93 discuss the importance of branding and the positive impact it can have on your business.
Whether your business is an ambitious new startup or it’s been around for decades, an investment in branding is always a good idea. But what can branding actually do for your business?
Brand perception is so important that people who think they are using a product from a famous brand actually report better product performance than people using the same product who are told it’s a generic make. We can see this belief play out in everything from food and clothing purchases to over the counter headache tablets - even when the active ingredient is the same, many choose the branded medication, despite it costing several times more.
The more recognisable your business is along the customer journey - from identifying the need, becoming aware of your business as potentially being capable of meeting that need to ultimately making a purchase - the higher the chances of that customer choosing your product or service over your competitor. Most marketplaces are full of businesses with similar offerings but considered branding can ensure that you stand out in the crowd.
It’s easy to think of a logo, font or colour palette as the beginning and end of branding, but while these factors play an important part, true branding is so much more than just your visual identity.
Branding is a way of:
It’s said that in conversation, communication is just 7 percent verbal and 93 percent non-verbal - and this holds true in branding too. Words are an important part of your branding but need to be underpinned, backed up and strengthened by every other aspect, across all touchpoints.
Your story, the background and importantly, your “Why”, needs to be clear and concise, and easy for your audience to understand. A novel but highly effective way of approaching this was the “About Us” page we created for Le Swine - an illustrated comic book style layout that tells the story of how the business began. We used this both on the website and in the packaging, printing it onto the traditional greaseproof paper that lines the meal kit boxes.
The Federation of Small Businesses report that there are 5.5 million small businesses (defined as having under 50 employees and an annual turnover of less than £6.5 million) in the UK in 2021 - so how do you get yours noticed? Authenticity - something that your audience can relate to as being genuine and not just another carbon copy of everything else that’s out there - goes a long way. Investment in branding pays off not just in increasing sales but by reducing marketing costs. Having a well defined brand identity and story makes marketing initiatives more effective, meaning you can get more for less.
Great branding will make your audience feel something, it connects with them, creating a relationship with your business that goes deeper than making a single purchase and inspiring lasting loyalty.
It’s easy to focus on bigger touchpoints like the website but equal thought needs to be given to the tiny details. Microcopy - tiny tidbits of copy that might seem insignificant but which add to the overall customer experience - is a great example of this. Innocent smoothies, which has a reputation for being a fun, lighthearted brand, prints the phrase “stop looking at my bottom” on the underside of all its bottles and cartons. This copy may never even be seen (how often do you look at the bottom of a bottle?) so the fact that they’ve used it there, with the potential of creating a brief moment of delight for a customer, shows the deep thought they’ve put into their branding.
Working on Le Swine’s branding, 93ft created a slick, confident look that’s both extremely high quality and yet still retains a fun, irreverent feel. We used a video of a meal kit being delivered and “Britain’s Best Bacon Butty” being constructed as the hero image, drawing the viewer in and creating an irresistible urge for that mouthwatering brunch.
Branding is not simply about how things look and sound, it’s also about building trust with your audience. It can feel as though your business has to get things right 100% of the time but sometimes making a mistake and dealing with it really well has an even greater positive effect than making no mistakes at all - and this is all part of your brand.
This could relate to how a public twitter complaint or poor review on Trip Advisor is handled. When Yorkshire tea replied “Please don’t buy our tea” to a tweet criticising the Black Lives Matter movement, they made a public stand for what they, and their customers, believe in. The tweet was widely shared and applauded by many, with even their business rival PG Tips tweeting their support.
While speaking up on political matters (or refusing on select occasions to adhere to the customer always being right) is by definition polarising, a fact which puts many brands off doing so, getting the tone right can build immense trust with your audience when well judged - which leads to lasting brand loyalty.
Simply having a great product isn’t enough if the branding isn’t right. A product in great packaging, that feels like quality and looks visually stunning naturally commands a higher price and a different demographic of customer than the same product in cheap looking packaging.
93ft was approached by Chatsworth House to revamp their biscuit packaging. Our creative team pored over the archives to find the perfect botanical drawings, drew in elements of the history of the house and gardens, and through the use of high quality materials and thoughtful selection of visual elements, created a product which was light years away from the previous packaging.
The biscuits sold hundreds of units in their first week and the year's supply sold out within a couple of months.
Similarly, when 93ft worked on the Darkwoods coffee brand, we took their existing look and feel and elevated it to something really special.
