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What is branding and how does it help?

What is branding and how does it help?​

What is branding and how does it help?​​

The misconception

Often business owners will commission a logo for £300 (or so), build a website, create social media posts and spend thousands of pounds on Google ads, Facebook ads etc.

This could be harmful in the long term because they may never be able to go beyond the first impression they make on their audience.

One of the most popular quotes about branding is from Jeff Bezos; “your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room”.

Branding is much more than a logo. It takes research, context to create something that will serve you.

 

Internal Brand

The initial work required to create a powerful brand is below the surface ie; purpose, vision, mission and values. Branding has evolved with the times and in the modern climate, customers demand authenticity. So internal branding has never been more important. 

In the past Brands had a one way conversation with their audience. Now, however with the advent of social media, consumers have all the power. 

Many brands have seen the value in taking a stance on an issue. The value is they align themselves with their audience on common issues and gain trust.

Purpose is the reason why you do what you do. Values are the way you do those things. Visions is what you commit to aspire to and your Mission was what you commit to do every day. 

The well-known example is Unilever Who on launching their sustainable living brands, grew 69% faster than the rest of their brands.

 

Positioning

Once you have established a reason for your brand, the next step is to create a unique position in the market. Positioning happens in the mind of your audience. Once you have identified and understood your target audience you take a position that will best attract them. 

You may have heard of client avatars.This is really important part of creating a powerful brand because the more you understand who you are addressing the more effectively you can understand them and offer what they need.

Aside from the audience you must also analise your competitors.  What are their strengths and weaknesses? What is your audience’s point of view of them? What are they happy about? What are they unhappy about? 

You may see where there is a gap, where your competitors are falling down, where they could be an improvement of service that hasn’t been considered.  This will help you stand out and offer something valuable.

 

Character

Once you know your position, you can establish some sort of character. In fiction you may have heard of character archetypes i.e. the Sage, the Hero, the Explorer, the Outlaw, etc. Branding experts use this understanding of archetypes to create instant familiarity.  We all know these characters. They exist in our psyche

Once you know which archetype your audience represents, you can build the personality of your business around them. A great example is Harley-Davidson. They appeal to the outlaw within us. We may not leave our job and hit the road but if we buy a Harley, we can ride into the sunset on a Sunday before teatime. 

Archetypes are a shortcut to familiarity and trust.

 

Verbal Expression

Once we have established a character, we can create the verbal expression. Our core message, brand story and brand voice will come from character. The core message is a framework for how to talk about your business, the pain points you address, the benefits you provide and how you differ. 

The common misconception with Brand Story is that it is an opportunity to talk about yourself and how you started your business. Brand story is the story of your target audience, 

Film writers recognise the work of Jopseph Campbell (the Hero’s Journey) who understand that the hero of any story goes through the same story beats. And this is consistent across l cultures. The great value of telling a story is that as human beings story is in our DNA. We empathise with the hero of a story. We feel what the feel. We become them. 

Brands understand this and position themselves as a support to their audience who is the hero of their own journey. The brand story becomes the heroic journey your audience takes. It will include;
– what their existing world look like

– the obstacles they face

– the call to action that makes a change to their circumstances

– meeting the guide (you) 

– what happens when they meet you

– the challenges they face

– the transformation they go through

– what the new world looks like once they’ve worked with you

There’s a huge amount of content that can be drawn from these this structure. If it is used in bite-size chunks across your posts, people will find themselves in the story they will relate empathize and they will want to interact.

 

Visual expression

The final execution of branding is the visual representation which has the job of providing a hook in the memory of your audience. It is well understood that the human mind attaches meaning to visual shapes and speech sounds in a consistent way. We can see in animation how characters are drawn in ways that provide characteristics ie; they could be very square shaped heads; ie; the the old man from ‘Up’. Boxy shapes give a traditional, reliable characteristic. Round characters are charismatic, endearing, harmless and friendly. Triangular characters are often seen as cunning and dynamic. 

When we understand the psychology of shapes we can apply them to logo design and typography. They help create character. 

In the same way colour is understood to have particular qualities ie; orange – optimistic, friendly, red – excitement,  blue – Trust (many companies use blue in their branding)

 

How does Branding help?

