This is the year that’s thrown us all for a loop and even best-laid plans – like ours at Think! Associates to scale up this summer – have had to be redesigned. Back in January, we were preparing to increase our business offer to help existing brands discover their potential in new ways.
Six months later, with a new way of working configured, we’re busy leveraging our core skills and experiences to help businesses large and small rethink their brand purpose and strive for healthy, sustainable recovery after the Coronavirus pandemic.
Throughout the process of rethinking our offer, we were forced to step back from our established working practices and concentrate on our core skills: creativity, strategic finesse, design nouse, and industry networking. Were we using them as effectively as possible? To be more effective, would we need to rethink our place in the market?
At some point, we realised that we were facing the very same problem many of our contacts were also fighting – how do you change your business to meet the demands of a post-pandemic world without changing your entire proposition? It’s about evolution, not revolution.
Our passion and deep knowledge base have always been in the designing of brands – both metaphorical and literal – but now our skills could be implemented in new and exciting ways. We were approached by a number of fledgling businesses desperate to see their pre-coronavirus investments leveraged effectively, giving us the chance to approach projects from the top down, defining brand architectures and product offers, and then creating the visuals to market them with.
We’ve also had established businesses ask us to redesign their entire brand identity – partly voluntarily and partly forced, they’re taking the opportunity to change their public persona and emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever.
These aren’t requests we take lightly, because we know how much a business means to those who’ve founded it and worked hard to make it a success. Rethinking any element of a brand – the format of the product range, the often-overlooked tone of voice, or the brand colour palette and logo – is a big deal, and not a responsibility that’s handed over casually.
The pandemic has forced us to approach our work with a new level of care, interacting with brand owners to present new ideas whilst respecting their attachment to existing branding and practices.
Perhaps it’s this appreciation for attachment to the established and familiar that’s struck us most since March. Our clients often know what they want their business to be but don’t know how to get it there, because what’s new is also unknown.
This realisation helped us reassess our own established and familiar: discovering how Covid-19 was pushing our buttons – the upheaval in schedules, workplace, teamwork, and business development – and how we can harness that to give our clients support where they need it most.
Right now, a social media campaign or a fundamental restructuring of a brand’s customer communications strategy might trump a long-planned brand overhaul – or the overhaul might be exactly what’s needed before any more strategies and campaigns are even considered.
Either way, at Think! Associates – like the rest of the design and branding world – we’ve faced our own anxieties about a post-pandemic business world and we’re ready to help other brand owners tackle theirs.