of a brand
of an experience.
Good communication design requires having an articulated mission, position, and identity — an actionable brand platform.
Establishing a brand platform is the first step we take in developing identity and communication programs.
We have a streamlined yet thorough approach to developing effective brand platforms for companies and organizations. We’ve worked for years refining a process that gives us the tools to create engaging and effective design programs.
At the completion of our platform development process, you won’t have invested your time only to end up with a 2"-thick deck filled with unactionable exhortations, committee-pleasing flabby platitudes, and incomprehensible charts and diagrams that look impressive (yet no one bothers to read).
Instead we’ll give you a tight, succinct, non-negotiated roadmap that tells us what you need to be and where we need to go.
(If we don’t know where we’re going, how will we know when we get there?)
We follow a system in our work, but it is more a practice than a formula. The way in which we lead our clients through the brand development journey is a crucial part of our creative process.
Mission, position, and identity:
How do they work together?
Identity and positioning mean different things to different people. This is not a good thing. Here is what some frequently used — and abused — terms mean to us:
Mission: Every company or organization needs one. It’s why you come in to work every day. It spells out why you exist and what you are trying to achieve. It’s what you believe is important to you. (But don’t assume it’s important to your audience.)
Position: This is what differentiates you from your competitors in the minds of your target audience. Your position isn’t what you say it is. It’s what your audience says it is. This means a position cannot be achieved through a positioning statement, no matter how carefully crafted, but only through a sustained effort to show and convince your target audience where you fit in.
To be truly viable, a position must pass three tests. It must be:
- Relevant. It must be founded on something meaningful to the target audience.
- Attainable. It must be something you can live up to.
- Available. If another organization or initiative owns that territory, it’s best to look elsewhere.
Identity: If positioning is about where you fit in, your identity — or your brand — is about who you are. It’s your half of your relationship with your audience, prospects and partners. It’s your personality.
The promise of an experience
We think of a brand as the promise of an experience. Building a good brand therefore requires time, insight, consistency — and your ability to provide a great experience. You don’t build a good brand by slapping a logo all over various things. You build it by being engaging, consistent, and unique.
Mission, position, identity — a successful company or organization needs all three. The way we see it, your mission informs your position. Your position informs your identity. And your identity informs all of your communications.
Together we help you articulate all of these and spread
your good word.
Background and capabilities
We have undertaken brand strategy programs for a number of companies and organizations, including:
- Youth Service America
- Twin Rivers Paper Company See case study
- Highlights for Children See case study
- Girl Scouts of the USA See case study
- BlueBolt Networks See case study
- Gorham Paper & Tissue
- Horsesmouth Advisors
- Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture See case study
- Colorblends Wholesale Flowerbulbs
- W. Atlee Burpee & Co. See case study
- Design Within Reach Contract