How important are unique assets to a brand?

March 13, 2019 | Written by

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In a world of 99 designs and fiver, generic company logos and brand asset templates are readily available to download cheaply on demand.

What’s not so easy is to ensure that they’ll be unique and specifically tailored to your brand.

In such an inter-connected world the importance of ensuring that your brand is truly unique is crucial if you want to stand out from your competitors in a crowded market.

On the surface, the time (and therefore cost) it takes to create a bespoke typeface can seem unjustifiable when there are so many commercial (and indeed free) ones available to use.

Dig a little deeper though, and their value becomes apparent.

Why be different?

We touched on the importance of daring to do things differently in our article about building timeless brands as well as in our article about naming your brand.

By creating truly unique assets you eradicate the possibility that a direct competitor, or worse still, a company totally unaligned to your own brand values starts using those same assets. You also have the freedom to do whatever you want without being constrained by what’s already out there.

Let’s look at an example

To illustrate our point, let’s imagine an organic soap company called “Pure” – Pure have spent lots of time (and therefore money) cultivating a brand that perfectly represents them and their values. They are proudly plastic free, only use natural and organic ingredients, never test their products on animals, have a strong environmental conscience and are a champion of renewable energy. Their core customer base align themselves very strongly with these values and they are a large part of why they buy the brand.

Now let us imagine that Pure wake up one day to find that the distinctive (but commercial) typeface they’ve based their logo and identity around has been picked up and used by a company that’s diametrically opposed to their core values. Let’s say a company with strong links to the continuing use of fossil fuels, questionable policies on animal welfare and a seemingly cavalier attitude to single use plastics in their packaging.

All of a sudden, and due to an uncontrollable and totally external factor Pure’s brand equity has been damaged and there isn’t a whole lot they can do about it.

A smart business decision

We’ve used the example of a typeface above but the same can be said of all other brand assets (think illustrations, logos, icons, photography and language).

Buying these assets “off the peg” not only means they won’t necessarily be a good fit for your business but pretty much also guarantees that someone else will be using them too. And you have no idea who that someone will be!

Taking the time to make sure you really own these assets and that they’re unique and 100% tailored to your brand is a wise and sensible business decision.

Sure, the upfront cost of hiring a photographer for a couple of days can seem high when compared to picking up a couple of generic royalty free stock library images online but the cost to your business in the long-run could end up being considerably higher.

It doesn’t have to cost the earth

One final point here. We’re not suggesting every business needs to spend thousands developing in-house typefaces as some of the big players have (Netflix, Apple, Google CNN to name but a few). That’s unrealistic.

However, a typeface can be made unique to your brand simply by adapting a commercial one and developing a new set of characters and glyphs. You can see a few example of this in our portfolio.

We’re all about working smart at Tidy Studio — we pride ourselves on coming up with clever solutions that allow us to do more with a limited budget. If you want to chat about an upcoming project then don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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