What is ‘Brand Design’?

A successful brand has something that sets it apart.

Our clients go to enormous lengths to find it; then define it.

A unique positioning?

For [target customers], [brand name] is the [category definition] that delivers [brand promise], because only [brand name] is [reason to believe].

Good luck with that.

In today’s world, ‘Consumers do not notice the communicated differences between brands’ (How Brands Grow).

Telling people you’re different or better is a value judgement,

And value judgements aren’t yours to make.

Instead do something that provokes the desired perception.

Show, don’t tell.



The best marketing doesn’t sell you a product, or even a brand.

Just a better version of yourself.

Self-improvement in a can, a jar, an app, a website…


Definitely worth paying more for.

Intangible, but real, added value.

How do we show people that value without telling them?

By design.



Design is everywhere, and everything.

By nature, and by humans.

Professor Neri Oxman of MIT media lab has an elegant model:

Science… converts information into knowledge.

Engineering… converts knowledge into utility.

Design… converts utility into cultural behaviour.

Art… examines behaviour to question our perception of the world…

which creates new information, new knowledge, new utility, and so on.

About her design process, she says:

“The choice of a font (typeface) is no less important than the choice of a cell whose genes are being hacked.”

Now you can look at a logo in a different light.



Designer Scott Berkum asks:

“What’s the difference between your favourite and least favourite thing that you use?”

No shortage of answers. Most of them are design attributes.

Then he says: “The difference between those two things is what I do.”

That’s what we do too.

It’s the difference between: your brand is a product with a name,

and: your brand is a beacon of trust, added value and desire.



Agencies have a habit of looking pretty similar.

Cool beards, exposed brickwork, a company dog.

We’re all at it.

But dig a bit deeper.

A successful agency has something that sets it apart.

It’s in the people, their skills,

but most importantly how they see the world.

For us, Brand Design is not making things prettier, cooler or on-trend.

It’s a forensic examination.

We look for secret sauces, superpowers and unfair advantages.

Then make those things unmissable.

We call it: ‘visualising brand value’.

Here’s a recent example – goes well with secret sauces…



We hope you enjoyed this Brand Design edition of Unpredictable.

If you did, go look for your brand value and ask: “Is that it?”