Following our recent introduction to Matt, Motion’s Lead Creative, in this Q&A we delve deeper to find out more about Matt and the creative team’s approach to branding and the secrets to how they create successful, competitive brands.
How do you approach a new branding project? How do you get in the right marketplace so well?
While some people assume creatives conjure up great branding through the power of “creativity”, the trick to approaching any branding project is actually to follow a process! I use a tried and tested 5-step process which I’ve fine-tuned over the years to create effective, impactful B2B branding.
Step 1 – Creative Brief
Following a meeting between the client and one of our consultants, a strong, coherent creative brief is produced, making the exact requirements clear. I then refer to this constantly throughout the rest of the process to ensure I stay on track.
Step 2 – Current Brand Audit
It’s important to get inside the client’s mindset as early on in the process as possible. Where are they? Where do they want to go? What problem are we solving? By understanding their current brand and ambitions, I can determine the right approach to the project.
Step 3 – Research, Research, Research
Research is vital, and I look in detail at the markets, sectors, new brand aims, customers, competitors, and all the other influences on the brand. I’m a strong believer that the better informed you are, the better the resulting brand.
Step 4 – Analysis
Having undertaken extensive research to understand the wider context in which the brand needs to sit, I then carry out detailed analysis of other aspects which affect the brand. This includes messaging, images, fonts, colours, icons, infographics, styles, and trends.
Step 5 – Visual Brainstorming
The final stage of the process is to invest the time to visually brainstorm ideas based on all the insight gained through the previous steps. I test and play around with different concepts to determine what does and doesn’t work. Failing and making errors is vital to this process, and discounting ideas is just as helpful as identifying good ones. I then choose the best options and develop them extensively to make sure each concept really has legs and fulfils the creative brief.
From this process a robust brand is created that is fit for purpose and competes well in the marketplace. A good example of this is our client AoteA Global, whose rebrand helped significantly raise their profile. This opened new doors and led to larger opportunities, enabling them to deliver on their goals.
Where do you get your creative inspiration from in a technically-led customer world?
There’s a common misconception that there’s little room for creativity in B2B, especially technology, manufacturing and engineering. However, that’s of course not true. My creative inspiration comes from both online and offline sources, from a mix of specific research and also less structured sources.
I like to stay up to date with industry trends and the latest techniques, so I take an active interest in international design industry awards, analyse the work of international design agencies, and stay on top of what the leading global players in our sectors are doing. Maintaining a current trend overview is really helpful and ensures I’m up to date with the latest software, workflows, styles and methods.
As well as these higher-level sources of inspiration, I find it useful to undertake B2B and market research, to immerse myself in the markets our clients operate in and keep an eye on their competition.
I also look wider and take inspiration from less technical sources such as art galleries, music and nature. You never know from where your next crucial bit of inspiration will come from – sometimes that eureka moment happens when you’re not plugged in!
Finally, I focus on ensuring I understand our clients’ tastes and preferences, as well as communicating with the rest of the Motion team. The expert point of view I can gain from this is often vital in highlighting opportunities to stand out or try something different.
If you have a branding project Matt and Motion’s creative team can help with, get in touch to discuss your requirements and we’ll be happy to help.