brand assets for nelson arts festival

Branding and Identity Design

Downing is a leading New Zealand brand development and design agency. We offer a full range of branding services: brand design, brand naming, identity design, advertising, and management.

Why are brands important?

A strong brand gives you an advantage over your competition. It helps you stand out and get noticed. It makes what you offer more attractive to your ideal customers. And ultimately will generate greater profits because it creates extra perceived value.

What is a Brand?

A brand is a collection of perceptions that someone has of your service or product; it’s what comes to mind when people think of your business. It’s a gut feeling that a customer has about you. A brand design is not a logo, a product or an identity system. It can include these things but it is more than this. Great brands create an expectation, contain a big idea, tell a compelling story or touch people at an emotional level which ultimately makes good business sense.

Nimbus screen
Tote Bag
Tote Bag
Nimbus Website

We worked with Nimbus Software to refresh their brand. We developed a core message that captured the emotional benefit they deliver – ‘Freedom to focus on what matters.’ Then we created a graphic system that dispersed that message across all their marketing tools.

There are three types of brands:

Each brand type has both strengths and weaknesses. It is important for business leaders to know what brand type their business is to leverage their full potential.
1. Organisation Brands

Corporate brands capture the essence of an organisation and distil this into a clearly articulated brand that can be expressed through a full suite of marketing and communication tools. These tools can include a logo, website, signs, stationery and advertising.

Large corporate brands such as Apple, IBM, Disney or Unilever all grew from small beginnings. One of the major strategies they employed to propel them forward was strong branding.

2. Product Brands

The market is crowded with product brands. We see thousands of them every time you visit the supermarket. Why? Because they work. You could fill a glass bottle with carbonated water, sugar and flavour and sell it for a dollar. Or you could do the same and put a Coca-Cola label on it and market it for $1.50. The difference is brand. Strong brand development can create immense value for products and services. It differentiates your product from the competition and attracts the right kind of customers, clients or consumers.

3. Personal Brands

Many business leaders and personalities need to build a personal brand to cut through the clutter and keep top-of-mind among their customers or audience. Gaining trust and confidence is the best way to fast-track business in an increasingly cynical world. Creating a personal brand that is anchored on your strengths is an authentic starting point. Crafting a compelling story and building a strong image with good visual aids is important to connect with the right customers and or team members.

Finding the right brand structure

Our branding services go to the heart of your organisation and brings out your unique value, values and personality. This then crafts these unseen aspects of your organisation into words and images that connect with your customers and stakeholders in positively motivating ways.

“Products are created in the factory, brands are created in the mind.”
– Walter Landor

Nimbus screen
Tote Bag
Tote Bag

Branding work for Golden Bay Fruit.

What is Brand Development?

Brand Development is the process of building and improving your brand over time. The ongoing process of building awareness and loyalty is what Brand Development is all about. This is not a one-time event but a journey over time that never ends. Before you get overwhelmed with that thought remember ‘the journey of 1000 miles starts with the first step’. Downing is the branding agency that can help you get moving in the right direction.

The Downing Brand Development Process

Downing is able to help you throughout the entire brand development process – creating building and promoting your brand identity. We will help you craft a story about your business that is a true reflection of who you are, a story that customers and clients want to be part of.

1. Brand Discovery

This journey of discovering your unique brand identity starts with us asking loads of questions about your history, culture and the context in which you operate. We ask about your strengths, values, and what makes you unique.  We also like to learn about your target audience or customer who connects with the business, customers, suppliers and staff. This stage normally happens in a half-day Brand Workshop.  In some cases, the workshop can take longer or be spread over two days. This depends on the scale and scope of what you want your brand development to cover.

2. Brand Strategy

We take the learning from the Discovery Stage and write a Brand Development Strategy Report. This report distils your brand into a simple framework, outlines the key components of your brand story and makes a plan on the way forward to reach your target audience and achieve your marketing goals.

This stage may review your overall brand architecture, which is the way the existing brand all fit together. We may discuss the pros and cons of rebranding, starting from scratch or enhancing an existing brand.

It also outlines other components that we need to create to express your brand. This may include an overall brand design concept, name,  logo, colour, story, images and identity system.

3. Brand Creation

We use the information from the discovery stage to create your unique story. We use words and images, symbols, colours, sounds, whatever experience we can, to enhance your brand identity in the mind of the target market. Moreover, we develop a selection of ideas for you to choose from and then refine your selected concept to a market-ready stage.

4. Brand Activation – Branding

When your brand is clearly articulated we then move to roll out the brand. Branding is the tangible expression of the brand. Brands that do this well, map every point where a customer connects with your brand and aims to make these touchpoints the best experience of the brand possible. Some of these touchpoints can be as simple as a telephone conversation script or as complex as the entire sales process.

5. Brand Promotion

Once you have your branding tools in place you need to start using them to build awareness and loyalty with your customers. This is where you start running promotions, advertising, social media, or any platform in the public arena. The aim is to build relationships that will lead to some action such as a sale.

A few brands that we’ve helped create:

Free 30-minute consultation.

How branding services can boost your business

If you would like to discuss your brand with an experienced branding agency, please call to make an appointment for a free 30-minute telephone consultation. One of our experienced Account Managers will discuss your brand and will do their best to answer your questions.

Our qualified and experienced team provide quality creative branding services and management skills to deliver work at the highest standards.

A well-crafted brand, consistently applied, is an immensely powerful tool for creating exceptional customer experiences, making sales,  building your marketing, business or organisation. So contact us today to see how we can help you produce world-class branding, marketing and communication.