Creating your Brand Blueprint: A Roadmap to Success
Turning a business into a brand is tough. Mostly because what the term ‘brand’ means is constantly being redefined; but at the heart of it, it’s about exactly that…reaching beyond a consumer’s logical (often cost-orientated) mind and appealing to their emotional sensibility.
That’s not to say that all brands are luxury but to elevate your business to brand level should be considered an elite goal. From a product or creative level, it means you’re having a bigger impact on the world. From a commercial perspective, it likely allows you to expand and grow whilst staying true to the reason people fell in love with you in the first place.
How to distil, evolve or expand your brand identity and brand experience?
It’s an absolute minefield to navigate successfully but certain tools will help guide the way and give your new ‘brand’ the best chance of making its mark on the world.At FormRoom we’ve developed the Brand Blueprint to be one such guiding light for our clients who want to distil, evolve or expand their brand identity and experience.
Essentially, it’s an outline of what your brand stands for and what that looks like, both online and in the real world. Within experience design, it allows us to visualise how your brand not only looks but also feels like in a physical space.
Consistency builds brand recognition but repetition breeds lack of authenticity.
From an aesthetic point of view, we develop the core visual elements such as key colours, materials, patterns, lighting etc. which form part of the brand experience. These elements are designed to be flexible enough to adapt to multiple sizes, locations, usages without ever feeling like a cookie-cutter replication.
The blueprint is brand consistency, but it’s also controlled fluidity, so you can ensure the consumer who encounters you in different spaces around the world feels instantly familiar but also excited and engaged every single time.
Translating brand insight into a flagship experience.
So how do we do it? Every process starts with some insight into who we’re designing for, both client and end consumer. Beyond that, often we take some element of existing brand identity (perhaps a website or social media page) and consider how that should translate into the real world.
Physical spaces should feel like the brand has leapt off the screen and wrapped itself around you, allowing you to experience it beyond a 2D set of pixels.
We usually start with a “flagship experience” which is everything your brand wants to say, the best version it can be of itself. We bring it to life through a combination of experience mapping, sketches, mood boarding and end up with fully realised 3D visualisation; so you can practically reach out and touch it. Once everyone is happy with their crown jewel, that design usually gets scaled into smaller or segmented versions of itself: pop ups, concession spaces, showrooms etc.
We’ve pulled a client’s brand identity from what it looks like in a 200m2 flagship right down to how it exists as a single plinth on a shelf. It takes experience and a careful touch, but it can be done. It’s here where you can start to see that whilst a space can and should adapt to a location’s needs, a core brand identity remains the guiding light.
This ability to adapt also gives your brand a lot greater chance of effectively evolving rather than ‘re-branding’ in a few years, because your consumer is getting fatigue and you’re losing engagement. That means that you can take your loyal fans on a longer, deeper brand journey and still pick up new ones along the way.