14 June 2017

Marketing myth-busting with the design agency, BOLD

BOLD’s Creative Director, John Ayscough, banishes some branding and design myths commonly perceived by those in the third sector.

BOLD is Scotland’s only social enterprise full service design agency. We’re a group of designers, marketers and digital pros who are passionate about changing the face of the third sector – quite literally – through branding, advertising and campaigning.

In our line of work, we come across common misconceptions about branding and design, and they threaten the success of the sector’s communications. So below, we’ve set out to bust three of the most popular myths:

1. A brand is a logo

Often people use the terms ‘brand’ and ‘logo’ interchangeably, but your logo is just the beginning of a brand. It is simply the short-hand for your values, culture and target audience (just some of the things we investigate in the design process). Designers then build a visual language around the logo so that the holistic ‘look and feel’ is instantly recognisable. Think Macmillan’s squishy green font and illustrations, or Comic Relief’s celebrity endorsements and red noses.

But a logo and a visual language still isn’t a ‘brand’. A brand is much less tangible than that. Think of every interaction someone has with your organisation online, in person, over the phone or on paper. The first impression, the experience, the lasting feeling about that interaction – that’s your brand. If you keep this in mind and ensure your audience’s experience is positive, relevant and memorable, you can’t go wrong!

2. Once you’ve rebranded, job done

Many of our clients are hugely engaged, motivated and creative during their rebranding project, but once the website is live and the letterhead is printed, they feel like their brand is ‘done’ and resource limitations force them to move on. This is such a shame, because the brand can’t possibly thrive without ongoing care and attention. Think of your brand like a living thing; nurture it, maintain it, help it grow. It is an asset to help you reach more clients, forge useful partnerships, attract new funders and get your voice heard. With a little investment (and time is more important than money here), your brand can offer so much opportunity. Who knows who will notice that thoughtfully written Facebook post, pick up that beautifully crafted leaflet, or have a chat with that passionate volunteer who went on brand training last week? Don’t miss out – make your brand unmissable!

3. A wee tweak here and there never hurt anyone

If you take only one thing from this article, please let it be this: in branding, consistency is king.

Ever had the urge to add a Santa’s hat to your logo at Christmas time? Have you squeezed your logo into an unruly space and thrown the proportions out? Or maybe you’ve decided Comic Sans looks so much friendlier than the font in your brand guidelines?

If so, step away from the cursor! You wouldn’t buy a phone sporting a dodgy ‘Samsing’ logo, so why should someone trust your communication if it’s out of kilter with the rest of your brand? This is becoming increasingly important, and serious, as copycat scam artists flood our inboxes pretending to be banks and retailers requesting login details.

Additions, edits and disregarding the brand guidelines threaten the professionalism, reputation and trustworthiness of your brand. So, appoint someone in your organisation as a ‘Brand Guardian’ (we hate the negative term Brand Police!) to keep everything consistent, and make sure everyone who represents your brand understands and follows the rules.

More information

If you’ve got a branding, design or campaigning challenge looming and would like to speak to creatives who understand the third sector inside out, drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you.

John Ayscough
Creative Director, BOLD
T: 07989 952 192
E: john@bold-marketing.co.uk

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