We’re quite fascinated by the process of how brands become brands. Contrary to some beliefs, it’s not as simple as just thinking up a name and logo that feels ‘cool'. The standard development of a brand from scratch or re-branding can be a lengthy process and takes patience and willingness to be both transparent and collaborative - perhaps easier said than done.
With this in mind, SEVENFRIDAY hooked up with London-based design partners, BusbyWebb to get a little insight into how the whole things works...
With a background in global corporate branding and retail interiors architecture, founders Nick Wills and James Coates met circa 10 years ago in the agency world in Shoreditch, East London, where their like-minded approach formed a creative partnership which led to the birth of BusbyWebb in 2014.
And their approach starts with one very good old golden rule that branding is so much more than ‘Just sticking a badge on something’. Indeed it most certainly is. The mojo for these guys is that any successful brand must understand the importance of knowing who it is, what it wants to do, who it is targeting and how to communicate effectively with them.
"Everything we do is collaborative. It is very important to us that the whole team is involved from the start so that we can all develop a full understanding of the brand we are working for/creating and the aims and objectives,” says Wills "Great ideas work across both brand and interiors – they are not exclusive to one or the other, and so we promote input and opinion from the whole team.” With continuity of purpose, appeal and then delivery front of mind, the boys and girls at BusbyWebb believe that any good brand should be well thought out, appropriate and have a clear message and way of speaking and that any in-coming brief be rigorously interrogated to fully understand the goal.
“Its so important to thoroughly research the market and competition,” says Wills “And equally important to clearly define the brand story and positioning - how it should express itself,” he adds. With this foundation the team can then start to understand appropriate naming and logos.
In terms of design, the guys are keen to stress the importance of everyone involved keeping up-to-date with new brands and market insights so that each design fits with the personality and essence of the client.
“There’s some stand out mistakes that often go wrong," says Coates “It’s quite normal for brands to evolve organically, so sometimes we have to work on pulling them back to the core message and purpose. It sounds so easy, but customers really know when a brand is not being truthful, therefore authenticity is really key,” he adds.
And it seems the creative elements to the BusbyWebb business are often being fuelled by other creative fields “I'm really into my pottery at the moment and the work of Florian Gadsby. I’m also inspired by the cold, rawness of industry and how that can be incorporated into designs,” says Coates.
So what are the favourite projects so far…
“The work is diverse which keeps things interesting,” says Coates “We’ve recently worked on a landmark restaurant in Ireland called Aimsir, which only uses produce from the country. Then of course we are delighted to be working with SEVENFRIDAY, helping to design and evolve the brand spaces, pushing it further to build on its own growth strategy internationally,” he adds.
The BusbyWebb team have been working with SEVENFRIDAY since February this year, in particular the flagship Shanghai space. To see more of their work, do have a nosey at www.busbywebb.co.uk