June 28, 2019

Topic

Brand identity. How to find you. And how not.

Alexandra Rebernig
Managing Director / Rebernig

In the digital age and in saturated markets, the development of a strong brand identity plays a crucial role for companies. Because: No matter whether digital immigrant or digital native: consumers have become demanding and quickly notice when a brand has nothing to say to them.

Find your own strength.
The identity of a company must be developed from within and the appearance must be individually tailored. Values, messages, colours or typography can work excellently for one brand, but have little or even the wrong effect for another. A similarly unfavourable scenario: all competitors do the same because everyone in the industry has always copied each other. To throw over an identity that is not entirely consistent has no added value and is never a good idea. Nothing is worse than a supposed tailor-made suit that doesn't fit properly after all: In some places you can't fill it out completely and in others it stretches something! Go your own way. This is the only way you have a real chance to remain relevant for your customers.

Get out of the comfort zone.
Dealing with your own identity also means saying goodbye to truths you have come to love. Question the status quo, discuss intensively even with supposedly uncomfortable people, adopt different perspectives. Allow new ways of thinking and define long-term goals. And with all this, it may, yes, it must also hurt. Because just sticking to topics that everyone has always felt comfortable with does not bring progress.

No power to compromise.
Who doesn't know it: Different approaches to idea, story and design are presented. There are different opinions on this and in the end, client and agency agree on a hybrid that contains "the best of everything". In this way, it can (supposedly!) please everyone in the end. But: Right now courageous, entrepreneurial decisions are needed. And that also includes formulating a clear "no". Because over 20 years of experience confirm the calculation time and again: lowest common denominator + no clear line = irrelevant.

Trust your own gut feeling.
Humans are creatures of habit - which is why we often find it extremely difficult to say goodbye to what we know in terms of content and visuals, as well as to the supposed holy cows. Colourfulness, typography or imagery offer endless wonderful possibilities that are often not even remotely exploited. And in terms of content, say goodbye to the average and to the phrase machine: for example, the eternal triad of "innovation, quality, dynamics". Many German companies like to use this chord of terms, although they actually have unique values that have to be formulated differently and put in relation to each other. Pursue your own clear, specific line. Trust your own vision and gut feeling. Because in the end it remains true: Whoever has an individual attitude and shows it, will polarize in a positive sense and thus become visible.

Take everyone on board - even the decision-makers.
As a rule, a company does not consist of one person, but of a team. And bringing different experts and personalities to one table is always enriching and fruitful. That's why brand development in a team makes perfect sense. But: "We've already done some preliminary work" is often counterproductive when it comes to fundamental work on the brand. The potential of fresh motivation is quickly given away and the ideas developed together with a lot of enthusiasm get lost in the mills of the hierarchical levels at the end. So: In order to ensure that the results of presentations and workshops are followed by action, all decision-makers should be at the table at an early stage.

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