Creative Branding Creates Sales

For good branding and design it’s good to be direct.

(… but perhaps be a little more subtle than renaming a stadium Sportsdirect.com@St James’Park.)

I have 15+ years experience as a member of creative departments in large and small design and advertising agencies. In that time I have worked on large UK and international brands such as CNN, Jaguar, Habitat UK and Coca Cola. I’ve designed a wide variety of brand identities, packaging, brochures, DM campaigns, websites and marketing material for both print and digital. I now work in conjunction with web developers, copywriters and photographers to combine my experience, knowledge and passion for good design with the freedom to work directly at a fraction of the ‘big agency’ cost. With solid creative concepts and experience I aim to bring big ideas and polished creative to the table for every design job. I have an eye for detail and believe that a good idea and great looking design will solve almost anything.

The role of branding is central to my creative work. I see it as further proof as to what motivates us every day to purchase. Brands have always allowed people to stand out from a crowd, identify themselves and simply feel reassured that they are part of something relevant and trustworthy. Brands can evoke such strong connections in consumers they will go as far as to express negative behaviour towards competitors and even enjoy the misfortune of a brand competitor like seeing an opposing football team lose. Successful branding is perfecting these appreciated divisions of separation between various target audiences to achieve long term loyalty. Apple brought this to life with their infamous ‘I’m a mac, I’m a PC’ campaign in 2006 which was the public labelling of PC users as boring and uncool. Aligning technology products with personalities and provoking such a strong reaction from this campaign generated some effective – albeit brazen – brand values and was very successful.

Branding is powerful and the commitment to building a strong brand presence should be the central plank in any marketing mix. How powerful? Well enough to convince a name change of a football stadium with great heritage to ‘Sportsdirect.com@St James’Park’.. and also drive Olympic organisers to crack down heavily with the policing of small businesses’ use of words like ‘medals’ or ‘gold’ during London 2012 – penalising them to an excessive level for even slight useage. Why? Because branding is a huge motivator for sales – by associating a brand with honest worthwhile values is shown to be a large factor in purchasing decisions. A strong brand can command trust and respect from consumers and justify a purchasing decision as well as being an original emotive reason to buy.

What makes a brand work? It’s a very strict commitment to consistent design aesthetics, message and tone of voice that is based on honest truths and ‘stakes in the ground’ – stuff that people can believe in that is presented as an interesting narrative. Companies traditionally marketed themselves in a one way ‘top-down’ way of communication, however the massive rise of social media shows customers are much more responsive when they feel they are listened to and involved, and are more likely to be drawn to interesting and inspiring content that they can relate to and interact with. One example of this is the continued success of Virgin – there is an inspiring story of how Richard Branson started out, his entertaining advertising, and ultimately you feel like if you ever had a problem with his products or services you could almost get in touch with the man himself and he’d sort it out. This is a fantastic example of a brand with an interesting story to tell, has a personality that appears to respond and listen to consumers, and projects real honesty and credibility as a result.

What’s the brand story? Facts about products are boring and forgettable, stories fascinate and get talked about. Virgin or Apple’s advertising is an example of brand storytelling and conversation for the purpose of entertainment and education that is an important part of developing a brand. Giving your brand a narrative gives consumers an experience which is emotive and this in turn gets remembered. How did your brand start? How are you making things better for people? What events are happening with your business that people need to know about? These are all solid narratives to use when building your brand.

What on earth is in a brand anyway? and is good branding good design? well, David Oglivy the legendary advertising guru was once quoted as saying “if it doesn’t sell it isn’t creative”, and also “The pursuit of excellence is less profitable than the pursuit of bigness, but it can be more satisfying.” In short, there is a balance to be achieved with a good message and good creative – which results in a great brand and that, in a nutshell is my job.

Brand objectives, brand consideration and strategy is behind every piece of work that I do. Good results of design work are often the result of good brand strategy. Consistent brand elements designed into your communications are cues for people to try, buy and repeat buy, and can make or break a good idea or venture.

If your idea, venture or business is not working as hard as it could, you could benefit from looking at your brand and applying some extra creative focus on your communications to simplify and bring to life the inspiring and interesting aspects of your business that will get noticed and generate sales. It’s only by increasing your visibility and presence in the market through smart branding messages and design to generate an emotive draw – then followed afterwards by justification through core message and facts will a brand succeed. The result of all this initial creative effort will be the ultimate goal – promotion of the brand by customers themselves – as word of mouth is the best medium of all.

Contact me for a chat about your design requirements and I can help give your communications a boost with some honest assessment, creative thinking and a new approach. I won’t blind you with brand diagrams or bore you with a powerpoint presentations. I offer honest opinion, creative ideas and the means to bring them to life. If you need someone to create print or web design work with an eye for strong brand appreciation – without breaking the bank – I can help.

If you’re awake at this point and the above sounds right up your street it makes sense we talk. If you’d like to talk new ideas and fresh thinking for your business please get in touch on 07813 311253, email me at chris@chrisparkerdesign.co.uk or fill out the contact form here It doesn’t matter if your project or job is big or small I’ll tell you how I can help.