If you invest in branding it will always provide a return on your investment. It will save you time and money. Branding provides definition and clarity for yourself and your team. Branding engages and inspires employees. It attracts top talent, is a guide to effective advertising and marketing. Branding improves recognition and creates trust. It generates new customers and creates financial value. Branding also goes beyond the mundane business transaction to something human and relatable.

If you would like a free 20-minute review of your branding or a discussion about how we can help, please do get intouch: mario@barbacreative.com

How can we help you?

Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment
where we can give you some insights into your brand
Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment where we can give you some insights into your brand

Business name vs personal name

Personal brand name vs business brand name

Personal brand name vs business brand name

Should I start with my own name?

Business owners who work alone often ask the question whether using their name for their company name, is a good idea or not.

It is the simplest way to get started ie; turn up as your authentic self and sell what you do. It is straightforward and that has great value.

It capitalises on your reputation. You have instant credibility and trust (immediate brand equity). It also gives some indication of what makes you different and shows that you are passionate about what you do.

But if you are starting out it can be frightening to put yourself out there on such a personal level.

Modern branding is all about ‘authenticity’. Consumers want raw honesty, real people and real stories.

Customers are more likely to talk to people who have their own personal brand. They want a solution to their problems. If you fulfil that need and you are a personal brand; happy days.

The big brands have understood and become more human personalities. They want what their audience wants ie; Harley Davidson represents the corporate man breaking free of the mundane life.


The downside to using your own name

How does your potential audience recognise you if they do not know you personally? A limitation is that strangers do not get an immediate indication of who you are.

There could be practical issues ie: your name may be difficult to read or pronounce, your name has a meaning which is not associated with your business.

It could possibly limit growth because your business will always be associated with you alone.

It could also be a missed opportunity to define what you actually do. A good business name will be a memory aid for your audience. If it’s memorable, it shows some character and it defines what you do, is working well.

Part of the branding process is to create a business name that reflects your brand personality. 

A business brand with a relatable name can make what you stand for much clearer but it will take more time to generate a reputation.

For example, you are a Business Coach. If you use your personal name, your potential audience will only know you as one of many. If your audience is specific ie; Healthcare industry, you can relate to them far better with a relevant business name. They will already recognise themselves as part of your audience.  

If you are running a business you become a manager and you may stop doing the work you actually enjoy. But if you have surrounded yourself with a business brand, then you have some room to manoeuvre. You can choose what you do/don’t do. And if necessary you can sell the business and its reputation.

If you solely running a personal brand, you do not have the option. You ‘are’ the brand. You cannot sell it on.

In conclusion both serve a different purpose. Many people will develop their personal brand alongside a business brand.

Contact us if you would like to discuss your business name. 

Case Stu

How can we help you?

Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment
where we can give you some insights into your brand
Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment where we can give you some insights into your brand

Brochure: Transforming Waste into Opportunity

EES Data Solutions

EES Data Solutions

Brochure content and design

We worked with the team at EES to develop written content, diagrams and a visual style for a new and complex Data Solutions service.

The challenge was to interpret a detailed technical process into a simplified visual information that will appeal to potential clients.

The solution establishes a visual system that goes on to inform similar future projects.

Case Study

How can we help you?

Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment
where we can give you some insights into your brand
Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment where we can give you some insights into your brand

Canva Templates

Canva is a great tool if you know how to use it!

Creating standard design templates for our clients

Canva is an excellent design platform for creating great design visuals, be it social media graphics, presentations, posters or other visual content. By adding your corporate colours and a selection of custom designs you can easily create templates to use again and again.

This is incredibly empowering for small business owners who can create their own visuals more easily than ever before. However, without some initial training and guidance this can have detrimental consequences for their corporate identity if they are not adhering to brand guidelines.

We can assist by setting up your Canva account with your business assets and templates, keeping the integrity of your brand safely intact. We can educate your team on the set-up of all future template design requirements showing you how to get the very best from Canva while exhibiting your brand successfully.

For our client COASTAL HOLIDAYS, we updated their Canva account to ensure their social media posts are always on-brand, looking good and standing out. 

We included all of the following, ensuring that the client was confident, going forward, with all aspects of their digital marketing needs;

– brand colours
– brand fonts
– brand assets
– design templates
– training

How can we help you?

Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment
where we can give you some insights into your brand
Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment where we can give you some insights into your brand

Shortsteps Coaching

Shortsteps mindset coach

Mindset coach

Case Study

Shortsteps are specialists in performance improvement training and coaching.

The intention of the rebrand was to target  corporate professionals more effectively. A new visual identity was required aswell as clarifying internal substance (purpose, mission, vision and values) and establishing a clear brand persona.

Case Study

The Outlaw persona

The Shortsteps brand justifiably includes elements of the Outlaw archetype, in that they challenge and disrupt the norm by questioning beliefs and conventions.

However, due to the corporate environment we decided to create an appearance that would not look out of place while allowing the disruptive element to express itself through the verbal aspect of the brand.

Positioning

Identifying the desired market position helps inform the visual style.

Logo design

With the brand name ‘Shortsteps’, our intention, was to avoid the obvious and appeal to the appropriate audience.

Logo design

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Visual System

A visual system maintains  consistency for all branding and marketing materials.

This includes use of colour, fonts and style imagery/photography.

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Coaching

Personality

Mind control

Dream interpretation

Opportunities

Taking action

What the client said...

Managing director Chris Cortopassi of Short Steps Ltd: 

Working with Mario was hard work but in a good way!
 
He really helps you to dig down and get to the root of what your business is about, what your core values and messaging is and what your ideal customers need to see and hear from you.
 
I needed to rebrand as I was growing my business from 121 model to serving businesses. Mario was referred to me by others in the industry I respected and trust. He worked tirelessly, even when I would get frustrated, to get the best outcome for me, based on my desired goals and constraints.

Case Study

The benefit was a much clearer understanding of who I was, how I could best represent myself and how to make myself attractive to potential clients.
 
New branding is slick, powerful and lines up really nicely now with other businesses operating in my space…..on many cases, IMHO, much better!
 
He is easy going, spiritually motivated and supportive, definitely recommend working with him.

How can we help you?

Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment
where we can give you some insights into your brand
Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment where we can give you some insights into your brand

MLI Talent

Talent agency turning
heads in London

Talent agency turning heads in London

Case Study

Michelle Liebetrau International talent were looking to upgrade their online presence. They needed a refresh to stand toe-to-toe with the many London agencies.

Case Study

We adjusted the company name to help create a memorable hook in the fast-moving talent market. We also created a typographic logo to support the new name and a CMS website that allows easy frequent updates.

Positioning

Identifying a desired market position helps inform the visual style

Adjusting the name

A memorable name is a useful tool in gaining recognition in the minds of the busy London talent market.

ML International Talent

ML International changes to MLI Talent. The acronym will eventually become recognised and widely used.

Web

Logo design

A customised typographic solution supports the name provides the necessary familiarity and a modern feel.

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An adaptable Website

An editable website that presents quality talent and regularly updated information

What the client said...

Company director Michelle Liebetrau of MLI: 

Mario’s professionalism, attention to detail and design selections were of exceptional quality. He helped resolve many issues in question and we have been very happy with the end result.

Case Study

How can we help you?

Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment
where we can give you some insights into your brand
Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment where we can give you some insights into your brand

Coastal Holidays

Holiday letting
agents with a personal touch

Holiday letting agents with a personal touch

Case Study

Coastal Holidays are specialists in providing Coastal cottages in Anglesey, North Wales & Snowdonia for all tastes and budgets.

Having just taken over the company the directors wanted to update their presentation. Their objective was to offer a bespoke service in comparison to the generic holiday rental services online. Having a thorough knowledge of the local area, they were keen to provide a more personal experience.

Case Study

We used organic shapes and typography to emphasise a friendly look and feel. The visual identity reflects the ethos that carries through all aspects of the service Coastal Holidays provide.

Positioning

Identifying the desired market position helps inform the visual style

Competitors

Competitors were mostly more generic online services. Identifying the value of a personal experience was an important part of establishing a position.

Logo design

Creating a memorable logomark is the first a step towards an identity that will reflect the brand values.

Logo design

Focusing on the key values and separating out all the visual ideas before finding an interesting way to combine them.

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Visual System

A visual system follows to create a uniform the style for all marketing and advertising materials.

