CG. How do you start the process of design? What role does colour, typography, scale and other visual tools play in order to achieve the final output?
LM. The process of design exploration always begins with defining the brand and what it stands for. We use Landor’s proprietary tool, the Brand Driver Platform, to briefly capture the desired meaning of the brand. This brand meaning is then reflected in design through different manifestations. To start the design process, we undertake exhaustive colour, typography and photography studies to arrive at all possible considerations for the brand’s visual expression.
CG. What are the key points you consider along with the client's brief before you start working on branding or rebranding?
LM. Before we start, it is important to evaluate the necessity of the change. The degree of change needed should also be paid attention to. Some questions which need to be answered before taking a call are:
Does your brand need tweaking or a complete overhaul?
What does the future of the company look like?
To what extent is the organization changing?
These questions determine whether the new path for the brand is evolutionary or revolutionary. We also undertake extensive research to better understand the client, their competitors, and their industry and market reports. Thinking long-term is the key to a successful branding/rebranding exercise.
CG. What are the major considerations while working on re-branding a well-known brand?
LM. It is important to evaluate its existing visual equities and the degree of customer connect to the existing brand identity and the colours.
What is the degree of change appropriate to signal freshness without losing relevance?
What are all the touch points that brand will appear on?
What is the extent to which we want to co-create with either a small or large subset of customers?
These are some important questions that one must consider before carrying out rebranding for the well-known brands. The brand’s vision, as well as its plan for the long-term future, is the key to driving the rebranding process.
CG. In your opinion, how important is it to find the right harmony between forgetting the current branding and focusing the audience on a new image? How do you achieve the same in the case of rebranding?
LM. In the case of rebranding, it is important to determine how far off or how close the current branding is, to its new meaning. To ensure that there is harmony between the current and the new branding we are designing, we take visual equities that work and give it layers depending on the degree of change the brand is seeking.
For instance, in the case of Café Coffee Day, we retained the colours and tagline and changed everything else. Similarly, for Barista, we built the new brand on the existing colour palette of orange and brown yet the new brand now looks inspired, modern and youthful.
CG. What makes your USP and how you make sure it always reflected in your work?
LM. We imagine brands to be flexible and adaptive, not one-dimensional and static and this reflects clearly in our work. Using our proprietary tool, Brand Driver Platform, we ensure that we spend the right amount of time defining the brand based on a strong insight. The brand platform becomes the foundation for all subsequent thinking on the brand including employee activation and a 360 ̊ brand experience for customers.
CG. How do you know when an existing company or product needs re-branding? Or when exactly the brand needs a complete makeover?
LM. An existing company/product should consider re-branding if the current brand meaning has lost relevance in the market. Rebranding should also be considered if new meaning needs to be added to the core brand; to bring in a freshness of perspective that appeals to a new segment of target audiences.
If the promise being delivered by the company has changed or the vision or the business strategy has altered, then a rebranding exercise is useful in setting the path for future success of the company in question.