7 ways to inject personality into your branding work

What does it mean to work at the boundary between strategy and creativity? Here Tom Moloney and Dan Radley from London-based branding and communication studio NB discuss becoming the consumer, how they tackle their biggest challenges and finding the 'holy grail' of the brief.

Read their seven top tips below, and head here to see the entire set of videos in which the NB team reveal how to leave your comfort zone, create outstanding branding, how to network and much more.

01. Listen to the client

"The first stage of the process is about listening. It's a chance to use your empathy," begins Tom Moloney. "Hear everything, understand the client's ambitions and aims, and leave room for a bit of: ‘Forget everything you've told me. What does it make me feel?'"

02. Articulate your aims

How to inject personality into your branding work - Tom Moloney

Tom Moloney is an account manager and brand strategist at NB

Once the client has explained its goals, come up with a logical series of steps leading to the achievement of those goals. "Try to match what they tell you they want – what they're saying they're trying to do – and articulate it into a programme of work," says Moloney.

03. Roll in a hand grenade

"We try and get creative work started soon, and roll hand grenades into the room," says Dan Radley. "‘You're a red brand: what if you become a blue brand?' We throw everything up in the air early."

How to inject personality into your branding work - Spring Chicken

To launch the brand for Spring Chicken, a business that makes getting older easier, NB commissioned 100 artists to reinterpret the old age person sign.

04. Find the balance

"We balance a systematic and logical [process] with some craziness," says Moloney. "The net result is people know we've really listened and understood [their brand]. They know we're passionate about it."

05. Be authentic

"The rigorous side of what we're doing as strategists is: 'Okay, what are the truths about this brand, this product and this company?'" says Radley. It's about being realistic about the market, the trends and the competition."

06. Cook on different hobs

How to inject personality into your branding work - Dan Radley

Senior strategist Dan Radley joined NB in 2015 to enhance the studio’s reputation for creative courage through client partnerships

"Do as much different work as you possibly can," adds Radley. "The more perspectives you've got, the more your brain starts to solve problems in your peripheral vision. If you're cooking on a number of hobs, you start to solve problems in more interesting ways."

07. Take risks

"There's a bit of risk-taking involved [in branding]," says Radley. "That's the job we're doing, so we've got to be brave. We've got to stick our necks out sometimes."

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 252; buy it here.

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Julia Sagar
Editor-in-chief retail

Julia is editor-in-chief, retail at Future Ltd, where she works in e-commerce across a number of consumer lifestyle brands. A former editor of design website Creative Bloq, she’s also worked on a variety of print titles, and was part of the team that launched consumer tech website TechRadar. She's been writing about art, design and technology for over 15 years.