Brands should be managed as if they were a football team
The Brand creation is similar to the job carried on by many football coaches, when they claim that teams should be assembled back to front, from defense towards the front line.
Then, the same happen with brands: You should start working from the defense. Then you have to build a tough and flexible midfield, one that can allow you to project a structured attack, solid, incisive and backed.
Why this complication? Because if you start to create a brand from the logo, then you may score an isolated goal, but being more than likely to lose the match.
How can you build this scheme? Forget for a while about logos, colors, typefaces and illustrations and then let start to build the brand from behind.
The first step is to define the objectives to be achieved by our team. In this case, the meaning of winning is to reach a certain positioning into the map of meanings of the viewer. That is what makes business at the end.
You will require for that a sincere agreement on your squad: all have to accept realities, expectations and responsibilities; otherwise the following step will never make sense.
With this objectives written in the skin, the second part of the process is to clearly define our adversary, to whom our message will be directed to score. That requires us to take notice about their unique features. For that reason, we will have to cut a portion of all humanity to stay only with a single segment, with a particular piece of the pie: this rival.
This part will be a particular social group with which we will struggle, forgetting for the moment all others. As result, the world has shrunk; the contender begins to have a face and a form. There is only one opponent. Now we can analyze him, see its strengths and weaknesses, needs and previous reactions. Now we must investigate him as deeply as it is possible. We must know and understand how and why he reacts as they do.
Third step, we must create a strategy to organize our job, based on our objective and for gaining tangible things to our opponent. Accordingly, we should create a strategy that achieves the confusion of our adversary, while empowers our strengths, looking us to be the final winner.
Thus, we must have many clear things like: what attributes, habits, behaviors, prejudices, ideas, norms, values and beliefs to cross through our actions.
Fourth step, we must begin to interpret our strategy by thinking about tactical actions. These are the concrete facts that will dispute over the space of our adversary.
So, even though one can be hired only for designing design a brand, we must imagine and outline the whole communication field related to our brand, such as raw information, insights, and arguments. But we must go further: we must find the slogans and stories that we can use for affecting the other party or by the resistances of our target.
As part of this work, we must be extremely coldly realistic and think about how we will move forward: therefore we need to recognize our firepower, our real resources.
For example, knowing which media may be used and how the advertising guidelines will be. Also, what system of production, logistics and distribution can we use? From there, we can shape our midfield. That is because if we try to overcome high walls with weak legs and little air, the result can be catastrophic.
As a fifth step, we must manage these resources in order to sound like an orchestra. That is where each player takes its own place in the field.
Where pictures, colors, letters, symbols and levels of abstraction are organized as an ideal whole, to sound good together and to be ready for playing the best game. Hence, we have to work on the team dynamics, on the rhythm and visual hierarchies of the message so as to be as a battering ram. A striker represented by a word, image, color or any combination thereof. A striker created for doing the best for drilling the opposing defense.
This battering ram is the brand. Now we have to use of poetry, of all our art for interpreting our strategy and team tactics.
Conclusion: My position is that brand design requires the prior execution of a process based on: imagine, understand, interpret and media planning. In addition, I believe that is essential to have a real sense of the available resources that we will command and therefore to count with them. Also, we must have in mind all related messages. After all of that, we can focus our job on the brand image creation: working on the symbolic features that will make the brand strategy be visible. Consequently, if a clear strategy and defined tactics are materializing in our brand, we have the DNA of the company translated into the visual identity, and we can then play the game beforehand. That’s the kind of brand that wins games.