Brand Series: Drew Creative on brand

By Jill Ruthenberg

This first week of our October brand series, we’ve asked a few experts to tell us their take on brand.

First up I got to speak to Elle Moss, founder of Drew Creative Branding.  They are a rather cool and very successful branding agency and creative partner to Wisdom London. Drew have worked with clients such as Nokia and Sony, but they are also the masterminds behind the Wisdom London brand.

What we love most about them is their robust approach to the branding process, married with a mission to “find the beauty in everything” in their creative work.

I caught up with Elle last week, who was kind enough to share some of her branding wisdom with me. Here’s branding according Elle and Drew Creative:

Elle, what is a brand?

“A brand is somebody’s first impression of your organisation. The minute someone sees your website or the packaging on your product, they form an opinion and that opinion has to be the right one. Customer loyalty is all about building relationships so getting that first impression wrong it can be very damaging.

“But don’t think of brand as a mark, or a logo. The brand is the product, your employees, your website, your advertising, your customer’s experience with your company and product.

“You must tell a story. It gives us an idea about what the company and brand and product is trying to do.”

Why is it so critical to business?

“We liken the brand identity to the concept of Commander’s Intent – it’s the commander’s stated vision which defines the purpose of an operation, and the desired end state that serves as the initial impetus for the planning process.

“Every member of the battalion knows exactly what the objective is, so even if all but one are killed in the line of duty, that one still knows exactly what his mission is. In the same way, developing a clear brand story and identity provides the framework for any activity, and for anybody to understand and to stick to”.

How do you ensure this is achieved?

“We use a formula with every brand in order to clarify what the essence of the brand is. It’s not a secret formula – it’s been around for years, and it is useful for any type of business, but you really need to understand it for it to be useful:

  • Describe the product: Clarify your product offering
  • What can you do for me?: Establish the benefit to clients
  • How does it make clients look to others?: What will your offering mean your client’s clients?
  • How does it make clients feel? What can they can be sure they’re getting?
  • Facts and figures: Who, what, where?
  • Character: List a few words to describe personality
  • Define the ‘it’ in three words: Boil this down into three words that sum up your brand story

What’s the ultimate goal of doing this?

“It’s to create something to aspire to. To create something that becomes so indispensible, something that clients have such an affinity to that they’d evenforgive you if they have a bad experience with you (but of course you do everything to make sure this doesn’t happen).

“Companies cannot take their brand for granted. Strategically, to skip getting the branding right is naive and damaging.

“What it all adds up to is emotion. What you want to create is emotion.”

Talking to Elle helped shape my views on brand. I think when it really works though is when your brand promise, identity and personality is communicated so well that not just your employees live and breathe it, but your customers do also. A brand can be something to believe in, an experience, and a story – but the thought of a brand as an emotion: there is so much potential in that. Great brands create emotional connection; they aren’t just honest – they are trusted, engaging and intimate, their product doesn’t just fulfil needs, the experience they provide fulfils desires.

It’s easy to see this in B2C – but as we come to expect a more emotional connection and become more social as consumers in general and no matter what we are consuming, how does this translate into B2B?

These are some of the questions we’ll be exploring throughout October as our brand series continues.  Stay tuned!


2 Responses to “Brand Series: Drew Creative on brand”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jill Ruthenberg, Kate Spiers. Kate Spiers said: Brand Series: Drew Creative on brand: […]

  2. […] in our October Brand Series, Jill interviewed Elle Moss from Drew Creative to get her scope on what a brand actually is. Something she said really got us […]

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