Filed Under branding
We see branding differently at Ivio. We believe better brands build a better world and our mission is to help give brands the best chance to succeed.
We’ve created our branding workshops and exercises in order to provide a better branding process for new, small, and growing brands.
We believe in a branding experience that:
Last, but definitely not least, we aim to provide all of this through an experience that is fun, educational, collaborative, and consultative. We’re not just “doing branding” we’re teaching it.
The goal is simple, to help people build better brands using the breadth and depth of designers, engineers and marketers experience.
Our agency has its roots in software development which is about the furthest thing away from branding as you can imagine.
In software development, there are rules for literally everything and the process is systematic empirical through and through. Everything is testable and you can know for certain if something is working or not. In this space, we solve objective questions with objective answers and everything just makes sense.
Not with branding – it is quite the opposite in fact.
There is no clear cut process or methodology for creating a brand. There is no knowledge base you can refer to, there is no testing you can run to be sure you’ve done something correctly. We find branding so much more fun and challenging because our job is to actually make sense of everything.
So that is exactly what we did and we leaned on our software development background again to do it. We aimed to bring some of the principles of software development into branding including have an objective end empirical process for creating brands.
What follows is part of the outcome of this effort.
During our research in building these branding services we were shocked how few people could clearly answer “What’s on brand?” for themselves. What’s worse, if we started asking their own team members what their brand was we would get wildly different answers.
We saw an opportunity here and made it a foundational goal of our branding services to give our clients an all-encompassing answer to the question “What’s on Brand?” We aimed to provide our clients with the tools they need to stay on brand for everything they do. Not just for the brand owners, but for their whole team too.
We want everyone to know the answer to “What’s on Brand?” but, more importantly, we want them to know why that is the answer and how it was derived. Knowing this means you truly know and understand the brand positioning. This understanding is powerful and provides you the tools and means necessary to answer any situation or circumstance in an on-brand manner.
We believe in transparency.
We strive for our clients to know what they can expect every step of the way. We want you to feel confident in our process and have a full understanding of how we navigate your brand.
We give a lot away here and that is by design.
It’s important to us that you have full visibility into our people, our process, approach, and outcomes. We aim to provide you the insight needed to be fully confident in saying you have hired the best team to partner with on your brand.
We put ourselves in your shoes.
You may not have been through a process like this before. Even if you have – we approach it differently. By providing visibility in advance – we can ensure we are a great fit where a guaranteed win/win outcome is assured.
This is truly our goal, that everyone finds this experience useful and valuable. We’ve curated each of our branding workshop experiences to add value – no matter the current needs of a brand. Our approach has been tailored and refined to be adaptable in a variety of scenarios.
Through this overview we provide insight into our Process and Approach to our branding services so that you can envision what your branding experience would look like.
Be it in person or online, our workshops are the result of an intentional process aimed at providing an educational, collaborative, valuable and engaging experience for all involved.
We differentiate our Process from our Approach and we look to improve each independently and as one.
Our Process is consistently evolving as we learn and apply edits as a result of each iteration. We make tangible, concrete improvements to each step as we see results.
For our Approach – we lean on our expertise. We make sure to bring the right people to the table. With a strategically curated team ready to go all-in, you will have a panel of experts eager to take your branding to the next level.
We leverage our full-service agency to your benefit by strategically curating a panel of experts from various disciplines who are ready to go all-in with you. That means designers, technical engineers, and strategic communications professionals will be involved from start to finish!
Your designated panel of experts is trained in navigating our workshop with intention. We are investigators – listening, identifying pitfalls, crafting solutions. We are your fearless leaders – rallying engagement from the entire group and accommodating various learning styles.
Conduct a full Needs Analysis. Before we formally engage we will have already started off by getting to understand you, your goals and how exactly we can help. We craft each workshop to ensure we’re addressing all your needs.
The Workshop Itself
Once the workshop is wrapped up the Ivio creative team gets to work on producing your Brand Guide which captures and crystallizes the outcomes of the branding workshop.
We’re committed to continuous improvement of our Branding Workshop Experience. Between each workshop, an internal analysis is conducted that identifies learning and opportunity areas. This way we improve upon each workshop and ensure that the workshop you are experiencing is truly the best we have ever conducted.
