Building brands in name – and in nature

Wayne Leith
Wayne Leith

What’s in a name? Everything, it seems…Wayne Leith, director at WeBuildBrands, a specialist marketing consultancy for the fenestration and construction sectors, explains why.

‘Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.’

This quote by Walter Landor – a branding pioneer who was instrumental in developing brands like Coca-Cola, Levi’s, and Marlboro – has always resonated with me, perhaps because of its truth.

All too often, when people talk about brands, they think only about a visual brand, but a true brand is so much more than a logo. It’s a sense of feelings and emotions that create a connection on a cognitive level.

Early in my career, I was able to learn about this subconscious aspect working as a copywriter on the advertising accounts of brands like O2 and Adidas, and alongside top tier branding agencies like Lambie-Nairn (named after its founder and yet another branding pioneer, Martin Lambie-Nair).

Fast forward to today and it’s been to great use this understanding and additional knowledge to support Unique Window Systems with its recent rebrand.

A Unique partnership

Developing the new Unique brand entailed a highly collaborative and considered approach. We might know brand building, but the client will always know their business better than us.

As such, it was important to combine our respective areas of expertise to identify and then communicate the qualities that set Unique apart. It was also crucial that the logo embraced the company’s culture and personality.

To ensure any proposed solution worked on a wider scale and enjoyed buy-in from across the Unique team, we made use of informal focus groups.

These had to be kept low key as one of the biggest challenges was keeping everything under wraps until we were in a position to announce our plans in a controlled and co-ordinated way.

Preserving brand equity

In developing the new Unique brand, we wanted to avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Brand equity is a valuable commodity and we were keen to avoid squandering the recognition and trust that Unique already enjoys.

It’s for this reason that we shied away from renaming the business in the style of Twitter becoming X.

We also wanted to ensure a visual relationship to Unique’s previous brand identity and so the orange featured in its old logo – a colour which is often subconsciously associated with optimism, adventure, and confidence – was retained.

Marketing with purpose

Staying with the logo, the introduction of the new U brandmark offers some impressive opportunities to build brand recognition in much the same way as the Nike swoosh or the Apple apple.

It can be divorced from the main logo and used in a variety of distinctive standalone ways whether that’s as an image container, a background shape, or an icon.

It’s also ideally suited and easily recognisable at small sizes. This is an important consideration in today’s digital world where there is a need for profile avatars, favicons, and other similarly compact assets.

The addition of a new strapline will also prove beneficial in building the Unique brand.

This is especially true given the rise of purpose-led marketing where customers feel a deeper rapport with a business if demonstrates a focus on more than simply turning a profit.

‘Our future in fenestration’ is about exactly that. It’s about Unique working with its customers and its supply partners for the greater good – to shape a better future for the industry, for communities and for society as a whole.

Brands are created in the mind – just not overnight

Of course, the rebrand is very much just the beginning.

As I mentioned earlier, a brand is not what a company does or how it looks. It’s about how its perceived and how it makes people feel.

That’s why we are continuing to work with the client to ensure its brand values, messages and personality are embedded into every touchpoint of the customer journey.

In time, and with sustained effort and consistency, we are aiming to create a bond between the business and existing and potential customers that is truly Unique.