The most common problem with brand strategy is you can find plenty of strategy-led brand consultancy agencies but they fall down on the execution.
It’s like one of the world’s leading brand strategists, Marty Neumeier states, “Good strategy and poor execution is like a Ferrari with flat tires. It looks good in the specs but fails on the street.”
ikon is solving this problem. Our roots are firmly in the creative, design-led aspect of branding but I realised early on that it can look beautiful but it won’t deliver the right business impact.
The same goes for strategy as mentioned above, the best strategy is wasted with poor execution. I have seen both instances many a time.
According to a study, brand can impact sales and margins in the range of 10-60%. That is huge but understandable.
With the right strategy, positioning and messaging paired with the right execution, it’s no wonder sales will increase as everything gets easier. Your marketing gets clearer and more focused, you understand how to talk about your difference, that resonates with your customers and makes it easier for them to buy and trust you can deliver for them.
Of course, you may feel like creating a strategy is just words and how difficult can that be? I know I was sceptical when I started to learn about strategy. But it’s the right words, in the right order, for the right audience that matters.
We know, we have been through our own process and it took a lot longer than it would have to hire someone to do the job. It’s the cliche expression of not being able to see the label from inside the jar. You are too close to it. Too precious, Too biased.
You are paying a brand consultancy to come in and use their expertise to walk you through it. Not telling you what to do but drawing the knowledge out of you and helping articulate it. We are a big believer in using specialists in what they do, it’s been the model for a long time. Work with the best creatives for their chosen specialism who have a wealth of experience doing this day in and day out. They have seen it all, the good and the bad. That’s often what’s worth paying for, the mistakes of others that have gone before as we know what works and you only find that out from experience.
So do you want to trust the future growth of your business in a DIY model without a trusted process?
We have a process clearly mapped out for brand strategy and brand identity. It starts with information gathering from you first and then on to client and stakeholder interviews to give us context into current opinions about the brand and future direction.
The main part of the strategy and the fun part is a whole day workshop brainstorming with you to set the new direction. This will then be documented and you receive a copy for your records. The thinking then begins and we go away and tie all that thinking together into a cohesive strategy so you end up with a one page summary showing you exactly what your brand stands for.
A brand playbook is delivered for review and we work together to agree any changes before sign off.
Once the strategy is in place, all of our design decisions can then be rooted in our strategic thinking. Backed up by rationale, not just personal preference.
Before the design work even begins, we moodboard and discuss ideas and our thinking for where we want to take the brand. This includes looking at everything from logos to photography, illustration style, colours, typography and iconography. We look at everything holistically so we can be sure when we deliver you a set of brand guidelines everything has been thought through and tested.
We work quickly and test early and often to ensure we don’t go off track. We show multiple routes of how your brand could look before pulling the best elements together and refining one route until we are happy.
This culminates in a brand guidelines document that shows the strategic work and your brand identity. All the assets you need to build your brand.
So we don’t operate like a traditional agency, it’s more like a collective which is very consultancy-led. We are not an executional agency, you come to us for the thinking and the visual direction.
We have a network of strategists, designers, makers and doers. For instance, one of our strategists has worked under Marty Neumeier who has written multiple books on the subject of brand strategy. He’s even contributed to his books.
One of our copywriters has over 20+ years in the industry working for every household name imaginable. The list of agencies he’s worked at include Ogilvy, AKQA, RAPP & Digitas, some of the most renowned agencies in the world.
Alex Colley, the lead luxury brand consultant and founder of ikon has over a decade of experience with luxury branding. He has worked with the world's top global brands such as Westfield, Porsche, Oakley and Formula 1.
It’s a new model with very experienced creatives bridging the gap between good strategic thinking and brilliantly executed creative. It’s not a cheap proposition but one that is client focused as it maximises the creative talent working on the project.
No overheads, no juniors, no account managers playing Chinese whispers. Creatives collaborating directly with the client.
We are helping a £5m luxury healthcare client get to their target of £15m. The ability to be seen as a leader in the market that is clearly differentiated will allow them to increase prices.
The same process for ikon has attracted Cartier, Airbus, Berry Bros & Rudd & Faberge to name a few.
Get the strategy right, you can do more with less as everything is focused.
If you know you could benefit from improving your brand and want to talk to us about how we can help. At a minimum you get some advice and potentially we work together to find ways for you to invest in the future of your brand for a return you will see for many years to come.