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Subject: Re: UKNM: Branding synergy on and offline
From: Lois Grayson
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 10:46:08 +0100

Hi Stokesy


I run a (small) company called Virtuality that I set up with an ex Creative
Director friend to address exactly this issue (amongst others)

The inspiration for doing so came from inheriting a badly conceived
corporate brand when I became Marketing Manager for an eBusiness
consultancy. This taught me many lessons:

1. Dual briefing

Successful synergy between on and offline branding is possible if you take a
conceptual rather than design led view of a brand - your best brand asset is
probably not your identity, it's likely to be the most memorable, emotive
element from your advertising

Eg Lycos - they've paid millions to explain what they do and create a warm
loyal reliable image of themselves with that dog on TV - but this, their
best brand asset, appears nowhere on their UK site and has no association
with their identity. But it should ; it wouldn't be difficult to redo their
identity to make it relate. And then they could carry the dog concept
through to any print medium they wanted and it would still work. The brand
values they identified for the dog campaign are totally different from those
communicated by their current identity.

Remember the launch of Direct Line - their best brand asset is that little
red phone - and it works whatever the medium. So brief your brand as if it
were for TV or press advertising; get the concept and then relate/extend the
brief to develop the identity - LetsBuyIt.com shows how this works (and I
saw it in Sweden recently and it worked there too)

2. Design consultancies rarely understand advertising concepts
However expensive and well known (and believe me the people who did the
'branding' at my last place were expensive) the design consultancy they
often do not think beyond flat design - so they'll use their Macs to make
your name look good and give you some graphics but IMHO they'll still be
thinking for print - they often don't make it move or associate noise/music
with it and it won't be campaignable ie you're unlikely to be able to base a
series of ads on its central idea

So you'd be better of with an agency that mixes an understanding of
advertising/promotions/direct marketing with good brand design skills and
web/multimedia design experience - and there aren't many to be found as yet

3. The established marketing communications suppliers don't understand the
web as a medium

Especially the design houses in my experience - you get landed with fancy
fonts that don't display properly in a browser and the kind of precious
colours that look good in print and go muddy on-screen because they're not
web true.

The prat before me also insisted that the sales force use the design
consultancy's prescribed font for docs- a font that doesn't come as
standard - so clients couldn't read email attachments.

Ad agencies are also raking in cash for promoting things they don't seem to
know much about and don't seem to be (generally) asked to demonstrate how
their concept adapts to the on-line environment.

I hated it so much I set up a company (eat your heart out Kyam)

Virtuality specialises in business to business branding - our briefs for
virtual/real world brands identify the relationship between the sales and
the brand propositions ie the logical and emotional hooks. The result is
synergy between campaign concept and brand identity on and offline.

'Scuse me I'm really into this stuff. So Stokesy I'd recommend us!


Lois Grayson
Virtuality - Digital Marketing Innovation
07957 360 880
020 8549 1166

>Original message:

Brand Identity: Creating a logo and guidelines that work on and offline?
> On a slightly different note to Ian Tait's posting (attached): I'm
> interested in opinions and recommendations for Brand Identity Creation
> specialists.
> I'm trying to 'crack' (sorry!) the chicken-and-egg scenario of creating an
> online brand identity that will then be marketed using offline media.
> Arguably, this shouldn't be an issue - "A brand is a brand; an identity is
> the best expression of that brand" but I'm concerned it's not that simple.
> If you start with an offline brand design and identity, it is often too
> and inflexible online, hence the likes of egg (also I'm suspicious of
> 'old-media' brand identity companies being able to fully work on an online
> brand). Any suggestions or comments?
> Alternatively, if you brief a digital design agency to create a brand,
> they have enough experience to create full guidelines (inc. for offline
> cross-media creative executions) - or will you end up with something
> shallow? Discuss?
> Who d'you Dell would use for a rebrand? What would be a good solution?
> I'd appreciate any comments or independent recommendations (particularly
> with a business-to-business slant).
> stokesyatbigfoot [dot] com

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