If Process is our “what”, then our Approach is “how”. Our Approach to the workshops themselves is the secret sauce of our branding workshops. Together they encompass our commitment to excellence. We are radically committed to bringing our best to every workshop and it’s our standard that each workshop we conduct is the best workshop we’ve conducted. This is baked in from the very beginning and is something we take very seriously.
Our Branding Workshop Approach Principles
This is a collaborative process. Everyone should be included, involved and engaged. Collaborative means we don’t hand you the answers like others will do, instead we discover them together in a way that is both meaningful and educational.
Bring our full-service agency to bare on your needs. As mentioned earlier, our team was intentionally designed to incorporate both Left brain (marketers, strategists) and Right brain (creatives, designers) talent. This adds immeasurable value to our process as we navigate your needs in a highly balanced manner.
Avoid the traps of biases, assumptions, and stereotypes. We have taken preemptive measures to ensure all bias is removed from the process. This allows your brand to have an authentic workshop experience.
Provide a robust, interactive workshop presentation that everyone feels comfortable and confident with. We reduce confusion and increase clarity on the process by providing proper context and functional examples.
Do not take the path of least resistance. We allow the process to happen organically and do not rush or force decisions. We’re not here to take the easy or fast way to an end result. We are committed to taking the time and energy necessary to generate an outcome that you have extreme confidence in.
Before we dive into the first workshop exercise, we take some time for everyone to get to know each other. We’ll start off with some introductions of our team and then ask the client to tell us a little bit about themselves in their own words. From there your Workshop Emcee will review the process ahead so everyone knows what to expect.
Prior to our scheduled Branding Workshop Experience, we will send you a Prep-Email. This will provide you with everything you need ahead of time to ensure an efficient and effective workshop. This will include:
Stories are innately human. From cave drawings to today’s modern motion picture industry, narratives have always been present in our thinking, communication, and understanding of the world. The work of several scholars in consumer behavior and in related fields of human thinking support the view that people think narratively rather than argumentatively or paradigmatically.
One of the most well-known concepts in storytelling is the use of Archetypes, which are used to develop characters, myths, and storylines. According to the research of Jung, (1916), archetypes are primitive, unconscious and universal prototypes or symbols that humans innately understand.
Since we know that harnessing the power of storytelling is an effective way to brand, using archetypes to guide the branding process helps craft an intentional brand persona that is quickly, concisely, and effectively understood. In fact, Aaker (1997) suggests that developing a brand personality is actually one of the defining qualities of a successful brand.
We realize the power of archetypes, which is why we use them as guides in an effort to define your Brand Persona and bring clarity to your voice and messaging strategies.
We’ll start out by introducing you to each of the Twelve Archetypes, one-by-one. This may be new information to you, so we take the time to provide an in-depth look at real-world examples of these archetypes, from classic characters to common brands that exemplify these archetypes. Our heavily visual and interactive presentation helps make this information easy to process, understand, and apply throughout our workshop.
Learn more about each archetype here.
The archetypes represent innate human desires, which is why each is motivated by one particular ‘core desire’. You’ll notice that each archetype has a place on the wheel in one of four quadrants. This is purposeful, as each archetype’s core desire fits into one of four overarching themes: seeking a spiritual journey, leaving a mark, connecting to others, and providing structure.
As you become familiar with the motivations, values, and characteristics of each archetype, your mind will probably be spinning with possibilities as you relate to multiple archetypes. This is where we dive-in to find the perfect match for your brand. A facilitated discussion ensues to dial into your core archetype.
We are expert investigators as we craftily facilitate the conversation to unveil who your brand is at its core. We pride ourselves on the value of this interactive process. Our clients find that they are prompted to think about their brand in a much deeper way than they’ve previously explored. In fact, we rarely arrive at an expected conclusion in our workshops.
At Ivio, we’re all about non generic outcomes. We dig deep and unearth what makes you uniquely “you,” which is why most of our clients end up with a Core Archetype and a Wing Archetype. Some industries might be more obvious than others, and will naturally fall into a particular Archetype. Adding a Wing can act as a differentiator in your industry, help you stand out, or sometimes fill a gap that is missing.
Your brand will lead with your core archetype, but having a secondary wing will add personality to your offering. Think of it as a complementary component to your core values – a flavor, an edge, or the cherry on top.
