As a Digital Marketing Agency, the power and significance of effective branding is something that is always at the core of our strategizing. With consumer culture in constant flux, it’s vital to create a brand, whether for a product or a service, that resonates with society in a way that evokes interest and tugs at strings to achieve a desired outcome. Branding is not just about strong visuals, it’s about a presence that is made up of ideology, design and strategy.
In our latest Instagram Takeover, we partnered with Branding aficionado Jamie Collins of NewFoundBrand, who graced our page with his expertise for a week, and produced some of the most expertly branded visuals that we’ve shared to date. We sat down with Jamie to chat about his passion for branding, and uncovered his ideas surrounding this integral aspect of marketing.
What does branding mean to you?
Branding to me defines the entire DNA of a business. Brands are comprised of an internal structure and an exterior surface. The internal structure allows businesses to operate and function, fulfilling their objectives to meet demand and ensure customer satisfaction. The exterior surface of a brand is shaped to visually and verbally communicate its character and traits to a target demographic that share similar ideals. But successful brands do so much more. They add heart and soul to their customer interactions, and offer more than just a product or service; they become something to believe in, something to relate to–something that resonates with their users and improves their lifestyles. Branding is the entire operation and communication of a business.
What is the most significant aspect of creating powerful, effective branding?
For a business, hiring the right creative team is paramount to launching and sustaining a successful brand. A team that understands how to speak to your demographic with a compelling tone, how to position your product or service in a desirable way and how to create fantastic content that resonates beyond transactions.
My role in branding is first to listen acutely to my client’s objectives and help them define what truly makes them unique in their market. What do they believe in, how do they perceive their product or service, how do we portray those characteristics in visual form and deliver it to customers with a tone and voice that is undeniably memorable. This information is pivotal to the brand’s strategy moving forward.
Secondly, it’s about engineering brand elements and a design language that will gain exposure and spark consumer engagement. Awareness of culture, trends and lifestyle habits help define where opportunities lie and how to disrupt the status quo.
Maintaining consumer interest is fundamental to the growth and success of a brand. In today’s digital world, we interact with brands on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. Crafting new opportunities for engagement while managing the integrity of a brand’s character is key.
What do you find to be the biggest challenge in strategizing for your clients?
The willingness to lead instead of follow. It sounds kind of illogical, but a lot of people are happiest in their safe zone and fear turning the volume up just a little for greater success. There is a fine line between passiveness and absurdity, but when brands can reach that perfect state of aspirational equilibrium, that’s where the real magic happens. I think we tend to sometimes underestimate the taste level of consumers and what they desire.
What’s your favourite design tool?
Definitely photography. Images spark meaningful response far quicker than copy or messaging. Why do you think we are all happily obsessed with Instagram? For the most part, it removes any context and allows for uninterrupted visual connection to people and brands all around the world– it truly is an outstanding platform, bursting with inspiration. With the colossal growth of our social interactions in the digital space, curation of imagery is becoming a brand mandate.
We live in a digital age that requires a new form of branding strategy. Do you find that digital forms facilitate the branding process, or pose more of a challenge than traditional branding?
Marketing now requires a more holistic approach due to how we interact with brands in digital and analog environments. Different brands require different agendas and strategies for engaging audiences on a variety of media channels. Campaigns should be consistent across all touch-points and utilize the strengths of each platform. This is more of an opportunity for brands than it is a challenge.
I find the growth of digital to be very intriguing because of the sheer pace of how quickly we all became addicted to our smartphones; these little devices have reshaped how we absorb content and interact with people and brands in a very short amount of time. Because of the pace at which we expect information in the digital space, and the access we have to any brand, there lies opportunity to deliver valuable content more frequently than with traditional channels. This content can drive high rates of customer interaction in ways that can be measured and studied, essentially giving brands a more thorough understanding of their followers.
I do think with the explosion of digital comes a need for authenticity. Brands have to communicate with customers human to human to ensure trust and a meaningful bond. Being humble and caring pairs well with a pioneering vision, whether it be digital or analog.
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