What is branding?

Branding is an emotional connection between you and your customer, which is critical in how your business generates value. Given the proven advantage that branding can give a business it is remarkable how misunderstood it is. The term is frequently used to describe everything from design, advertising, and marketing, but in fact it is about all these things.

Ferrari LogoHere is an example: Ferrari’s brand is not simply about cars; it comes from the pursuit of speed. The cars, the prancing logo and auto racing are all ways for the brand to express its mastery and religious belief in speed; this is Ferrari’s brand. Because it is about speed, not just cars, Ferrari could make the fastest computer chip, the fastest snowboard, or become the fastest courier service. By attaching itself to the concept of velocity, the brand gains new opportunities within the marketplace.

Invariably, people will experience your business and form an idea of what you are about. Branding clearly expresses the kind of organization it is and what it stands for. The management of your brand creates three main advantages for your company:

Growth. When you understand your brand, you can unearth the ideas and emotion it is built upon, and make it easier to define its advantages. When your purpose is clear, success is more tangible and attainable, and you connect your company to ideas. Businesses that make this shift have power in their markets and can expand their range of offerings with ease.

Perception. People will form opinions about your business no matter what, but great branding creates a compelling image of your company for your customers to connect with. When you manage this exchange you increase the desirability of your brand and have the potential to turn customers into fans.

Efficiency. Brand is expressed through all your outputs (storefront, website, logo, advertising, etc.) and is the central force that organizes them into a single voice. This organizational harmony creates a stronger team that pulls in the same direction and guarantees your resources are used to maximum advantage.

How does citizen brand work?

Our goal is to deliver smart branding and design to everyone. Both expensive and mystifying, branding has historically been accessible to only the biggest global companies, leaving most clients unable to tap the benefits. We have redefined how a branding agency works and have created a handful of ways for business to connect to design. Our clients are entrepreneurial companies and individuals who need a straightforward way to improve their business.

3 ways we are different.

Plans and products. Developed specifically for your type of business, we offer plans and products that guide you through the process of creating a sustainable and differentiated brand. We target specific problems, encourage clients to think about their business in new ways, and use a range of techniques to generate solutions. We bring clients into the design process through carefully planned sessions that deliver meaningful results and measurable success.

Brand agency 2.0. We work with an exceptional network of freelance creatives and consultants across a wide range of disciplines. This way we are not limited to prescribing in-house services and are able to give objective advice, which improves the strategic and creative outputs for clients.

Brand lab. This is a creative space that allows us to test-drive ideas in branding and design. The lab has produced significant social and cultural value, along with some of the most critically acclaimed design projects in the country. This improves our work because we have the freedom to experiment, continually expand our expertise and offer tested advice to clients.

What we do.

Brand strategy Creative direction Brand management
Brand promise and story.
Business goal setting.
Competitive landscape.
Design research.
Colour research.
Brand identity.
Communication plan.
Publishing, print and copywriting.
Social media activation.
Interactive and mobile.
Events and pop-ups.
Intellectual property.
Curatorial, spaces and installations.
Brand planning and care.
Manage production and design.
Roll-out and implementation.

Projects.

Founded by designer Todd Falkowsky, citizen brand is committed to spreading good design and optimism through our work with clients and in the culture sector. Check out some of our projects and see how we work and think.

CHOOSE A PLAN

These plans focus on the essential steps of brand creation and offer tremendous value and tangible results. Beautiful brands no longer need to cost a fortune.

  • “Working with citizen brand was a real game changer, they helped us update our business in a professional and profitable direction.”

    Small business.

    This plan is designed to help you stand out in a crowded marketplace and to connect with your customers. Tailored to the small business owner, it is affordable and leads you through a well-defined process resulting in clear deliverables.

    The plan includes 3 distinct and inspiring sessions:
    Strategy - understand what your brand is and design your brand promise.
    Direction - how to best to express your brand and create a communications plan.
    Management - putting the plan into action; 6 months of Brand Management included.

  • “With the help of citizen brand we were able to grow our business and get to the next level.”

    Midsize business.

    This plan embraces the challenges of midsize businesses; more products, services and more moving parts. We articulate your business goals and create a brand promise that will help you achieve them. We then create a plan of how to express your brand and design a communication strategy. Together, we plan the roll out with management for the subsequent 12 months and ensure you see measurable results. For some extra kick, one Premium Product (see below) is included - the choice is yours.

  • “We knew we had a great business idea...now we know we have a solid brand.”

    Start-up.

    Exciting, but so challenging! Branding is a useful guiding force in launching a new business successfully. We help you get the pieces thought out and create an action plan to get your venture up and running. Together we will establish a strong brand foundation to ensure your long term success.

  • “Working on a grant application, I was struggling to find a way to make it stand out. After two hours with citizen brand, I left with my head full of big ideas - and I got the grant!”

    Brand you.

    Created to help artists, musicians, and other freelancers, Brand you brings the value of design thinking to any project (even one with a small budget). All projects can benefit from branding and this plan will help you align your many skills or trades, plan a new cd, or an upcoming exhibit. Book us for an hour and let’s discuss how design thinking will add pop to your project.

PREMIUM PRODUCTS

Big change is happening constantly. New approaches to reimagining and remaking your company is vital. These products help you meet your goals.

  • “citizen brand helped us use our limited marketing budget to reach customers with thoughtful and consistent messages and advertising”

    Brand management.

    A brand manager ensures business development and communications are in synch, improving the successful promotion of your organization. This alignment produces clarity. Customers are drawn to brands they understand and employees are more engaged when working toward a common goal. This is a maintenance plan that supports the effectiveness of your brand over time. We are your on demand brand manager and will help you be more attractive to customers.

  • “The workshops were so fun and united our entire team to think of our company as a creative venture capable of more than the daily grind.”

    Creative workshop.

    Creativity is a recognized spark that drives progress and is critical for companies that want to succeed. Designed to improve the potential of your company, this product will invigorate your team and unlock great ideas to stimulate growth. Through a series of workshops we create your Think Book, a collection of custom solutions to inspire and improve your business.

  • “I knew ‘giving back to the community’ was something we should do. Now we’re making a real difference and can see the benefits”

    Corporate responsibility.

    The desire to "do good" is fundamental in business today. Positive corporate character gives customers a deeper reason to support brands. Together we will discover new ways to make your company a better citizen, establish “doing good” as a business driver, and engage your market.

  • “More fun and unique to execute and more engaging for our fans. Our stunt got people talking and blogging about us more than any other ad campaign I can remember.”

    Guerilla.

    Memorable, interactive and using unorthodox methods, guerilla marketing stimulates the imagination of the audience. In this 24/7, media-rich world, this type of promotion delights and surprises. We help deliver a unique experience to your customer. We work with your team to discover ways your story can be told.