A business essential, branding has the potential to take your business to the proverbial next level. Without fail, the best businesses in the world have etched themselves in the psyche of the global population through consistent, strategic branding that has placed their business beyond the grasp of many of their competitors.
Jim Bull, chief creative officer and co-founder of Moving Brands, a globally renowned creative agency, says to build a great brand you have to take a hard look at the story your business wants to tell, not just your product.
Bull was speaking to TheVenture.com, an online publication by the luxury whisky brand, Chevas, aimed at ‘inspiring, discovering and rewarding entrepreneurs with ideas so bright they can change the world’.
He says, “Getting the brand right in terms of the story—if you do in the outset, you can save yourself a ton of time and set yourself in the market in a much considered way.”
Heading one of the top agencies, Bull counts pioneering companies such as Netflix, Apple, and Flipboard among their clientele and has offices in San Francisco, New York, London, and Zurich.
Bull shares some of his insights and secrets to branding
More than just a logo, branding is the culmination of a business’ story, says Bull. “Branding is not just a logo, it is not just a value add to your business, it is your business,” he says.
Branding strategy and your startup?
“A smart startup will define the story that you want tell to the world with your brand early on and use it as a guide for everything from identity and product design to growing the business and making partnership decisions,” advises Bull.
He adds that although lot of startups know when an opportunity or an engagement feels right to their brand, but not many truly understand why and how to use that understanding to their advantage.
Key questions to ask that will define your brand
Bull gives a few questions to ask yourself when defining your brand: Who are we, why do we exist, what is our unique point of view, and why should anyone care? Bull says to focus on the why and how you do what you do instead of what you do.
“That’s really important, because what you do or sell will inevitably change with market and consumer behaviours, but the why and the how should be true for any new venture or initiative that you undertake,” he says.
The best ways to tell your story
“Ideally any time anyone is experiencing your brand, your story should be conveyed in a way that ensures that you own, control and capitalize on that experience,” Bull says and adds that film is an excellent and increasingly cost-effective medium.
Coming up with the best name and logo for your brand
Generally, a good name is memorable, ownable and explicable, Bull says and explains that while there is no right answer, “Investing in your brand and defining the story grounds the endeavour in some objective (or at least agreed-upon) reality.”
Integrating your brand into your company’s culture
Internal buy-in is paramount, says Bull, “If your people don’t believe it, love it and wear it on their sleeves with total confidence, they won’t represent the brand correctly or effectively externally.”