Isn’t it ironic that the word ‘brand’ seems to have an identity crisis! Is it a marketing activity? Is it something to re-energise and improve company culture? Is it an idea? Is it your visual identity?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, we believe brand is all of the above.
Here's how we help small service-based SMEs realise their potential:
Each brand identity project begins with strategy. Some agencies might refer to it as the ‘discovery phase’ (one agency we looked at even called it ‘the dig’, which sounds fun). For Sublime, the brand strategy phase simply boils down to bringing focus and clarity to your brand. Everyone talks about having a niché, not very many people have the boldness or determination to pursue this. And whilst we’re not in the business of reinventing the way you work (although we’re happy to talk about it with you), we know that the greatest gift we can leave a business with is clear vision for the road ahead. For us, strategy is simply a plan for how something gets from A > B.
In this case how your brand gets from your business into the minds of the people you want to work with. Brand strategy should underpin all brand activity, bringing focus and clarity to the otherwise endless and overwhelming task of establishing a brand. Naturally it informs the visual identity phase, providing a clear brief to work to.
Brand identity is what most people think they are asking us to do. We get it, and we love it! It’s the fun part that you can see and touch. It’s the moment that a brand comes to life. But the truth is it won’t be as clear and accurate as it needs to be if the visual identity isn’t born out of strategy. If an identity is created and it’s not clear who it is for and why it exists, the whole process is left wide open to personal opinion and the all too familiar ‘design by committee’.
Dangerous territory! If you’ve worked with designers in the past, you might be familiar with the classic ‘half a dozen’ logo concepts, casually presented to the client to determine which they ‘like best’. Sorry to disappoint, but you probably won’t get that from Sublime. We find a better approach is to present ‘an idea’ that we believe answers the brief. We then accompany this with a 360° visual brand story that includes mockups, design examples and other concepts that demonstrate how the identity can work in real life. We love this approach, so do our clients… and it hasn’t failed us yet.
As part of our implementation work, particularly with smaller businesses, we build websites, setup email marketing and help create lead generation campaigns to activate your brand. This isn’t a requirement in all instances, but we offer these services as bolt-ons to our brand work where needed. Our digital work supports our mission to give our clients everything they need to move their new brand from the concept stage into the real world where it can start working and generating results.