What the client said...

Managing director David Lilley of Coastal Holidays: 

I needed help re-branded my business’s identity and through conversations, we had thought that he could assist me. Mario came across as very personable and professional, so he managed to build trust with me quite quickly. 

Case Study

Mario created a strong brand identity, which I believe jumps off the page far more than it ever could on the old platform. 

The process also taught me a lot on how to sell to my customers and Mario gave me much more of an insight from the customer’s standpoint when looking at my brand.

How can we help you?

Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment
where we can give you some insights into your brand
Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment where we can give you some insights into your brand

Jigsaw Casas

Estate agent leading with purpose

Case Study

Jigsaw Casas is an innovative real estate business on the South Costa Blanca in Spain.

They commissioned us to create a visual Identity to startup their operation. Their objective was to change the property buying/selling experience in Spain by providing a professional, honest and hassle-free one-stop solution.

I

By using a vibrant colour palette and unique motif we created a brand identity that stands out in the marketplace while also conveying Jigsaw’s simple and approachable ethos.

Positioning

Identifying a clear market position helps inform visual style

Competitors

Researching competitors was important in helping us create an identity that stood apart and clearly identified what makes Jigsaw Casas different.

Logo design

Most importantly for this project the necessity was to steer clear of the obvious Jigsaw images and to find a more unique interpretation of the idea.

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We also focus on the distinctive qualities that the Identity should convey. Our keywords were Knowledgeable,  Approachable, and  Trustworthy.

After initial concept sketches, we take the chosen ideas through to development and present them to the client.

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Visual System

A visual identity is also created to support the requirements. This will include digital media, website, marketing and information graphics.

Visual System

Brand guidelines ensure all subsequent design elements  always follow the core values and unique visual style.

Favourite
Properties

Selling
a House

Buying
Guide

Selling
Guide

Destination
Finder

Blog

Finance
Guide

Buying
a House

Saved
Searches

Favourite
Properties

Selling a
House

Buying
Guide

Selling
Guide

Destination
Finder

Blog

Finance
Guide

Buying a
House

Saved
Searches

How can we help you?

Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment
where we can give you some insights into your brand
Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment where we can give you some insights into your brand

What our clients say

Abbey Lofts

Loft conversion specialists

Loft conversion specialists

Visual Identity

Abbey Lofts of North London required an update to their identity. The company takes pride in offering a creative solution to their customers while providing a reliable and friendly service. They felt approachability was an important part of their ethos and one that should be represented in the branding.

The branding process clarified the core values for the company which not only helped with brand positioning and marketing but also provided a modus operandi for it’s staff.

Case Study

The overall square shape of the logo mark suggests trust and reliability, while the rounded edges and simplicity soften the image making it more approachable/friendly. 

Typography was customised to suit the shape of the words and to provide originality.

The two colours were also chosen to emphasise the core values creativity, approachability and reliability. 

What the client said...

Managing director Guy Beaven of Abbey Partnership: 

Mario worked with us to brand Abbey Lofts. We discussed the company USP and created a brand that not only provided a unique visual style but also strong values which all our staff could get behind. The results brought increased sales and helped us streamline our service.

Case Study

Mario provides a sensitive and well tailored service. He was quick to understand our business and how best to link the consumers with the brand.

Mario has worked together with our companies over many years and we trust his creative design input and approach.

How can we help you?

Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment
where we can give you some insights into your brand
Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment where we can give you some insights into your brand

DeParys Guest House Branding

DeParys Guest House

Guest House

Case Study

DePary’s Guest House had the challenge of updating their visual identity while maintaining a relationship with a hotel of the same name. 

The intention of the re-design was to create a friendly, welcoming and affordable guest house which often takes overspill clients from the neighbouring Hotel of the same name.

Case Study

Logo design

Context provided specific requirements for the design ie; appropriate to the desired audience and distinctly different to the hotel

We took inspiration from the nautical theme of the interior design and created a sympathetic colour palette.

Logo design

Visual System

A visual system maintains consistency for all branding and marketing materials.

This includes use of colour, fonts and style imagery/photography.

How can we help you?

Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment
where we can give you some insights into your brand
Click the link below to arrange a 30 minute appointment where we can give you some insights into your brand