WHY YOU'LL LOVE WORKING WITH US
How we work
We love smart creativity, hate jargon, and are committed to delivering you a brand that helps run your business.
We’ve seen a lot of projects go right and a few go wrong over the years. And we’ve learnt from all of them. Here are the three principles at the heart of how we do things at Sondo:
Strategy and creativity are inseparable.
Too often, projects fail because no one stopped to identify the core problem. We start everything with strategy, so our end creative isn’t just beautiful – it will actually make a difference.
Our clients are key collaborators.
We’re experts in brand storytelling. But you’re the experts in your business. We keep you involved, giving feedback every step of the way, so we create something that feels true to you, and which you’re proud to run with once we’re done.
If it’s not practical, it’s pointless.
To introduce yourself to the world memorably, people must be told a consistent story whether they’re looking at your brandmark or reading your website or talking to your staff. We’ll help you define how your brand plays out at every touchpoint, creating a comprehensive and cohesive experience for your customers and your team.
Your branding project is a rare opportunity to step away from the daily commotion and consider where you want to go in the years ahead. We’ll help you explore all the possibilities, be brave, and create your future – reassured that we’re there to stop you ever getting lost long the way.
Gemma & Lucas
Here's how we do it
This is the general process we follow for brand projects.
(We follow a similar process for smaller jobs, but scaled down to focus on just what’s needed for your specific deliverable.)
Brief & kick-off
We take the time to really understand your goals and objectives and immerse ourselves in your business and industry.
We spend time uncovering the challenges facing your business, by conducting quantitative and qualitative research into your operations and your industry’s trends.
Build brand foundations
We position your brand to tell the story that most effectively solves your challenges, crafting brand foundations such as personality and values to guide design of every brand element, so they’re all consistent and enhance your brand story.
Develop the brand pillars
We craft your brand to bring your story to life, comprehensively integrating all 3 brand pillars: your visual brand (logos, colours, fonts etc); your verbal brand (slogans, headlines, copy); and your cultural brand (team behaviours, rituals).
Once your brand is approved and ready to introduce to the world, we can roll it out across your key marketing collateral to ensure a smooth and easy transition to your new era.
Sometimes you’ll want your new brand to make a big entrance. But even if your brand launch doesn’t need a lot of bells & whistles, it’s still essential to manage it right so you send strategic messages about why you’re changing and what you stand for. We can craft your launch campaign, from messaging to brand videos, email newsletters and event collateral, to make an impressive impact on stakeholders.
Brands grow and evolve, and you’ll learn a lot in your early days using your new brand. So once you’ve been in market for 6 or 12 months, we’ll audit how your brand is performing and recommend any changes to the brand strategy or your brand implementation that might be advisable to get optimum results.
So what can our branding agency build for you?
We have so much more clarity about our target audience and how we are currently perceived in the marketplace — and how this needs to shift. We also have the confidence to charge more for our services and start initiating conversations about different services.
A guide to creating a successful brand
Why is brand design about more than a logo?
Your brand is more than your logo. It’s the story of your business, and the difference it makes to customers’ lives. That story is told through every single part of your business that a customer experiences.
A logo alone is not enough to tell much of a story. If you saw Nike’s swoosh for the first time, not knowing anything about the business, it wouldn’t mean much to you. In fact, it didn’t ever mean much to Nike’s founder, Phil Knight. When Knight first saw the swoosh, his dubious reaction was: "Well, I don't love it, but maybe it will grow on me."
It’s all the other visual elements of a business’s brand - its colours, fonts, icons, style of photography and other imagery - working in combination with the logo that start to tell the full story.
And if those other elements aren’t carefully designed to match the logo, not only won’t they develop a richer story, but they might create ideas that clash with each other, undercutting the power of your logo and backfiring into a confusing customer experience.
So bottom line - it’s very rare you can achieve significant improvements by creating or changing just your logo. You need to design all the visual elements of your brand at the same time, so they work together like a finely tuned machine to tell the story that’s right for your brand.
