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These guides represent the gathered wisdom of Darwin.

They are a little library for you to visit, dip into, trawl through and generally rummage about in for ideas, experiences and solutions to questions you may have … maybe even solutions to problems you don’t even know you have.

We add to the guides regularly, so keep on dropping in, and dropping us a comment or question or two. We’ll be delighted to hear from you.

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Why Rebrand?

RETHINK, REBUILD OR RETUNE?

Beyond the rebrand are distinct commercial benefits and sharper competitive edges. The effects can be profound, the benefits substantial. Taken to its ultimate conclusion, rebranding can transform and rejuvenate your entire business. It can eradicate weaknesses and ensure you build on your strengths. For instance, if you’re looking to increase your sales, market share, customer base or profits, then rebranding is a great way to achieve that.

Skillful branding ensures your business is positioned and presented correctly within your marketplace, creating a differentiated and competitive stance.

It can raise your brand profile and build brand awareness, which ensures you become more visible and attractive to your customers. Professionally designed branding ensures you communicate more effectively with customers, prospects and other stakeholders and helps you make a profitable connection with your target audience. It lets them know what you do better than anyone else. A consistent and unified brand approach can change or shape perceptions in the marketplace and give you a competitive advantage.

Expertly designed branding enhances customers’ familiarity and comfort level with your products or services, by ensuring you are delivering the right offer to the right people, and that makes them far more likely to purchase. Rebranding can help you grow your business and increase its overall monetary value, which is handy if you think you might want to sell it one day.

FOCUS ON PROGRESS

Rebranding will deliver a plan for success, taking your business to where you really want it to be, ensuring you are moving in the right direction. It can ensure you deliver on your companies strategic objectives by giving your business and brand focus.

We enable businesses and organisations to brand and rebrand their businesses, systematically, thoroughly and always objectively. We’ll tell you straight what we believe needs done, why and how.

We’re so objective, we’ve been known to tell clients that nothing needs done at all – the challenges may not be in the brand, they may be elsewhere in the business. Darwin’s expertise can help you focus on exactly what your business may need to progress faster, more efficiently and more productively. Better still, we can help you decide which may be your most effective way forward. Below we have outlined some of the benefits you will experience from professional branding or rebranding.

If you’d like us to clarify anything, add more perspective or give your brand its own, tailored, in-depth interrogation, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You might also like to try our Brand Healthcheck HERE, which is always a good early warning system for any potential issues.

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When to Rebrand?

YOU’VE HAD GREAT TIMES TOGETHER AND YOU ACHIEVED SO MUCH, BUT MAYBE YOU AND YOUR BRAND HAVE DRIFTED APART? MAYBE THE SAME FIRE NO LONGER BURNS?

Every business is different, but there are common factors, pain points and situations when rebranding could, should or simply absolutely has to happen. But of course there are different levels of rebranding, from evolution to revolution.

Perhaps your brand or only certain parts of it need slight modifications or perhaps your brand name, image and positioning need to change completely. But how do you know?

IS IT A CASE FOR INTERNAL AFFAIRS?

From many years’ experience, we have come to the conclusion that most rebranding or brand refreshing is triggered by internal business changes. When the nature of your business changes, the nature of your brand changes and realignment becomes necessary. Sometimes ownership or leadership changes in a business can lead to a new company culture, mission, vision, and values. Perhaps your company, products or service offerings have changed or improved or you are about to add products or services that will dramatically alter your offerings.

DO YOU STILL RECOGNISE YOUR MARKET?

The next most frequent reason for rebranding is a changing market environment. Perhaps your market has changed dramatically or your brand is not as well recognised among those you target as customers as it once was. Perhaps you’re simply not attracting enough of the right type of customers and as a result sales have fallen, or maybe you are facing stronger or new competition.

Maybe new market solutions or customer preferences have caused consumers to lose or lessen their interest in your brand. Or perhaps your brand message and experience has become out of synch with current consumer interests and tastes. Possibly your logo, tagline, and other identifying elements have become out of step with current design and cultural trends. Or maybe you are just following rather than leading with your brand direction.

