We’re going to throw the spotlight this month on brand identity; where it starts and how it’s done and how one company ends up with its own distinctive, professional image, starting from nothing.
Prior to this branding journey, like many small companies in their early days, this particular company had been getting by producing their documentation in-house. Their reach was widening nationally however and as they had governing authority, they needed their image to represent the reputable, company they were, overseeing and providing assistance to the growing beekeeper population of New Zealand.
The Management Agency National American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan started with their logo as they didn’t currently have one. We did a double take when we first heard their name as well. It’s quite a title.
Our first task was to come up with a logo design using their name in full. The client wanted something easily readable, authoritative and of course, uniquely recognisable.
We set to work on a range of mock-ups, offering the client six initial logo designs to choose from. The favoured one was chosen and developed further to become the final logo, which is still in use today. Here it is:
The Management Agency had begun their branding journey, with the company identity evolving from here.
Business cards, printed letterhead and notepad designs all followed. This company produced a lot of documentation so various booklets and forms were also created, along with official notices, articles for the beekeepers journal, official training invitations, posters, trade show collateral, digital letterhead and more.
The Management Agency needed a website design as well and this had been on the table from very early on. The website was to be based on their trusted “yellow book”; a 116-page encyclopediac read containing full information on American Foulbrood Disease (a killer of New Zealand bees). This monster of a book was to form the basis of the website, along with videos, an online quiz, training timetables, policy statements and more.
The website was a big job, with various people involved in the project along the way. On 13 April 2015 The Management Agency’s first website went live and almost three years later, it’s undergoing a website redevelopment to take advantage of the latest website functions and features …
The Manager of AFB had read a few articles written by us and appearing in the pages of local magazine, Vibrant Hutt. Our articles about branding and the importance of (a) conveying the right messages, to (b) the appropriate target market, had struck a chord with Rex and so he decided to come and meet our branding and graphic design team. Our teams developed a great working relationship so once the logo was signed off, our working relationship continued.
A company’s brand begins tentatively with a logo and business card usually and it develops and evolves as the business establishes its position in the market. As the company grows it becomes an entity unto itself, with the brand representing the company’s identity, much like clothing and posture speak of a person’s stature and manner.
The brand grows with the company, evolving alongside it. If not, there becomes inconsistency between the two and what results is confusing marketing messages that miss the target audience. Professional looking companies that have it all together scream trust and reliability and this is what customers are drawn to.
When the company rests between stages of growth, so too does the brand.