How to make every brand a super-brand

This morning, SomeOne executive creative directors David Law and Simon Manchipp (the Morecambe and Wise of design, it's been said) hosted an entertaining session at Kyoorius Designyatra, India's biggest design and creativity conference, held annually in Goa.

"What if," they asked, "we could figure out how to make every brand a super brand?" The pair then proceeded to explore the idea through the medium of animated GIFs, balancing an obsession for skateboarding dogs with sage advice and a walk-through some of their most interesting design projects – including the studio's most recent rebrand for cancer charity, The Childen's Society.

SomeOne is an award-winning London-based design practice that works across all sectors. The 33-man studio counts Chivas, Nestle, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and Royal Botanic Gardens amongst its varied clientele, and co-founders Law and Manchipp have some 40 years of industry experience between them. Here are 11 things they've learned along the way…

01. You start from scratch every time

Clients don't care about a designer's past. They just want to know what's in it for them, now.

02. Generics risk 'genercide'

The greatest worry of any brand is becoming category generic. If you don't change and adapt, you very quickly die, particularly if you're a category leader.

03. Actions speak loudest

The actions of a brand are the most valuable part of a company. It's what puts it apart from the norm. If you get to the stage where you're no longer able to define a brand with your actions, then the brand is often finished.

04. The best brands create loyalty

Why you do something is far more important than what you do. It's why people get involved.

05. Be entertaining

Everywhere has a bit of entertainment. There's always something interesting in everything. Our job as designers is to find that interesting thing and elevate it.

06. Brand control is a complete illusion...

...We simply help steer the course. Our job is to help clients better connect with their current and potential audiences. Brand guidelines are simply a bible of no – no one likes being told what to do. We encourage people to get involved.

07. Find edges

We like working with brands that operate at the edges of their sectors – that's what we find interesting: it's the need for an approach that operates on the fringes of what's seen as accessible.

08. Explore the borderlands

Really exciting things happen at the edge. It's important to learn from continuously operating outside your perceived boundaries.

09. Play

The more we play, the better it gets for the brands we work with. Play is central to the journey to becoming a super brand. Brands need to play more: they'll affect people more, and move from being a needy brand to a needed brand.

10. Apply liminality to brands

Liminality describes the state where this is no specific end point. If we can view that in-between state, the result will be a snapshot of where you happen to be, right now. If you can learn to think at the threshold, the result will be more interesting, for entertaining and compelling, whilst always based in what we already know

11. You need to enjoy the journey and believe

Transformation is a liberating process that opens up the door to new thoughts and processes. We're having a great time and can't believe we get away with it – but people love the variety of what we do.

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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.