Designing a human-centered brand
“Just because a brand has an interesting story to tell doesn’t mean it should be told over and over again. A good brand story isn’t as much a predictable series of sequels but more of an intriguing, unexpected saga that unfolds and evolves little by little over time.”
Dan Carlton, CEO, The Paragraph Project
At Carimus, we specialize in brand development and brand modernization. Over the years, we’ve developed 100s of brands from startups to fortune 200 companies. We’ve encountered a range of client goals and requests from very specific objectives and project briefs, to projects with no direction at all. Regardless of project goals, we believe a successful brand is created through a thoughtful process and a human-centered approach.
To us, a human-centered approach to branding means:
- The way you define, design and execute your brand keeps the experience of your customers, partners and employees at the center of your decision making
- Your brand has a story that is firm enough to have a unique and authentic voice, but flexible enough to evolve and remain relevant to your audience into the future
- Your brand narrative is authentic, compelling and can cut through the noise to connect with real people on an emotional level
- Your brand execution considers how your brand will be experienced across all mediums – including digital, print, web, technology, motion, social, and more – and prioritizes based on your audience.
- Your brand should be memorable, excellent, relevant, authentic, smart and representative of your company and it should speak to the heart as well as the mind.
A brand is much more than the visual mark of a logo, or font/color choices, but the sum total of the perception that is driven through all the touchpoints with a potential client, partner, employee, etc.
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”
When designing or modernizing a brand, it’s critical to not only think through how to make your company look great, but to truly understand why the company exists, what makes it special, and what story is worth telling the world about its purpose, formation, operation, etc. The compelling and authentic narrative driving your brand is what will connect it to the hearts and minds of your audience.
The aim of a thoughtful branding process is to reveal insights into your company that you may know, but may not have been able to verbalize, and to reveal insights you don’t yet know, but are key aspects of your company that should be incorporated into your brand story. These foundational insights inform the brand voice and visual system, aligning with company values, breaking down barriers, solving business challenges and connecting with real people.
A thoughtful investigation of your company provides the supporting data to build a solid foundation when communicating the brand throughout your sphere of influence – providing solid answers to the question of “why” behind your brand story.
The Branding Process
The branding process can be daunting, but it can also be educational, collaborative, visual, iterative and organized. Upon delivery of the final brand you should feel like you have a solid foundation to build upon in the coming years. The best brands tell a compelling story, evolve with time and are capable of connecting with your audience while being an authentic representation of your company.
At Carimus, we follow a process we’ve refined over many brand design and brand modernization projects.
- Definition & Strategy
- Identity & Modernization
Creating or modernizing a brand that connects with real people is a powerful tool to cut through clutter, build community and engage the hearts and minds of your audience. Keeping the human experience at the center is key to a successful process.
In the coming weeks we’ll be exploring each of the primary phases of brand creation in depth and give insights on how we go about this process to deliver engaging, memorable, human-centered brands.
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