Branding

A Brand is anything and everything that differentiates your business, products, and services against those of your competitors. Your identity, marketing communications, social media posts, customer care calls, or products and services all have the potential to build (or break) your brand.

Your Brand is an asset, and quite easily the most important one at that.

A Branding/Rebranding exercise makes sense for you if you are looking to improve trust and recognition among your audiences, achieve coherent messaging among your products/services, provide motivation and direction for your stakeholders, or merging companies/brands.

BluOne, with its experience, dynamism and elasticity, can tailor a multi-layered brand management package comprising of consistent building, protecting, leveraging, and evolving your brand.

  • Brand Research

    “Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.”

    Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

    Different organizations could be at different stages in their journey, but the primal step towards X is to deconstruct and understand why we wish to be at X. We dive deep into exploring and understanding:

    • Your vision/mission/mantra
    • history and key value propositions
    • brand hierarchies
    • ethos and culture
    • differentiation in new or saturated landscapes
    • market trends
    • current and prospective customers
    • the language, tone and personality and
    • the identity, colours, typography, imagery, communications, etc.

    This research helps us align our thought processes with the values and promises of your brand, and construct the foundation on which your future shall flourish. Who you are and why you exist is clearly articulated in a Brand Brief or Brand Book.

  • Identity Design

    A Logo is not your identity, and neither is the name or the tagline. Your organization’s identity encompasses everything from the name to the color of your letterheads and from the customer call dial tone to the free yoga classes you are planning to give away in the next big conference.

    We build identities which are:

    • Compliant with your organization’s vision and ethos
    • Distinctive from those of your competitors
    • Contemporary and/or timeless
    • Easily recognizable and memorable
    • Portable across various forms of media the identity would appear on
    • Scalable across sizes; and
    • Transcendent across your target geographies;

    “The trademark, although a most important element, can never tell the whole story. At best it conveys one or two notions or aspects of the business. The identity has to be supported by a visual language and a vocabulary.”

    Steff Geissbuhler

    The exercise is documented in the Identity Guidelines. It acts as a rule book that keeps the sales, marketing, design, and other divisions on the same page, and explains how elements are to be used and displayed. It speaks about:

    • The Parent Brand Name and associated Tagline/Mantra
    • The Logo and its variants
    • Graphic Elements like backgrounds, icons, illustrations, etc.
    • Sizing guidelines for portability
    • Color Palettes for impact and resonance
    • Print and Digital Typography
    • Correct and Incorrect Usage
    • Example applications of brand elements in conjunction
    • Marketing Collateral and Ephemera

    The Brand Guidelines document is a combination of the Brand Brief and the Identity Guidelines, and conveys how the concept of the brand should be put to use in practice using the various elements available.

  • Marketing Communications

    Marketing Communications can be segregated into three important steps:

    1. Contents of the message you want to deliver;
    2. The medium through which the message needs to be propagated; and
    3. The intended Audience for your message.

    Brands are constantly competing for attention, grabbing the last available inch or pixel to market their products and services. Standing out cannot be derived from a simple equation. Dwindling attention spans, density of advertisements, easy-to-achieve viralness, a multitude of touchpoints and … all require brands to innovate and evolve tirelessly.

    “A good business card is like a kick-ass tie; it won’t make you a better person, but it’ll get you some respect.”

    Sean Adams, Partner, AdamsMorioka

    The BluOne team has worked with more than 200 unique tangible and intangible communications, ranging the design of Uniforms to setting up Food Tasting events, from customizing Ribbons to pulling off Road Trips, and from creating envelopes to explainer videos.

User Experience Design

Everything around us is designed, from doors to desktops, from elearning to ecommerce, and from simple safety pins to complex life-saving medical equipments. Knowingly or not, our interaction with these products results in different emotions, perceptions, physical and psychological responses, behaviors and accomplishments.

User Experience (UX) is everything a user feels before, during and after using your product, system or service.

User Experience Design (UXD / UED / XD) emphasizes on creating Useful, Usable and Delightful experiences for the users. It is an elaborate, iterative, multi-step and multi-disciplinary process which brings requires teams from branding, business, sales, marketing, research, etc. to collaborate and answer the most primary questions: Why are we building this, and why would the users use this?

Improved Experiences mean Happy Customers, which translate to Increased Adoption and Loyalty, which directly leads to Increased Sales.

  • Brand Research

    All Apple products would have a common design language, all BMWs would have a common tone in which they speak to their customers, and all Disney touchpoints would give you a similar experience. The common denominator is what your Brand entails.

    Building on your next product / service or improving an existing one requires the design team to have a comprehensive understanding of the vision, stakeholders, personality, products, differentiation, values, competition, trends related to the brand.

