So you’re not sure if you need a brand building? Well ask no more, the answer is undoubtedly yes.
Once upon a time, all you had to do was slap a logo on a business card and you could call it done, but these days your brand is everything: it’s what sets you apart, it’s what gets you noticed, it’s what determines how your company looks and how it acts, it’s how you interact with your customers, it’s how you answer the phones or write email, it’s what you put on a uniform, your website, or the side of your vans, and it’s how you’re perceived by your customers, your competition and your industry.
Not much then.
So yes, it’s absolutely about superb design, about beautiful logos and compelling marketing materials, but it’s also the backbone of your business and the logic behind why your company exists. Equal parts art and science. And these days, it’s pretty much non-negotiable. Come on then, let’s get started.
Marketing is asking somebody on a date. Branding is the reason they say yes.Somebody pretty clever
If you're going to put your precious company and its brand in the hands of a designer, then you're going to want to be certain that they actually know what they're doing.
You see, plenty of designers like to think they have a doctor-patient relationship with their clients, whereby they diagnose a problem and provide a solution, without any input from the client, customers, or competition. They know best, you see, so why would they need input from anybody else?
We think that's bollocks.
If you're going to build a brand like that, then you may as well put all your profits on black or let a tarot reader define your five year plan.
Instead, we base all our design decisions on evidence. It means that you're paying for our expertise, not our assumptions. Every decision we take, every move we make (there's a song in there somewhere), can always be traced back to a piece of evidence, analysis, or market research, because we believe that the best designs, indeed the best brands, are built on the back of sound decisions, not ones made up on the back of a fag packet.
Firstly, we gather as much information and evidence as we possibly can. This is the most important step in the process as it gives us the information we need to start making decisions about what is best for your brand.
Once our research is complete, we then prove whether our ideas will work or not by sharing them with your employees, your customers, and your stakeholders and asking them to provide feedback. Based on what they say, we either press on, or we go back and refine. Nothing gets past this point until we know it's going to work.
Next up, we take all the evidence we’ve gathered and start to form concepts for how your brand could be built. You choose the one that works best for you.
Then, and only then, do we start to build your brand. The process is the same for new and refreshed brands alike, for new companies or existing companies. One process, all based on evidence, delivered by designers and developers with decades of experience. It's really that simple.
Umlaut is a team of designers out of Manchester who had a dream of building brands without all the bullshit and the jargon, without the superiority complexes and the snooty attitudes. We saw a place where business owners could come and get what they needed, without having to wade through treacle to get it. That's what Umlaut is all about.
We have a passion for design, for stories, and for putting something new into the world, and it's those passions that let us create brands in a way that others don't.
To be honest, it's the greatest thrill in the world being asked to support individuals and companies, both small and large, by helping them craft their stories, their personalities, their values, and their aesthetic. Our job is to help you create jobs, build livelihoods, and change lives. What an honour.
Ryan is a regular contributing writer for Shutterstock, one the largest platforms in the world for creative content and innovative design tools. Here are some of his most popular articles: