We Launch design director Matt Walpole believes that owned assets can ensure brands’ long-term success. He discusses the importance of creating strong visuals, how to execute strategy across brand assets, and how owned assets can work across all touchpoints of a brand.
In your experience, why is it important for brands to create strong visuals to bring the brand story to life?
There are two main reasons. First, you need to stand out in your market with the ability to grab people’s attention and second, visuals are a top brand touchpoint, so whoever your target audience is, it’s a way key to resonating with them to communicate brand messages.
How can you implement a strategy through distinctive brand assets?
What’s important is not to be disruptive for fun, like using neon pink over the industry common blue, if it’s clearly inappropriate for example. You need to make sure your strategy is chosen with the consumer in mind so that it resonates with the company’s service and brand, but also picks up on key cues. It means figuring out what the audience is predisposed to and using those values in a strategic aspect, finding points that resonate and bringing them to life in a clean and disruptive way.
The audience should always be at the center of your thinking, which means you should focus on how you create a strategy for a certain audience apart from personal opinions and customers. Our role as an agency is to provide an outside perspective to question what our clients are doing. Our project work on Atech is a good example of this. We understood their industry and worked with the client to challenge this space while staying grounded and strategically positioning Atech in the market. This approach brings the customer into the journey of the brand and makes him proud of this work which helps him to sell the product.
Why do brands use own assets not only to tell the company story internally, but to their target audiences?
Whether it’s CGI, photography, or illustration, for example, owned assets are great for a brand because you can build them into the longevity of the brand as it grows. That’s why it’s important to take into account, when creating something new, how it will work at launch, but also later, you can always refresh the images through new shots or rework them in brand architecture. It makes building a brand so much easier. Get it right from the start and there will always be something to build on after launching a brand. It’s never the last thing, it’s living, breathing things that must be able to evolve. Industries can change in the blink of an eye, so brands need to be able to adapt in that nature.
What factors do you consider when curating a suite of owned brand assets, and how can brands create owned assets that can work across all brand touchpoints?
When we talk about building brand assets, we like to think about how we can build that flexibility for our clients, and often, their internal teams. Not only do these assets need to become recognizable in the marketplace, but we make sure that everything we create is functional and can work across all touchpoints, from billboards to small digital formats like an app.
This was a key factor when working on Openpay with the competitive nature of the market. When you go to buy something online now, there are so many buy now, pay later services, so one of the challenges was getting the brand to stand out in digital shopping carts. Color has become an important factor; using a strong branded yellow to stand out from other payment options was a small but vital consideration. We also wonder how we create something that has a visual purpose when it appears in the context of third-party environments. For example, how can a brand use its assets on social platforms, reduce noise and attract attention. The same principles will also affect physical spaces such as corporate event spaces or outdoor advertising, so all possibilities should be considered to make a brand as flexible and effective as possible.