28 September 2020
Recession-ready tip #1 – hero your distinctive brand assets
With the UK plunged into stricter lockdown measures for up to a further six months, and concern for how businesses will survive at an all-time high, here’s the first in a series of Brandon’s go-to remedies for getting your brand recession-ready.
Distinctive assets, brand icons, brand identifiers – they get called a million things but they are fundamentally short cuts to brands, both at the shelf and across other touchpoints too.
They can be characters, a colour or fonts of distinction within a specific category. They can also be audio, or shapes and symbols. Even a tone of voice can be a brand asset, although this is easier to copy.
But the one thing they all have in common is that when you are doing your Saturday night zoom quiz with three generations of family, everyone from your eight year-old son to your 80 year-old Grandma will know the brand.
Akin to plants, these icons or assets need to be nurtured over time so patience is required before you can fully reap the benefit.
The issue is that in the pursuit of change and the attraction of the shiny and new, it is very easy to drop the things that make your brand instantly recognisable. And this is where many brands go wrong.
Many of our incoming briefs start with the line, “we want to modernise the packaging to be more relevant to a younger market.”
This can often mean that devices or assets that have been there for a long time get chopped because they are seen as old fashioned – getting rid of them can be seen as a quick win. But this is a fundamental flaw.
Instead, it would be prudent to follow the advice of Professor Byron Sharp of the Ehrenberg Bass Institute for Marketing Science:
“When brand owners ask me what market research they should be doing, I always reply ‘first measure your brand’s distinctive assets… Find out what they really are, and how strong they really are… Don’t assume.”
The Ehrenberg Bass Institute for Marketing Science recommends that if you are planning any evolution of your branding, or intend to do any new advertising, then you should benchmark your distinctive brand assets – what’s working and what isn’t.
By auditing existing brand assets, as well as undertaking research with your target audience on your brand, market and competitors, you can assess how healthy your brand elements are right now. Does your audience associate the colour you currently use with you or with a competitor? Is your logotype identifiable and memorable? Does your tagline aid identification of your brand at all?
This is exactly the approach we took when working with Napolina on its rebrand. Looking at its hero chopped tomatoes tin, we idenitifed the brand’s iconic and supporting assets while identifying potential challenges and opportunities.
The new brand design created clear, ownable assets and illustrated why the brand was worth paying more for. As a result, Napolina was the fastest growing food brand in the UK in 2019 and achieved record share in three of its key categories.
For more on Napolina, view the full case study here.
To see how we can help you get your brand recession-ready contact us here – firstname.lastname@example.org
People Love a bit of DWB!
The world of functional drinks, or ‘drinks with benefits’ (DWB) is a category that has seen huge development.
Meet Executive Creative Director, Steve Conchie
Steve shares the best things about his job, as well as the genius behind “who's nicked my friggin' grapes".
Meet Client Service Director – Simon Ellis
Who knew Simon is a musicals fan? But when he’s not belting out a classic, he loves nothing more than the feeling of absolutely nailing a client brief.
On pack messaging: Brand Purpose versus Distinctive Assets
Louise Kennedy on the strategies that brands implement when bringing together brand purpose and distinctive assets.
Transform Magazine: Iconicity as the route to impact
Managing Partner, Richard Taylor on the importance of iconicity in the route to impact.
The supplements brands gym-bound Brits will be turning to
Richard Taylor speaks to The Grocer about how brands need to cut through in the sports nutrition and supplements world.
Ever wondered what it's like working at Brandon?
We speak to two of our latest recruits to find out...
Design as a powerful asset in the fight for relevance
Strategist Tessa Hill on some of the key relevance challenges we’re asked to solve through the power of design.
FAB News: What do you stand for?
FAB News: Louise Kennedy on how winning the fight for relevance starts with positioning.
Interview with a strategist – Tessa Hill
Tessa loves being involved in a project from a very early stage.
All I want for Christmas... is a good limited edition strategy
Strategist Tessa Hill comments on the learnings from five of our favourite Christmas limited editions.
What role does innovation play in driving brand relevance?
Strategy Director Louise Kennedy with some top tips on how to use innovation to drive brand relevance.
Immunity in 2020
Strategist Tessa Hill uncovers the design codes shaping the immunity category in 2020.
Interview with a designer - Abi Taylor
Hear from our Co-Founder on her love of design and how Brandon came to be.
Reawakening a love for brand books
Senior Designer Jay Bates on why brand guidelines shouldn't be left at the bottom of a drawer.
Five Minutes with Louise Kennedy
Louise Kennedy talks to Transform about how brands can stay relevant and how packaging can improve brand performance.
FAB News: ‘Relevance - The Holy Grail of Marketing'
FAB News: Strategy Director Louise Kennedy on what relevance actually means.
Recession-ready tip #2 – Rethink innovation
How rethinking innovation can be a tool to get your brand ready for a recession.
Interview with a designer - Joe Bembridge
Read what inspires Brandon’s first full-time designer.
Can casual dining brands survive on supermarket shelves?
Richard Taylor talks to Marketing Week about how hospitality brands can make an impact through supermarket retail.
Don’t underestimate the influence of packaging in the home
Brand Strategist Louise Kennedy discusses actionable ways for brands to build an emotional connection with consumers at home.
Interview with a Designer - Jay Bates
Brandon’s self-confessed brand architecture nerd, Jay, on what inspires him every day.
Marketing Week's ‘All change: The complex route ahead for automotive branding’
As car manufacturers face pressure to move to cleaner energy and shift their strategy, Richard Taylor, discusses what that means for brand.
Hero design for the new hero channel
Brand Strategist Louise Kennedy challenges what the hero design is and will become.
Hitting their peak: How brands plan to retain new customers post-lockdown
Managing Partner Richard Taylor talks to Marketing Week about shopping on autopilot and making new habits in the crisis.
Interview with a Designer - Grace Buckley
Grace can often be found in the supermarket rearranging the shelves to show off her work in its best light!
Reflections from the Darkside
Strategist Louise Kennedy’s view on agency life from the perspective of a ‘newbie’.
Will Harrods' bet on a new beauty brand pay off?
Managing Partner Richard Taylor talks to Marketing Week about Harrods' new beauty brand.
Desert Island Ads
We asked our Creative Director for his top 10 ads that shaped and inspired his thinking over the decades
D&AD Top 5 tips to move beyond mediocrity to design greatness
Inspiration from Rosie Arnold at the D&AD Talks 2019
The Joys of Brand Planning
Our Top 5 Brand Planning Tips - identifying new, exciting opportunities for growth.
Our 5 Key FMCG Brand Innovation Principles
Our 5 Key FMCG Brand Innovation Principles: What lessons can we learn from Coca-Cola's Life U-Turn?
The Brand Packaging Health-Check
The Brand Packaging Health-Check: 5 Killer Tips to see if a refresh is due or long overdue
The Art of FMCG Brand Architecture
Three principles we apply to ensure a successful brand architecture
Refreshing Established Food and Drink Brands
Here we discuss six routes for a brand to acquire new relevant meaning.
The Grocer - Pasta & Sauces report
The Grocer features Managing Partner Richard's thoughts on the pasta and sauces category.
In a bid for simplification and efficiency, the giants are emulating the discounters.
The Logo. On its last legs? Or fit as a fiddle?
Of late there has been a school of thought which argues that the static logo is terminally ill.