In a recent article published by Eesti Ekspress, CEO of Identity and Strategist Ants Lusti shared his thoughts on brand building and its impact on companies’ activities and revealed the biggest stumbling blocks in marketing.
The best product should mean the best quality. Right? Unfortunately, people often struggle with answering the question of why their service or product should be preferred over those of competitors. And even if they can answer it – why are all potential consumers not already buying this best product? These questions are answered by Identity strategic design agency, which takes the brand apart and re-builds it from scratch.
250 brand concepts
250 is a big number, especially if you consider that each number stands for a company, a product or a service. Identity reached this number with 20 years of operation and it stands for the concepts where brands have been rebuilt from scratch under a new name.
“It feels good to see that a brand created 10 years ago is alive, nurtured, sustained and purposefully developed. This shows that the brand has been planted in the right spot and is well-structured,” says the company’s CEO and Strategist Ants Lusti.
Foreign agencies in big markets have entire teams for serving one client over many years, but in a small market, in Identity, each team member has a much bigger responsibility. Our team consists of around 10 professionals, and practical experience shows that this is generally sufficient. Foreign partners have sometimes been curious as to how we can even function in this market of 1.4 million, but I guess this is all about value creation and the usefulness of our activities for the client’s company.
Wealth of experience
What has been learnt during the years of operation? “20 years ago, companies saw branding above all as an eye-catching logo or visual identity,” says Lusti. Nowadays, the situation is much more complex – the success of a company, product or service begins with the strategic vision, creating a respective position in the consumer’s consciousness and positioning the brand in relation to competitors. The 90s slogan ‘best product, best price’ has not been selling for a long time. This neither defines nor distinguishes; it doesn’t seem credible to the client.
The task of a strategic design agency is to delve into the anatomy and the operating environment of an organisation and thus develop good conditions for improving its capability. Having theoretical knowledge is not enough. Over the years, you will gain an experience-based understanding, which you can use for sparring with companies in your sleep. We at Identity have developed our own strategic and creative-conceptual methodological basis for brand building.
Can you give an example of how it works?
Perhaps the simplest example is Raadio 3, which belongs to Sky Media Group and faced a Hamletian dilemma in terms of its future years ago. Renewal of the brand as Retro FM was not just about changing the name, but overtaking the position of the main retro station. The 315% growth in turnover that followed was just a bonus for making the right strategic decision.
What are the most common marketing mistakes?
Things are easier with established companies that have secured their market position over the years – they know what they are doing and why and what is effective. Generally speaking. Then there are companies that have been founded recently with the aim to change the world. They are characterised by an ambitious attitude, but they may struggle with answering the question of why a person should change their behaviour and prefer a new (value) offer. The reason for this is that the power of established behaviour and barriers is often underestimated. Thus, new solutions are often prematurely given a heroic image, but if this is not backed up by real life, you need to give it another go. In other words – innovation has not yet been born and the solution needs to be validated by the user.
The greater the enemy, the greater the hero. To put it another way, if the problem you are solving is small or non-existent, you cannot expect the solution to be hailed as heroic. In principle, the same challenge applies to companies that proceed from new opportunities to improve their market position. But still – you need to be completely aware of why you are setting a certain task that serves as a basis for adopting a new strategic focus. You cannot provide a good solution if the task has been set inadequately.
What does it mean to build a brand from scratch? How does Identity get the various elements of strategic design – strategy creation, service design and product development, brand and organisation design and the means of graphic design – to cooperate?
“Our purpose is to empower companies and organisations so that all stakeholders clearly know what they stand for, what they are doing and whom they are creating the relevant value for and by which means. The important thing is to avoid a situation where the our company’s mission and vision is on top of a cupboard somewhere worded in one way and the so-called brand story is somewhere on the desk of the advertising people described in another way,” Lusti sums up the agency’s work.
Source: Eesti Ekspress, 20.04.2022