  • Needs Analysis

    The reasons for a business to introduce something new or to improve something could be many: more revenues, better market share, better reputation, or the likes. It may or may not overlap with what its customers are looking for. Do they want a new car or just an engine upgrade? Do they want to spend more time on your website or just get the job done and leave? Good UX design teams constantly look to bridge this gap between user expectations and business goals.

    “The first step in exceeding your customers’ expectations is to know those expectations.”

    Roy H. Williams

    We look for answers to questions like these:

    • Why we are doing the exercise?
    • What are the requirements?
    • What is the outcome?
    • What is the competition?
    • What are the differentiators?
    • Who is the audience?
    • What do they want?
    • What motivates them?
    • How will they use the offering?
    • Do we need those features (ever/in this version)?
    • How do we increase conversions and retain customers?
    • What are the possible business models?

    We accumulate, scrutinize and make sense of all the data that can be made available, including customer support logs, social media and web analytics, competitive intelligence, among others.

  • User Personas

    Would Thomas, the CEO of a multinational organisation commit his funds in your business?
    Would Bruce, the suburban high-school student see value in your tutoring platform?
    What would motivate Martha to log her daily exercise routine in your app?

    User Personas are fictional representations of the real customers, and help businesses and designers empathise with the end users. This is facilitated by diving into the qualitative and quantitative data we’ve accumulated in the previous stages. It is not uncommon to speak to real users or conduct surveys during this stage.

    For building User Persona, we usually require:

    • A fictional name for the user
    • A Persona group
    • Job titles and major responsibilities
    • Demographics and Psychographics
    • Physical, social, and technological environment
    • Wants, goals, motivations, experiences, attitudes, and pain points
    • A Day in their lives

    Users are at the heart of any UX process, and sketching personas makes it more human-centered and essential to your value proposition.

  • User Flows

    How are people using your product/service?
    How would you want people to use your product/service?
    How do they navigate from one feature/section to another?
    Should they sign up first to use the product?
    How would the access to information change on different devices?

    User Flows are sketched to answer these fundamental questions about your customers’ journeys while using your product. We make a list of all possible touchpoints (e.g. Send an Enquiry) and channels (e.g. website, app, email, in-person, etc.), followed by a highly iterative walkthrough of all the scenarios a user could come across. Knowing about the business goals, user expectations, user types and their interactions with the products/services helps you as well as the UX design team create new or optimise existing funnels of conversions.

    “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little better.”

    Jeff Bezos

  • Information Architecture

    The blueprint of the final design, Information Architecture helps put together a logical and definitive structure. IA helps designers organise the functions, features and content and helps teams to align their objectives with respect to design, development, business, and sales before the production begins.

    Sample questions we address before and during the IA process:

    1. Is the architecture self-sufficient or do users stumble and hesitate during navigation?
    2. Can all the User Personas navigate through all the relevant information we have?
    3. Is there a better way to present complex data to save time and reduce errors?
    4. Are we reducing drop-off rates?

    “Good information architecture makes users less alienated and suppressed by technology. It simultaneously increases human satisfaction and your company’s profits. Very few jobs allow you to do both at the same time, so enjoy.”

    Jakob Nielson

  • Sketches, Wireframes, Mockups and Prototypes

    Building homes doesn’t start with brick and mortar but with pencils and paper. It is a gradual, iterative and sequential design process. Each step helps control quality and risks, and garner feedback on the appropriate characteristics.

    sketches wireframes mockups and prototypes

    Sketches are freehand drawings and provide a low-fidelity representation of your product. Sketches help people focus on functions and features, and not on the aesthetics. This helps eliminate errors and reduces costs at later stages in the design and development process.

    Wireframes are skeletons, used to describe the functionality and relationships, and create navigational flows between various parts of the product.

    Mockups are mid-to-high-fidelity representations of the product with colours, fonts, sample text, images, logos, etc. Mockups then help designers experiment with the visual aspects without worrying about the functional ones.

    Prototypes offer a high-fidelity representation of your app with interactions, animations and experiences minus the functionality.

  • Usability Testing

    No matter how much time designers and engineers spend researching on and building an application, the true test of usability, stability, and functionality is put to test only once actual users get to interact with it.

    Usability Tests include surveys, interviews, focus groups, heuristic evaluations, split tests, heat maps, eye tracking, lab testing, among others. The choice is determined by a variety of factors among which are costs, time, availability of participants, sample size, and accuracy. The observations and results of these tests are collected, collated, documented and prioritized. Potential solutions are also generated, prioritized and suggested.

    A periodic testing calendar helps in the continuous evolution of the product/service. Hypotheses developed during the research and design phases are probed,

    1. How much time do the users have to stay on the product to accomplish a task?
    2. What are the challenges/complications in using the product?
    3. Are the business goals being met?
    4. Are conversion funnels optimised?