Let’s start with a basic math problem.
The tech space is defined by the speed with which it innovates. Whether startup or disruptor, agility is key – what you brought to the market in your first couple of years might not be where you are now. And it might not be where you will be in a year. So – here’s the math problem:
An average rebrand or brand refresh takes between six to nine months. Your product, your market, the whole landscape – that evolution can be measured in weeks, not months. Think of it as hitting a moving target – the criteria you set at the start of the project are no longer 100% accurate by the end of the project. By the time your rebrand is complete, you’ve most likely pivoted – or run out of money.
Keep it simple
In terms of core brand identity you’ve probably got a couple of items that are key, say a logo and a primary color. These might be great, but they’re not going to be enough to create the mass of materials and content that are going to take you to the next level. Having 1 logo and 1 color doesn’t make a brand…
Build it and they will…
At Sköna we understand the tech frame of mind – having worked so closely with partners at this critical phase of transition, we know what it takes to move a concept to a visual identity and then make a brand bold. And – unexpectedly – it’s often about what you leave out. We call this Utilitarian Branding.
All the flavor, none of the fat
Utilitarian Branding is about distilling branding to its most essential – looking at a company, assessing its strengths, differentiators, and place in the market and then refining and focusing that message. And then applying that understanding to a clear and compelling visual design – not obsessing about every pixel, every color gradation, every comma, but really, really, thinking about how to apply a focused, targeted injection to the brand – realigning it with the core message in a fraction of the conventional time.
How does it work
In reality, this means building out a fully realized visual exploration of what your brand could look like – not a huge gallery of images to be interpreted at a later date, but real, concrete tools that you can apply now. You might think that you want your brand to be innovative, but how far are you willing to go? Unless you see a system built out, it’s hard to know what to expect!
We’re different from other agencies, in that in every brand exploration we always bring in three senior designers – they’re working from the same brief, but they’re bringing three distinct perspectives to the brand, perspectives based upon their own unique ideas and world views. Some might be safe – some might push the boundaries of your own perception of the brand. This is healthy!
Nuts and bolts
This might sound high level, but it’s not. A great brand refresh needs to walk a tightrope – it needs to balance ROI and implementation time with getting a great result that will truly reflect the brand. Don’t obsess about minute pixel-position issues, but DO make sure that you’ve got logos, primary and secondary colors, iconography and photography, and UI that are razor-sharp and express your vision without apology – without excuse.
‘Utilitarian’ can be defined as ‘workmanlike’. It can also mean ‘getting the job done’.