Inspiration doesn't appear out of thin air. Something or someone usually sets a spark within our souls, resulting in a significant awe-wondering creation. Think of all the beauty we have received from ancient architects, sculptors, and poets. These individuals relied on a muse or source of inspiration to motivate what resulted. For example, artists of Ancient Greece would call on the gods of Greek mythology to help them find their mojo. Now, the method of pinpointing a creative juice source looks different today, but what remains is how important it is to locate before putting brush to paint.
The aesthetics of your organization's brand require the same forethought and drive. It is impossible to design for it without having a reliable and meaningful reference point that the brand is informed and defined by. Something must tell the brand how to dress and appear to captivate its audience best. The intent is to use the visual components to introduce who and what the brand is to the world. That is the sole purpose of the elements created to pretty up the look of your org.
This misunderstanding is one of the biggest brand stumble blocks experienced by companies. The look and feel of the brand are anything but subjective. It doesn't matter if the board chair loves yellow because it reminds them of the sunsets they watched with Mother. Instead, what does carry weight is what the color represents and how yellow makes the beholder feel. If you find agreement and alignment with the message and story your brand seeks to tell, then by golly, you have a winner!
There is so much more that goes into the visual components of a brand. Each element requires a muse to guide it in the right direction and lead the brand to the most accurate visual depiction. So what does a brand muse look like? We listed some vital factors to be inspired by when formulating your brand's outfit.
A Few Good Brand Creative Muse
Know Your Org's Brand Story. Every brand conveys a tailored narrative shared with its audience, filled with need-to-know facts and details about the company it represents. This story helps the external world better understand the brand's existence, purpose, mission, and vision. When it's time to tell your brand tale through creative elements, the visual representation should only enhance and further translate the story told.
Know Your Org's Brand Positioning and Messaging. How do you want the brand to be seen, and what is the one point anyone who encounters the brand should know? Answer these questions, and you are on your way to identifying the positioning and message of your company's brand. You will need to have these components well defined as they are vital brand creative informants. Visually, the brand should allow your audience to capture your organization's overarching message in an instant.
Know Your Org's Brand Voice. So you've uncovered how your brand should be seen and the central messaging point. Now tell us how we should hear it? How do you want the brand to be heard? The brand's voice is directly tied to its personality or character and doesn't change. The voice tells us if the brand is witty, friendly, or confident and should be reflected creatively. A whimsical brand will look very different from an assertive one.
Know Your Competitor's Brand. Ever show up to a party in the same dress as your nemesis? The worse, right. Please avoid the same embarrassment for your brand. The visual display of your organization's brand needs to be distinguished and stand out from the crowd. So while interpreting who and what it is, the brand creatives should also be sharing what it is not. What you have established as differentiation points for your company should shine through the brand aesthetics.
Know Your Org's Brand Experience. Define how you want your audience to engage with the organization's brand. The experience your company provides your customers shapes and solidifies their perception of it. When it is time to transform the brand into a beautiful vision, it needs to be an extension of the experience identified.
Know Your Org's Brand Value. The ideals your company's brand represents speak volumes to the outside world. What your organization stands for and believes in are connection points to your audience. Whether it be quality programs, sustainable practices, or reasonable prices, we should be able to take notice visually. One look at the creatives, and we just know what matters most to your brand.
Art without inspiration is just another piece that very well may be ignored. But a song written from life's experience or a mural painted to speak against a social injustice penetrates and runs rampant through emotions. Inspiration should be creative's sole reason. Visuals exist because they were inspired to be born.
May your brand be a work of art fueled by the firm and defined ingredients that give your organization life.