IS YOUR BRAND STILL FIT FOR PURPOSE?

Sometimes marketplace conditions change in such a way that brands become outdated or even irrelevant. Perhaps the brand’s benefits are no longer appealing or the way the brand is presented to consumers no longer fits marketplace trends and patterns. For instance, how do customers, prospective customers, investors and other interested parties perceive your brand? Is it how you wish to be perceived or is there a gap?

If the attributes that you feel best differentiate your brand and its offerings are different to what your target audience believe distinguish your brand from competitors, then there is an issue. As there is when your brand is not well recognised among those you target as customers.

IS WHAT YOU SEE WHAT YOU GET?

All great brands share one important attribute: they’re mirror images of the companies they represent. Your brand identity should mirror your current business mission, vision and values. It should accurately reflect the character, personality, and tone of your business. Your pricing has to be an accurate reflection of your brand message and positioning and all products or services that you’ve added or that you plan to add must fit well under your brand.

But sometimes ownership, leadership, or strategic changes can make your brand become dated. Sometimes your brand image can get tarnished by events either within or out with your control. If your brand is not an accurate reflection of your current business, then that should be a red flag.

ARE YOU MAXIMISING YOUR BRAND IMPACT?

Consumer opinion about a brand is the result of all contact with the brand, from marketing communications to staff encounters, from the intricacies of the purchase experience (including services) to the experience of becoming a brand owner. Your current brand experience should reinforce your desired brand image at all contact points.

When consumers encounter your brand, the experience should be consistent and compelling. It should be outstanding compared to those of your competitors.

If your brand experience has begun to get unpredictable then to quote the late, great, Nat King Cole, “There may be trouble ahead”.

As newcomers enter your marketplace, their brand offerings can change consumer expectations. Does your brand compete well with the brands of dominant competitors in your market area? Your brand should inspire potential customers to overlook the competition and come to you. Does your staff fully understand and embrace the business you’ve become? For instance, when asked to describe your brand, do employees all give nearly identical answers?

If your customer offering is not clear and easily understood or if your customers and employees don’t understand and embrace the business you have become, then you will have an issue. Your brand promise has to be clear, unique, and appealing when compared to promises extended by your competitors.

IS YOUR BRAND NAME AND IDENTITY STILL FIT FOR PURPOSE?

Your brand name should be an appropriate label for the promise you keep, and the markets you serve. If your organisation has found it necessary to improvise adaptations of your brand name to make it an appropriate label for some of your offerings, or if you have found it necessary to use alternate versions of your brand name, logo, or tagline in certain distribution channels, then it could well be a sign that your name is no longer an appropriate label for the business you have become.

Or perhaps your brand name, logo, communications, location, and experience has become inconsistent with the personality, character, and tone that you want associated with your business. For example is your name, logo, tagline, and other identifying elements distinctive and competitive in terms of quality, sophistication and consistency?

Your brand identity should match and project the quality and sophistication of the business you’ve become.

If your brand identity still conveys the business you once were, then there is a good chance that it is projecting the wrong image. It may even be jaded or dated, with a typestyle, colours and design that seem stuck in the past. And what about your tagline? Does it accurately convey your brand positioning and what makes you unique? If not, it could be harming not helping.

CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY, CONSISTENCY.

Your marketing communications from brochures, advertisements, website to your phone and mail and in-person contacts should be uniformly consistent in look, tone of voice and message. They have to be consistent and competitive in terms of look, character and brand message and they absolutely have to make it clear what you do better than anyone else. If they don’t, then I’m afraid there could be a problem on the horizon.

AND FINALLY.

If you’d like us to clarify anything, add more perspective or give your brand its own, tailored, in-depth interrogation, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You might also like to try our Brand Healthcheck HERE, which is always a good early warning system for any potential issues.

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Helping a tired brand reach new heights

Who are they?

Tendring Mental Health Support was founded as a charity in 1976 to work with vulnerable adults in the local area (Tendring) with mental health issues or learning disabilities, to give them a voice, let them know their rights and subtly educate them.

