But it’s our inner adult that sees the growth potential in robust, evocative brands, and we are constantly keeping our finger on the pulse of what brands are doing to pivot, communicate, and deliver to their consumers, especially at this challenging moment. Jacober Creative has broad experience in a range of brand categories. We bring to a client's project our unique, creative perspective.
So, when we put a brand identity together for our clients, it has to pass our Jacober sniff test and stand up to our internal compass of what’s truly authentic and going to withstand the test of time. Aside from our refined nostrils, there are some tangible criteria we use to assess a brand’s strength.
Is it distinctive?
One of the first questions we ask is a brand distinct and unique. This is a good question to ask yourself about your brand when reevaluating or looking at it in a new way. Take a look at the competitive landscape – does your brand identity blend in or does it stand out above the rest? This was all brought into focus for us on a recent shopping trip at Tom Ford in Miami’s Design District.
While perusing the fragrance section, a sleek, minimally designed solid black bottle with a provocative name in big, bold capital letters jumped out at us. The product name, “Fucking Fabulous,” piqued our interest (because after all, that’s us), but more importantly all of the brand elements worked together to stir us on an emotional level.
Then, we ask one more important question: is it memorable? We want to make sure that your consumers not only take notice of the brand, but also create positive associations after engaging with it as well. While the concept of grocery delivery is nothing new, Instacart, for example, has managed to emerge during the coronavirus pandemic as a household brand name. Distinguishing themselves from the competition, they have been able to succeed at a difficult time when people are relying on their services to keep them feeling safe at home.
Does it communicate a brand’s promise?
A second part of our sniff test is evaluating whether the brand communicates and delivers on its brand promise.
You can’t establish a brand’s legitimacy without understanding what its values are. What is the value or experience consumers can expect to receive each and every time they interact with, purchase, or use one’s brand? This is a promise that can never be broken, otherwise you lose trust and lose repeat business with your customer. The way in which you communicate the brand promise is just as important as the principles you are conveying. Everything from choice of colors to the tone of voice impacts how someone perceives your brand.
One brand that has been making headlines recently is Impossible Foods.
Their product, plant-based meat alternatives, is not just a frozen food aisle staple at the grocery store. From Burger King
unveiling the Impossible Whopper to high-end dining establishments in need of vegan or vegetarian menu options, it’s passing just about everyone’s sniff (and taste) test – even the carnivores. Their brand promise is in their name, making consumers feel like the burgers or sausages couldn’t possibly be meatless because they are really that good.
Is it scalable?
It’s also our job to look at the longevity of a brand when determining if it has a solid foundation. While we want to provide our clients with something that satisfies an immediate need, like a logo refresh, we also work diligently to offer ongoing support for the brand’s overall success beyond instant gratification. Does the brand look and act the same across various platforms?
From your consumer-facing staff (who are your brand champions), and internal company memos to your public-facing Instagram account or blog, the brand should maintain its integrity in both visuals and phrasing. Looking into a crystal ball, will your brand have the staying power to grow with your business goals? If you have plans for brand extensions, it’s important to create a brand identity that will be able to encompass those as well.
While Tom Ford and Impossible Burgers certainly pass our sniff test, perhaps it may help to analyze some other brands within your own brand category. This is a great way to view things from a new perspective and come back to one’s brand with fresh eyes. Ask yourself some of these questions we’ve provided here about whether it’s distinctive, communicating a brand promise,
These three pillars are what have helped guide us for the last decade of our business in assessing and shaping strong brand identities for our clients.
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