A careful balance must be achieved, or your brand may come off as “confused”. We achieve this by selecting a Wing Archetype for each client as a complementary component to your Core. Our strategic approach creates a streamlined communication of this concept to avoid confusion within your brand.
We use our 13th Archetype of “The Villain” as an example to further explain this concept.
Oh what fun we have with our work.
During the course of improving these workshops we created a 13th Archetype called “The Villain” which we use as our go to example in workshops. We really nerded out on this and really proud of how it came out.
Our whole workshop experience builds up to this tool where we dial in to exactly where you are on a spectrum of individualized outcomes.
Now that we’ve zeroed in on your brand Brand Persona with help from the 12 archetypes, we dive deep into those results to further fine tune your outcome with our Brand Fingerprinting Tool. Where the Archetypes are generalizations, this tool gets specific as we drill down into the your brand’s unique positioning and the corresponding brand voice characteristics. We do this by leveraging the power of words and their ability to deliver extreme precision when describing things.
How does the Brand Fingerprinting Tool work?
During this exercise we key in on your brands traits and voice characteristics using this same approach where we identify the most appropriate descriptors for your brand. This tool is instrumental in delivering on the promise of a non-generic, uniquely you outcome.
Whenever you are thinking about the right word to describe something you consider many different options and most of the time they exist in a single spectrum of intensity.
Think about it like warm, hot, and boiling. Each are describing a degree of heat and each has an implied intensity relative to the others. Each is more descriptive than the last as your ratchet-up the intensity. If you expand it further can get even more precision. (e.g Warm – Simmering – Hot – Scorching – Boiling)
The Fingerprinting Tool explores these continuums in great detail and guides us in identifying your unique identifiers that best articulate your brand with extreme precision. The end result is a highly individualized brand that is ready to tackle the world head on.
A brand is so much more than a logo and aesthetics. We’re deeply intentional with each detail of your brand’s visual identity and make sure that your unique brand persona seeps into every inch of your look and feel.
Your brand’s unique archetypal result does not stop at voice and messaging, it informs all aspects of your brand, including its visual identity. After we’ve discovered your brand’s one-of-a-kind unique fingerprint, we translate all those results into a comprehensive visual language.
From your color palette and typography to your symbols and photography style, we have a reason behind every design choice. The results of our branding workshop inform each and every detail that makes up your brand visuals.
This portion of the process is meant to be flexible to accommodate the specific needs of the client based on our engagement with them. Together, we’ll identify all your design needs, whether it’s a brand refresh or a completely new from-scratch brand identity. Then, we’ll determine all touchpoints that need to be revamped with your new branding – your website, your business cards, your photography, and more. Whatever you need, we are here to help.
Read more about our Intentional Design Process.
The workshop itself is over – bummer. So, what happens now?
Our team reconvenes soon after the end of the workshop to debrief and assess the next step of creating the resulting brand guide deliverables. You’ll get a follow-up from our team summarizing the workshop results while we turn our attention to executing the creative component of the workshop.
Creative Component – This process takes 7-10 days typically and usually includes additional design review meetings for us to go over the design and collect feedback from you.
Comprehensive “What’s on Brand?” Brand Guide – With all the creative components sorted out we can then complete the official brand guide for you. This process typically takes a week and is something we take great pride in an effort to make the guide as useful and practical as possible.
Let’s take a look at what you can expect from your new brand guide below.
Using the outcome of the Brand Workshop Experience, our design team curates the below deliverables to bring life to your brand and equip you with everything you need to answer the question, “What’s On Brand?” We want to cover every detail, which is why our brand guides are anywhere from 20 to 35 pages.
We believe it is a great honor to work with each and every one of our clients. To be trusted with something so important is humbling and we strive each day to be the very best we can be so we can give our very best right back to you.
Your brand has a new #1 fan in Ivio! With us, you have a partner for life.
We tell our clients that when you hire us, you don’t just get our agency in your corner, you also have a new #1 fan for your brand. Having helped create your new brand we have a special connection with you and hope that stays true forever. As your brand meets new milestones you may wish to implement new ideas or strategies and we’ll be here for you when that happens.
Taking your new brand into the wild.
Our workshop experience and deliverables have been specially designed to give you all of the tools needed to successfully navigate your brand when our time together has passed. We show you how and why every decision is made for your brand. Remember, transparency is our jam. You will have new knowledge powered by our team to continue -with confidence- maintaining your branding moving forward.