As an organisation their service offerings have changed over that time and they no longer deal only with mental health issues and have since become known as TMHS, as they no longer only serve the Tendring area, but instead they are now Essex wide, and they now primarily provide counseling and advocacy services.

WHAT WAS THE CHALLENGE?

The environment in which TMHS operates has changed dramatically in recent years, and as such change for the organisation had also become inevitable. The organization was facing several issues such as;

1. HAVING NO CLEAR MESSAGE
2. POSITIONING
3. LOW BRAND AWARENESS
4. POOR PERCEPTION
5. NO CLEAR STRATEGY
6. INCREASED COMPETITION
7. AD HOC/INCONSISTENT MARKETING

Overall the TMHS brand did not inspire potential commissioners of health services to overlook the competition and choose TMHS. They didn’t have a tagline that accurately conveyed their brand positioning and what makes them unique. Their brand didn’t stand out and was not well recognised amongst those they wished to target as customers and of the people who did recognise it, their perception was that they were not what they desired. There was very little marketing or brand promotion and what there was, was inconsistent in look, tone of voice and message. Their customer offering was neither clear nor easily understood.

The client recognised that the entire healthcare sector and how it was procured and commissioned had evolved dramatically over the last 40 years, and as such it was time to re-examine the entire organisation and brand identity, to better reflect the more contemporary, dynamic attitude of today and the services they now provided.

It was felt that the established brand name and identity was creating misperceptions within the marketplace: it was slowing the organisation down and did not reflect a forward-thinking organisation forever trying to offer a better, more innovative service.
However, care had to be taken not to compromise the signature caring approach of the organisation, which had earned a strong local reputation for the personal touch as well as open, honest professionalism in every detail.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?

TMHS commissioned Darwin Brand Consultants initially to conduct a Brand Audit, to assess TMHS’s current position in the market compared to their competitors, and a review of its effectiveness including;

1. STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
2. UNCOVER INCONSISTENCIES IN HOW CUSTOMERS, EMPLOYEES AND OTHERS VIEW THE ORGANISATION
3. DETERMINE OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT AND NEW DEVELOPMENTS
4. ESTABLISH A CLEAR OVERVIEW OF THEIR ENTIRE ORGANISATION AND CURRENT STRATEGY

DARWIN’S SOLUTION

The Brand Audit uncovered many current issues and challenges as well as opportunities for the future. We took what we learned in the audit and put in place a brand strategy for achieving TMHS’s desired goals and objectives through brand communications. Key deliverables from the Brand Strategy included;

1. TO DIVERSIFY INTO OTHER SERVICES
2. TO RAISE THEIR BRAND PROFILE – AND CLEARLY COMMUNICATE WHO THEY ARE AND WHAT THEY DO
3. TO BUILD BETTER RELATIONSHIPS WITH COUNCILS, COMMISSIONERS, ETC.
4. TO GAIN RECOGNITION FOR THEIR WORK AND TO MAKE SURE FUNDERS KNOW TMHS DELIVERED
5. INCREASE BRAND AWARENESS
6. ACHIEVE CONSISTENCY IN LOOK, TONE OF VOICE, FEEL AND MESSAGE ACROSS ALL BRAND COMMUNICATIONS

It was agreed that the organisation should be renamed to reflect the current market opportunities. The new name should reflect the brand values and positioning of the organization along with the introduction of a tagline that reinforces the company’s key messages. A new brand logo would then be designed, combining symbols, fonts, colours and overall shape to reflect the organisations brand values and communicate the compelling truths of the brand.

THE END RESULT

The final brand logo that emerged is light, bright, passionate and above all inspirational. It’s clean-cut, open with a Client centred ethos – Supportive, Ethical, Trustworthy, Helpful, Empowering, Reliable, Approachable, Empathy, Caring, Integrity, Conscientious, Compassionate, honesty and Openness are all prized assets of SUMMIT, the new name for the organisation.

Colours were chosen carefully to emphasise the energy and positivity that typifies the organisation, which all help it to stand out in an environment that too readily settles for me-too solutions.

