In today's fast-paced world, where information flows continuously and our expectations are higher than ever, merely offering quality products and services at a reasonable price is no longer sufficient. Nowadays, consumers are in pursuit of memorable and meaningful experiences, and this significantly raises the bar for what it takes to build a successful brand.
Creating a successful brand is a multifaceted process that demands time and careful coordination, given the multitude of elements involved. It's not just about sporadic bursts of inspiration or creativity; rather, it's the result of consistent and coordinated efforts that encompass a comprehensive understanding of the environment and alignment with the brand's essential needs. While inspiration and creativity are vital components, they are seamlessly integrated into a broader process.
Along our journey, we've come to recognize that this process rests upon four fundamental pillars: Strategy, Identity, Activation, and Management. These pillars are intricately interconnected and work together to achieve the desired brand objectives.
It's common for people to mistakenly equate the term "brand" solely with visual aspects. However, this is a misconception that we must avoid. At Scalto, our company, we firmly grasp that a brand encompasses the array of meanings attributed to an offering, creating a predisposition toward its use, purchase, or engagement. This perspective requires consideration from multiple angles:
Internally, a brand should express a company's purpose and its commitment to its stakeholders. Externally, it encompasses everything people think, say, express, and feel about the product or service.
From a management standpoint, the brand becomes a tool that forges connections and adds value both within the organization and in society as a whole.
Starting with strategy as the foundation, it's crucial for it to manifest visually. However, this shouldn't be reduced to a mere literal representation of attributes and value propositions within a simple logo. Such an oversimplified approach can easily get lost amid the deluge of information.
An illustrative example is our project in Venezuela with the regional supermarket chain "Excelsior Gama." This family-owned business, over time, had risen to sector leadership with the promise of "Excellent quality in products and services." However, as market conditions evolved, this promise began to lose its luster, with quality becoming uniform across all supermarkets and differentiation dwindling. This necessitated a profound reevaluation and decisions that would impact the three aforementioned perspectives.
In this process of redefinition, it was paramount to reconsider the business's roots, emphasizing the significance of family not just for the owners but for everyone involved: employees, suppliers, customers, and communities. The aim was to grasp the vision and goals of this transformation, involving internal stakeholders so that the new identity would symbolize transformation rather than just a change in symbol.
The visual representation underscored the importance of family by incorporating the founder's signature as part of the logo. A considerable effort was dedicated to training the team and staff to ensure internalization of the transformation. The in-store experience was revamped and communicated under the new promise, "without you there is no us." Brand assets were meticulously identified, and those no longer relevant were discarded. All these changes were reflected in colors, communications, photographs, typography, and messages, tailored to diverse audiences.
This process was a formidable challenge that demanded a delicate balance between creativity and strategy. Design choices weren't solely guided by personal preferences but were deeply rooted in the brand's strategy, vision, and aspirations during its transformation. This underscores the significance of recognizing that brand strategy is not merely about communication but an integral part of the business. Strategy sets the framework and inspiration for everything a company represents, including its communication efforts.
This holistic approach has enabled us to expand our business by actively participating in the brand-building process. By identifying needs from various perspectives, questioning our actions, and deliberating collectively, we can generate ideas that seamlessly integrate into a coherent vision. These ideas manifest in our own-brand products, in-store experiences, and messages conveyed through various channels. As these ideas take hold in the environment, we witness how they pique the community's interest to become part of something greater.