While compiling the most recent Unicycle Creative Demo Reel, I found myself observing the stylistic threads running through this rube Goldberg-like compendium of collected works. Is this a good thing? Should a branding firm cultivate a ‘style’?
If a client looking for a brand is like a family shopping for a sofa, it stands to reason that they should search within a range of companies that match their personal preferences, based on their history, values and personality.
If however, a brand is more like someone looking to have their car repaired or updated, they might seek out a reputable mechanic, and rely on them to make the right recommendations for that particular model and its needs.
In ‘Dimensions of Brand Personality’, Stanford School of Business Marketing Professor Jennifer L. Aaker breaks down basic personality traits into the ‘Big Five’: Sincerity, excitement, sophistication, competence and ruggedness. How would these facets of brand personality apply to a branding firm?
Sincerity is key, as trust is paramount when offering up your corporate underbelly for delicate brand surgery.
Excitement is a definite requirement, both for getting buy-in internally and for keeping energy levels up throughout what can be a long-term process.
Sophistication may or may not be required in the final product, though a refined process will certainly help.
Competence is probably desirable trait number one, as throwing money at an incompetent branding process is generally a recipe for a pink slip.
As for Ruggedness, the tenacity to push through the difficult stages of brand discovery and stand up to the constant corrosion of mediocrity and the temptation to take the ‘easy way out’ certainly requires a log-cabin-building type of fortitude.
I welcome any and all thoughts (from all personality types) on the elements of branding style – and obviously, any character traits observed in our own Unicycle Creative offering.
Because it takes all kinds.
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