“On behalf of Tendring Mental Health Support, I wish to sincerely thank Vincent and Suzie Bissette of Darwin Brand Consultants for their hard work which has resulted in us having a brilliant new brand identity, incorporating a new brand name, brand logo and tag line under the new brand name of SUMMIT. The thought and advice we received throughout was greatly appreciated by all at TMHS”.

Graham Thornton, Chair of Trustees, TMHS/SUMMIT

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Refreshingly different. And that’s just the client.

HOW A TINY COMPANY THIRSTING FOR SUCCESS ADDED A BIG INGREDIENT: BRANDING

Out of the blue, or in this case green, we received a call from a small company called TUICE. When we say ‘small’, we mean three university students who have concocted two juices. But their ideas and ambition are big.

With encouragement and support from the University of Loughborough, the students had developed a healthy ‘lifestyle’ drink that not only tastes great but also could help you lose weight and improve your metabolism. “It’s the green tea that does it,” revealed Jerelle Oroko, Tuice Co-Founder.

So far so creative, and there’s an attractive unique selling point in the green tea angle, but what about marketing? The TUICE team had been persuaded it was time to get professional about brand identity: that’s when they got in touch with Darwin Branding Consultancy.

QUIRKY IS DIFFERENT, DIFFERENT IS BETTER, BETTER IS VALUABLE

The drinks, laden with natural fruit juices, are delicious (Apple, Honey & Chocolate, and Lavender, Lychee & Pear since you ask) and the lads’ sheer dynamism and ambition are persuasive factors. All of which helps strengthen the marketing cause.

The sheer quirkiness of the whole set up also possesses a peculiar appeal: here is something original in its inception, background, content and presentation. Quirky can have its pitfalls of course, because nobody can feel 100 percent confident about something they’ve never seen (or drunk) before, but being different can be valuable.

Better still, being different in the marketplace can give you enough traction in peoples’ minds to get your brand established quickly. If you handle it wisely.

We assessed the scale of the opposition in the juices market (think Innocent, for one monster brand out there). The team raised its sights and its game and started considering media beyond Instagram, Tweeting and virtual videos on the TUICE Facebook page.

How can you go anywhere if you don’t know where you are?

We interviewed the TUICE team in our usual manner, to help clarify:
1. THE MOST IMPORTANT GOALS
2. THE UNIQUE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE PRODUCT AND ITS RIVALS
3. THE TARGET MARKET
4. THE MARKETPLACE, TRENDS AND CHANGES
5. THE MAJOR ATTRACTIONS FOR CUSTOMERS
6. POTENTIAL PITFALLS AND BARRIERS
7. PRICEPOINTS

Calm consideration generated even more confidence: the admirable but slightly hazy, long-term goal of TUICE being offered in major fast food outlets and supermarkets UK-wide, and becoming a national brand, started to come more into focus.

Together we agreed that the TUICE identity should reflect an artisan approach that is straightforward, relaxed, refreshing and happy (a bit like the lads themselves). A proper brand is taking shape, with a distinctive, relevant look and tone of voice.

“Darwin are amazing! We have built a relationship that shows they really care for their customers. They work to the highest standards and provide a very easy and reliable customer experience. Whenever I need any sort of branding work done or advice, I contact them as soon as possible and would never hesitate to push their services to someone else! ”

Jerelle Okoro, Co-Founder/Creative Director, Tuice

What happens next?
Labelling and packaging will shortly go into production. The TUICE team have gained a clear idea of where they stand in the market, and where they’d like to be in the short, mid and long term. With assistance from their university they continue to pursue their dream. And you know what? They have enough solid brand values to help them make it a reality.

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Branding 7 top tips to make sure your business stands out

Branding and marketing your business is vital no matter what sector or industry your organisation is in. You need to retain your customers, secure new customers and, at the same time, keep them all satisfied.

So here’s our seven top tips to make sure your business stands out.

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How To Cost Branding, Design And Marketing (And Maximise The Value Gained)

When it comes to branding, design and marketing, as with other professional services, you tend to get what you pay for. When looking at estimates for branding, design and marketing services, there are two main differences to consider:

This simple guide will give you a basic understanding.

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