The road to compelling campaigns, thoughtful branding and successful concepts can be long and winding, but Louder Family’s model of working makes it clear and simple. Our eminent Art Director & Creative Director Linnea Härjerud will orient you in the process behind a brand’s DNA and success.
Hello Linnea! How is Louder Family’s branding–children born?
We use a strategic model for positioning called 4D-Branding, which results in a so-called Brand Mind Space.
The model argues that a brand consists of four dimensions of values that coexist as a whole, rather than in a hierarchical order such as in a brand pyramid. 4D branding creates more vibrant brands that audiences want to be friends with.
Brand Mind Space then rubs off on the consumer and target audience, who recognise and want to be associated with the qualities the brand possesses.
A successful brand consists not only of a product, but of associations, feelings, values, attitudes and lifestyles.
What is the purpose of 4D Branding?
The purpose is to create a DNA for the brand, or change an existing DNA. It is then easier and more time-efficient to build coherent strategic and tactical communications at all levels. For example, a new or partially new graphic identity.
Would you like to tell us about the different dimensions that all brands should become friends with?
*Functional dimension: Is about actual physical quality and effectiveness of the brand. That is, what a product promises and physically fulfils, for example that Coke succinctly quenches thirst and contains caffeine that makes you feel energised.
But just as a person can easily become rather uninteresting if they are just a body without a personality, so can a brand. The other three dimensions are therefore super-important in creating the right mindset around a brand.
*Mental dimension: Every person has an inner self, with thoughts and dreams. The mental dimension is about how you feel in contact with the brand and what it inspires you to do. Ikea’s products, for example, might make you feel a little handy and inspired to further make your home beautiful and functional.
*Spiritual dimension/Worldly dimension: Is about what the brand gives worldly and how it affects the world. In short, it is the perception of global and local responsibility, such as environmentally friendly choices in production or products that contribute to a more active lifestyle.
*Social dimension: As humans we base our purchases on what we feel best conveys or portrays our social identity. For example, Nocco which can be associated with a young, sporty and active person; other people see you as young, active and sporty. Brands are increasingly defining social status.
How arethe different dimensions defined?
I use self-developed methods that are based on scientific methods and social psychological research. Among other things, I ask the team specific questions using different methods, exercises and models so that everyone understands the brand, is on the same level and agrees on the positioning. After that, we can fill in the dimensions of the Brand Mindspace for their particular brand, and take it as a starting point when translating it into visual communication according to all the rules of social psychology.
What is the strength of 4D branding compared to other positioning models?
In many other models, the physical dimension is a little too strong compared to other aspects. The strength of 4D is that the model is dynamic and ties the brand together as a whole. This gives us, as an agency, much more weight in our strategic communication decisions, regarding the totality of everything from design to channel selection (and a marketing manager gets a foundation to base a marketing plan on).
We use complementary methods too, when it turns out to be necessary, but usually 4D is far enough as a ground bolt and DNA.
What isthework process like?
I set up a workshop with the client, where we discuss the brand. I go through the working method with a presentation and explain the purpose of it all. During different workshop sessions, I guide our clients through the positioning process in different steps and exercises until we all agree on where the brand should move or how it should be built.
What are the challenges?
It’s surprising how often a team doesn’t know their brand inside and out or even have the same vision. It shows in the exercises we do together and usually surprises the clients more than me. They all know their product but have different ideas about everything around it; what makes up an actual brand.
It’s about getting everyone on the same page and challenging them to let go of their own beliefs, likes and dislikes as far as possible. Just because Lasse, who runs a toy shop, personally likes black, red velvet and gold, it doesn’t mean it suits his target market, it’s not where his brand will succeed.
The methods I work with are great because everyone in the team gets a unified view of the brand, which makes it easier for us to work out a clear target image, positioning and starting point for the branding. In addition, subsequent design and communication work will be more time-efficient.
Why is clear positioning important?
In a branding process, the goal is to create something that consumers choose over a competitor’s ditto. We find out what kind of image a brand should build in the minds of its target audience and create a unique position in the market.
It is very important that a brand feels alive, like something the target audience and demographic wants to know, befriend and associate with. And everyone is drawn to different things. We give brands a soul and a personality that audiences will want to embrace, that is dynamic and can evolve over time.
At last Linnea, what is your best tipfor all companies out there succeed withtheir brand?
Partly to create a clear business idea and vision; to be collaborative, but above all: get help. It’s an important process, and it can feel time-consuming when you just want to get started quickly and get a logo. But once you’ve gone through a proper positioning and branding process, you’ll have so many valuable insights that the work that follows will be all the faster, more accurate and the brand won’t be watered down.
Getting help from experts makes the whole process really rewarding and more insightful than you might first think. It will help your business achieve new goals, evolve and is profitable for companies.
Crystal clear, right? If not; let Linnea show you the way with her exclusive methodology and expertise! Are you ready to strengthen your brand and bring it to new heights? Do not hesitate to contact us and tell us more about your needs, and we will find a solution that suits you!
Many thanks for this handbook on branding Linnea!
- Positioning: To give the brand a unique position in the minds of consumers. During positioning, a company decides what position its offer should reach in the market.
- 4D Branding and Brand Mind Space: A four-dimensional positioning model, which is also used to understand a brand’s strengths and weaknesses. Can be used to either create a new brand, or rework an existing one. The model results in a “Brand Mind Space” i.e. a brand’s DNA. The goal is to identify a clear aspiration and goal for the brand, and to strengthen the brand in all dimensions. From this, relevant branding and successful design and communication can be created.
- Workshops and methods: Self-developed methods, based on social psychological research, are used during workshops to work out answers to the four dimensions and unite the team around the positioning.
- Branding: The process of giving meaning to customers by creating and shaping a brand in the minds of consumers. A strategy used to help people identify and experience a brand by giving them a reason to choose that particular brand over its competitors, by clarifying what the brand is and is not.
- Socialpsychology: A blend of psychology and sociology that deals with both the unique characteristics and traits of the individual and how the individual’s social environment affects the individual’s social characteristics.