Branding with Branders…

I have a deep admiration for branding experts. A couple of years ago, when working on a branding project for Alchimie Forever with Kelly Kovack, I realized that I had never given branding and marketing enough respect. It would not occur to me to formulate a product without the assistance of a professional formulator and laboratory. However, it had occurred to me to try to define my brand without the assistance of an expert. Why? Because it seems branding and marketing are easy. They are not. Creating the perfect brand is not any easier than formulating the perfect cream.

I was reminded of this point earlier this week as I had the opportunity of participating in a branding meeting led by the boutique firm Branders. Based in Zurich (perhaps the cooler and hipper city in this conservative country that is my homeland), Branders works with clients all over the world to create brands that elicit responses, foster sympathy, and inspire loyalty. I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Marisa and Thea, learning more about this firm that employs 20 brand specialists from 8 nationalities, and has been in business for 10 years.

Beyond working on a project for Forever Laser Institut, I was reminded of a few branding best practices over lunch. For effective branding, you must:

  1. Tell your own compelling and true story
  2. Be relevant to your target groups
  3. Stand out in everything you do
  4. Focus on what you do best
  5. Be consistent in order to develop a strong identity…
  6. Yet remain agile so you can adapt to relevant market changes
  7. Turn your employees and customers into brand ambassadors

The Branders team also works on visual storytelling. Beyond words, images can tell a tale. Too often, however, brands’ visual aesthetics lack consistency – in perspective, light and color palettes, sharpness and focus, cropping, and image composition like backgrounds and symmetry or asymmetry.

It sounds so easy and logical. Yet it takes a special mind, and special skills…

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