Three things we’d like to see more of in 2020.
More disciplined storytelling
The past decade has seen an evolution in storytelling. Netflix and Amazon have seized control of the remote. One downside of this is that there seems to be a belief that there’s no limit to how far a story can be stretched.
‘The Irishman’ and ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ both push audience interest to the limit. Yes, these are artists at work. Stunning visuals. Awesome period details. But this is the streaming era. People are more likely to stay in than go out. …
Digitalisation is changing how we experience financial services brands — but what we want remains the same.
Every brand has a killer application
It’s the touchpoint that encapsulates what we love about the brand. For companies that make things, it’s usually the product. The sensation that comes from the intersection of form and function. The feel of a beautifully crafted object in our hands. The delight we get from a lovely piece of packaging. The associations triggered by a familiar aroma or taste.
Behind every good creative brief you need a broad, frank discussion to get to the heart of what’s really required.
Our clients come to us for ideas. Generating those, and bringing them to life, is what gets us up the stairs to our studio every morning. But before we can get on with the business of thinking, designing and writing, we need a clear and comprehensive brief to guide us. And this is where the relationship between client and agency really makes a difference. Here’s our take on how to give a brief.
Organisations try to get people to think and act differently for lots of reasons. Sometimes, change can be required and enforced from outside. And when a regulator brings in new rules, there’s often no room for manoeuvre. Get it wrong and the risks include legal action, financial penalties and reputational damage.
Authorities can get away with bluntly telling people what they must do — and what will happen if they don’t. That’s fine for imposing new rules. …
An origin story can add authenticity and provide differentiation in the market, just as long as it has a clear relevance to the world today. We created a new brand and visual identity for UK investment manager Rathbones that keeps the heritage of the brand alive while showing that this business belongs in the twenty-first century.
Heritage branding becomes more complicated when it moves into patriotic territory. Trading on the British image has been a popular brand strategy for some companies in recent years, especially for those active in international markets like Barbour, Burberry, Mini and Mulberry. …
No safety in numbers
With clients that range from startups to global institutions, we keep a close eye on trends in financial services branding. We love how fintechs are shaking up this industry. The early days of the fintech revolution produced some true pioneers like Monzo, who teamed novel thinking with bold attitudes. Yet the current trend in fintech branding is towards uniformity rather than originality. Brands are blending in when they should be standing out.
Here are some tips for fintechs on how to avoid becoming part of the herd.
Startup branding demands digital fluency
What makes a successful startup? A brilliant idea for a product or service is a great place to begin but as a startup failure rate of 90% demonstrates, it takes much more than this to build a business that gets off the ground.
We’ve written elsewhere about the importance of brand for startups. For the growing number of startups that are technology-led or technology-dependent, the brand experience is increasingly digital. This puts the discipline of user experience (UX) in the spotlight.
Effortless UX is not enough UX is crucial to brand appeal for just about…
Change is coming
Brand strategy should be high on the agenda of professional services firms right now. Regulators and clients want to see more competition in the audit market. There’s talk of breaking up the ‘Big 4’ of Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC, or introducing a requirement for joint audits of public companies by Big 4 and non-Big 4 firms working together. Smaller firms will need to convince clients that they are up to the task first. This is where brand can help build confidence and trust.
A show of ambition BDO looks to be a strong candidate to disrupt…
Brand and business are one
Brand should never be an afterthought for any business. It must be part of the foundations. So when founders are in definition mode early on, brand belongs on the agenda alongside business model and strategy, product or service proposition and financing. Because it has as much influence on whether a startup flies, or fails.
Great brands communicate with purpose, ambition and confidence. They have the clarity that comes from knowing what they are all about. Any startup can do this too because it doesn’t need deep pockets. …
When is it right to go without?
Mastercard says its decision to go all-in on logo-led branding was driven by a desire to maximise the space available in digital environments.
Thinks, designs and writes for people who know the value of imagination in business.