6 tips for a strong offline brand experience
1. Make a business case: what would it cost and what would the benefits be?
Organisations are often only partially aware of the costs involved in physical branding. Brand assets such as buildings, vehicles and clothing are very capital-intensive investments. Therefore it’s imperative to analyse the financial impact in advance in order to ensure that the board can determine the required budget at a very early stage and avoid any unwanted surprises. This avoids surprises, which will often compel you to simplify designs that were created at an earlier stage.
2. Define your most important touchpoints as early as possible in the design process to ensure more coherence and to save costs
Each brand touchpoint has its own specific starting point, but there’s an even more important question: how is everything connected (online and offline)? By having the design repeated and echoed as widely as possible, while keeping the available budget in mind, you will create more coherence across your brand touchpoints. In addition, it also enables you to make smart choices in terms of costs. For example, if you apply your company style in such a way that not all vehicles have to be ordered (or wrapped) in a special colour, you can already achieve considerable cost savings. A designer prefers not to be railroaded by creative ‘constraints’, of course, but it’s better to nip these things in the bud than have to cut costs halfway through.
3. Smart technical choices through value engineering
Once your budget is set and the design is finalised, it’s time to make other smart choices at a technical level. Translating a 2D design into a 3D application requires a great deal of experience and expertise. High-quality materials and a nice look and feel both cost money. How do you achieve the right balance between quality, durability and look and feel in relation to the available budget? For example, you could add illuminated signs at all your locations, but if they are not at high-profile locations, or if the area doesn’t have any activity at all after dark, it is better to not bother and save yourself the major costs of development and maintenance.
4. Make sustainable choices
A theme that is becoming increasingly important in the world of offline branded assets, signage and wayfinding: sustainability. Every organisation faces the challenge of becoming more sustainable. Have you ever thought about the impact of your branding? Are your brand assets produced fairly? Which materials are you choosing and what is the environmental impact? Is it possible to make more sustainable choices? Other important topics in this context are energy consumption and light pollution. Ultimately, you have to ask yourself the question, what do we really need and what could we potentially leave out?