12 Traits of the Best Brand Identity Firms

April 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

The choice for any client can be daunting. More than ever, there is a panoply of highly capable firms that specialize in brand identity. Which ones should companies trust to revitalize their brand? Whether the firms are global brand consultancies, multidisciplinary design offices, design boutiques, or specialists in areas such as packaging or interactivity, these core competencies hold true.
1. Strategic Imagination. An ability to understand and align business goals with creative strategy and expression is critical.

2. Process Focus. A disciplined process is used to foster collaboration, build trust, and ensure responsible decision-making and results.

3. Design Excellence. Reducing a complex, meaningful idea to its visual essence requires skill, patience, and unending discipline, whether the endpoint is a symbol, a look and feel, or an integrated brand identity system.

4. Irrefutable Logic. Creating a new system or brand architecture requires an ability to communicate a compelling case for change to any decision-maker, from the CEO to the director of marketing to a division head.

5. Alchemy. An ability to synthesize vast amounts of information and reduce it to a big idea. Also, an ability to cut through the clutter and see the “gold” in a marketing audit.

6. Empathy and Insight. An ability to be collaborative and understand the perspectives of all stakeholders, to suspend judgment and transcend politics.

7. Flexibility and Humor. An ability to keep an eye on the big picture despite constraints and challenges. A sense of humor always helps.

8. Mindfulness and Curiosity. An awareness of what is going on in the wider world and insight into best practices and the branding landscape.

9. Tenacity. Boundless energy and the perseverance of a marathon runner are required to develop and refine key messages, new names, taglines, and branding guidelines.

10. Organization. Phase by phase, email by email, presentation by presentation, file by file, tracking and documentation are key.

11. Focus. First and foremost, the process must stay focused on the customer and their experience.

12. Passion. Passion fuels excellence and inspires brand engagement.

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