On Monday we received a branding workshop from Graham. Initially, we were shown examples of some brands that have designed and produced exceptional branding materials from the ‘Introducing visual identity for small businesses’ book; discussing what makes them unique and work well within their field. The key insight I took away from this workshop was the importance of branding for positioning your product within the market as well as a reminder of the fact a brand is not just about creating a logo, but all the values your company / product represents.
For the workshop activity we were firstly asked to look at aspirational brands and competitor brands within our field. My competitor brands are fairly obvious; Skype and Google Hangouts. Looking at their website layout and structure made it clear to me that they follow a similar pattern and use similar language. I will definitely be referring back to the promotional material for both companies when conceiving the branding on my own project – a task which I’m in the process of doing whilst I finish off my final prototype. I wish to create small printed instructional cards which would come with the product on purchase, so it is for this I would be taking influences from my competitor brands.
Looking at aspirational brands, I chose to look at Innocent. I find them to be very engaging, using informal language and a distinct, playful personality consistently across the whole brand. I believe the very lighthearted approach Innocent takes would be inappropriate in the context of my personal project, however that doesn’t mean I can’t be inspired by them when considering my own branding. My task here is to work out what the correct language and tone of voice is for my audience and try to present the information in a format that is as engaging and exciting to older adults as innocent is to younger audiences.
Finally, we worked out what our own values were for the product we are each designing. This task was a much harder one, and one I’m still working on. At the time, I said I want mine to be simple, useful, intuitive and to connect people and build relationships. In terms of branding my project, this wasn’t really getting me anywhere (I was really just stating the obvious) so I decided I needed to look at the wider picture. From there I chose to make a quick mind map of any words or phrases that relate to my project. Since creating this I’ve been re-visiting it every so often to consider it with a fresh mind and add more words that come to mind. This is helping me to nail the values of my project and make progress with how I want to brand it. I’ll be working on the branding over the next couple of weeks so further progress will be posted soon!