brand triangle, onion or lozenge, or whatever shape takes your fancy.
Determining the emotional and functional benefits, business values and brand personality is great fun and always produces some surprises. In my own experience, it’s always the reluctant participant who gets the most out of a workshop, often getting incredibly animated over a single word.
Once the key elements of a brand are established then the essence can be determined and a strapline developed. A strapline is not the essence, the essence is inward-facing and a strapline is what the customer sees. Tesco’s essence of, attaining and winning a customer’s lifetime loyalty, is expressed by the far snappier, “Every Little Helps”.
Spending time at the launch of a business to get the brand right is a really useful exercise that puts a business on a single footing about what it stands for, enabling all comms to be directed by the brand essence.
It would seem inconceivable to write a set of brand guidelines without a brand essence, but we have been asked to do this. The result is always a subjective debate with no clear view.
Whether a startup or existing business, spending time on a brand’s workings is so valuable: it helps refresh or confirm the key elements that make up a brand.
If a brand is to be lived and believed, it is important that the brand essence permeates through the business and becomes its raison d’être; the values are lived and the essence delivered.
Most brands could do with a refresher of what they stand from from time to time….
In the words of the mighty Nike, Just do it!
Hello Finch. Listening Intelligently.