3 ways branding can cut through the noise

One of the joys of branding is that it allows creative directors to show a bit of ingenuity. Instead of being a corporate voice, modern branding has the opportunity to interact with audiences to make something truly worthwhile. Here, as part of a YouTube series for Computer Arts, Brand Impact Award judges Ben Gibbs and Curtis Baigent discuss what the future of branding holds and how to use it to cut through all the noise.

01. Don't be louder, be smarter

“To create cut-through you need to be much smarter, and that depends on what sector and what brand you’re working for,” advises ben Gibbs. “Sometimes it might not be shouting – it might be whispering in the corner, or doing something disruptive and different. Cut through the noise in innovative ways, not just by being louder and bolder.”

02. Keep a consistent tone of voice

“One of the major challenges is dealing with people’s attention spans,” observes Curtis Baigent. “At a time where people are vying for your interest 24–7 it’s hard to get a break, so branding needs to be super-clear about how it’ll cut through. For branding to penetrate, it needs a singular idea.”

“Brands have to stretch across so many touchpoints, and keeping that singularity and that story and that consistency helps it to ladder up to something great that  the product or service is providing,” agrees Gibbs. “Consistency is really important for customers. If you start talking in silos – say, social media starts talking a different voice to how you’re communicating through other experiences – that connection is lost.”

03. Believe in the product, and make it show in the work

“The killer ingredient in a great piece of branding is the product itself: whatever you’re trying to sell or share,” insists Gibbs. “Without that you can veneer it in any way possible, but if fundamentally you have something that doesn’t work or isn’t appealing, you’re not going to win.”

“If you don’t fully believe in a product, neither will consumers,” points out Baigent, and Gibbs concurs: “It’s amazing how fast consumers will rip you apart, publicly as well,” he warns. “Brands having to grapple with them, and increasingly are working closer with them to create something that feels relevant.”

This article was originally published in Computer Arts magazine issue 256. Buy it here.

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Join the world's top agencies at the Brand Impact Awards in September

Computer Arts' Brand Impact Awards reward the very best branding from around the world. Now in its third year, the scheme's rich heritage of past winners represent the cream of the global branding industry.

This year, the Brand Impact Awards received over 160 entries. After a long, inspiring day filled with impassioned debates between the world-class judging panel, we can reveal the 47 projects from 33 different agencies made the shortlist.

The winning and highly commended projects will be revealed at the third-annual Brand Impact Awards ceremony at the Ham Yard Hotel, London, on 8 September. So book your tickets now to join the world's top agencies and discover 2016's big winners.

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Nick Carson

Nick is a content strategist and copywriter. He has worked with world-class agencies including Superunion, Wolff Olins and Vault49 on brand storytelling, tone of voice and verbal strategy for global brands such as Virgin, Pepsi and TikTok. Nick launched the Brand Impact Awards in 2013 while editor of Computer Arts, and remains chair of judges. He's written for Creative Bloq on design and branding matters since the site's launch.