“Excellent design needs to transfer beyond good visuals on a computer screen as well. Choice of materials, illustrations, paper stock, signage etc are just as important to 93, to fully realise the integrity of the initial concept and make it immersive for our customers." – Paul Meikle-Janney, Director of Dark Woods Coffee.
A well thought out, perfectly executed brand commands a higher price and attracts the customer you want.
Whether you’re under new ownership, have had a change of partners or you’ve just realised your brand has become stale and outdated, working on the branding gives everyone a fresh start. If you’re planning to sell, rejuvenating the brand can increase interest and drive up bids.
A great brand designer will ensure you've got branded assets to use across your website and social media, increasing your chances of building a recognisable brand through consistent touch-points. This might start from the business name. From there 93ft secure your perfect URL and social media handles, creating an authentic, visible brand that really works.
Silver Oak Arborists approached 93ft for a website redesign. The clean and clear look of their site, along with stunning aerial video of their work lead to a more professional look and feel for their business which customers have loved.
Drilling down on your values and aims is the first step in building your brand and this is where calling in experts from outside your business is invaluable. They’ll ask the questions that make you consider your business from every possible angle, shine a light on factors you may have overlooked and pick up on the hidden gems that can be difficult to see from inside the business.
When 93ft was approached by what would later become The Halley, a coworking space in vibrant Haggerston, East London, the name being considered made reference to the local area. Our branding team, as part of our full brand design and strategy, suggested The Halley as an alternative, after researching the areas and finding that Edmund Halley, the astronomer who calculated the orbit of the comet named for him, was born in Haggerston.
Halley’s comet is a global phenomenon which has been documented through the ages from Ancient Chinese and Egyptian scripture to the Bayeux Tapestry. Using this name not only roots The Halley in its own local history, time and place but also highlights and celebrates the global connection.
Knowing your audience - getting clear on who you want to attract, who your product/service is really for - forms the foundation your brand is built on and allows you to create a cohesive narrative that speaks directly to that ideal customer or client.
Identifying exactly who your brand is aimed at means that every aspect of your brand, from website fonts to the marketing channels your business uses, can be designed and chosen with them in mind. This may feel counterintuitive - if we’re too specific, won’t we put off the people who don’t fit that exact profile? But trying to appeal to everyone results in a watered down narrative and generic visual identity that won’t attract anyone.
The brand and strategy workshops that we hold when you start working with us are designed to look at your target audience’s demographics - factors like age, profession and location - but to get to the heart of your brand strategy we go deeper and drill down into their psychographics.
Psychographics refers to your buyer's spending habits, hobbies, thoughts and values which build a detailed picture of your target audience that influences everything from the images we use on your website to the tone of voice in your copywriting.
When vintage clothing business Glass Onion pivoted its model from supplying wholesale to selling direct to consumer, they came to 93ft for help with their brand. They needed to appeal to their target market of 18-24 year olds, but age range alone just wasn’t enough to go on. We helped them get crystal clear on the people behind the demographics – fashion conscious younger people who care about the environment and want to play their part in saving the planet. Understanding what drives this group meant we got the best out of our brand strategy and design.
Le Swine was a Spitalfields market trader until the first 2020 covid-lockdown forced them to move online and begin supplying home meal kits instead. They approached 93ft for help creating a consistent brand that was instantly recognisable, worked online as well as in person, and which customers understood and could buy into.
We elevated the brand from the more generic kraft box look to something which is unmistakably Le Swine, communicating quality, consistency, reliability and competency.
93ft created 5 individual brands within the New World Trading Company umbrella over 5 years. We developed brand identities for The Botanist, Smugglers Cove, The Oast House, The Club House and The Trading House - reimagining the old British favourite, the pub, each in an entirely unique way that connects with their specific local audiences.
An incredible labour of love, we worked across brand creation, illustration, film making, print and production, digital marketing and website design and development for each, creating brands that were together worth over £50 million on exit.
Kangaroo Works in Sheffield and Swan Street House in Manchester, developments under the Ridgeback umbrella, both needed unique identities that spoke to their surroundings, their local histories and their client base.
The 93ft branding team researched the land use for both sites, unearthing the rich history of dating from Canterbury Tales to Napoleon and the Battle of Trafalgar through to both cities’ more recent industrial pasts. We created brands that stayed true to these roots while working for the umbrella brand overall.
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