As a full service creative agency, Sondo has the experience and expertise to capture the what’s special about your business and transform it into a complete, cohesive visual identity. Think of us as brand architects - we sculpt your organisation into a visual work of art. A work of art with your logo as its centrepiece, but supported by every element to tell the same story.
(Oh, and by the way, your brand’s story is shaped by a lot more than just your visuals. Your verbal identity and culture also play key roles in telling your story. So we always recommend reviewing these at the same time as you consider your visual branding. To start thinking about what your brand story might be, try Sondo’s brand positioning guide here.
Why is brand strategy important?
Your brand is your story, but exactly what kind of story do you need to tell to encourage customers to take the action you need? You may also have multiple businesses or products in your group, and you’re trying to decide how many brands you need.
We can help you find answers to all those questions and more by creating a smart brand strategy for your business.
A brand strategy is sort of your battle plan. It’s the thing that ensures your brand isn’t just pretty, but actually solving your business’s key challenges, to get it where it needs to go.
At Sondo, our creative services are a significant and influential part of what we do. But our strategic thinking is what makes our work so effective.
We start every project by diving deep to investigate your business and the wider market. By talking to your stakeholders, auditing your current brand and analysing your competition, we uncover insights that give us - and you - a fresh perspective on your business.
Based on what we learn, we’ll identify the core challenges we need to solve, explore the pro’s and con’s of different solutions, and then recommend the most effective way forward for your brand.
High-quality strategic branding can create a variety of successful outcomes, including:
- Building trust
- Achieving higher and more sustainable performance
- Navigating volatile environments; and
- Attracting higher quality staff
What’s a verbal identity and why does it matter?
Your verbal identity is how your business presents itself through language - both the words used in your written communications, and the way your team speak to each other and to customers. Sondo can help your business discover its own unique voice, expressing your brand’s distinct personality.
The best branding agencies understand how crucial verbal identity is in setting your brand apart from competitors, and reinforcing your overall corporate identity. Through your voice, you can build trust and credibility, and reflect a commitment to authenticity. Verbal identity also plays a crucial role in brand recognition and consistency across a variety of communication channels, including advertising, social media and in-house communication.
Why are a business’s purpose and values important?
One key factor shared by the world’s most successful, visionary businesses is that they have a clear understanding of the purpose and core values that drive them.
These foundations of organisational culture provide a resilient framework for better decision-making that directly links to business growth. But they also reach outside the business to attract consumers who share your worldview. This new market brings more than customer loyalty - they’re passionate brand champions who spread the word about your business with the world, supercharging your marketing.
As a leading brand and culture agency, Sondo can guide your management team (or collaborate with your people & culture team) to identify your purpose and values, and create behaviours to put them into daily practice.
We can also make your entire team more engaged with your purpose and values, and catalyse transformation of your culture, through:
- internal communication campaigns
- brand videos; and
- advice on better ways to use the office environment to foster a positive culture.
What does brand have to do with organisational culture?
When built right, your brand and your organisational culture continually reinforce each other, making both stronger.
Your culture is one of the 3 key channels through which your business communicates its brand to the world. (The other 2 channels are your visuals and your language or “verbal identity”.)
The purpose and values you champion, and the way your team acts, say a lot to the world about what kind of business you are. Are you caring and attentive, or aloof and cool? Do you prize equality and lift everyone, or do you reward peak achievement and reserve yourself for the elite?
When you think of it this way, it becomes more obvious that your culture is your brand story in action.
At Sondo, our brand consulting agency can guide you to embed these cultural attributes as integral parts of your brand, designing them carefully to ensure they tell the same story as your visuals and brand language.
Your new brand will do more than reflect your culture. It will actively nurture your ideal culture.
By articulating your purpose and values in an engaging way, and setting practical behaviours that put your values into daily effect, you can consciously shape your culture.
And by ensuring your brand communicates your values with the outside world, you also attract job applicants who share your worldview. With each new addition of one of these brand champions to your team, that worldview will become the natural heart of your business, rather than something you need to consciously create in your culture.
Because your brand and culture will be constantly cycling, doing the job for you.