Braver design for a brighter tomorrow.

The Role of Creative Strategy

Delivering the difference between an appealing aesthetic and a meaningful brand

by Lisa Desforges, Head of Strategy at B&B studio on 19/03/2024

When it comes to effective brand design, there’s an enormous difference between simple and simplistic. The right creative strategy helps distil depth into design simplicity to bring impactful cut through and brand longevity.

 

WE’RE ALL FOR SIMPLICITY…  
At B&B, we’re known for distilling characterful brands and complex product offers into powerful logos and pack designs. In fast-moving categories, consumers need instant communication delivered through simple visuals and spare words – shelf stand-out, product understanding, and brand recognition depend on it. Keep it simple is marketing 101, and designers are all for it, creating impactful design systems made to sell product fast.

 

…BUT LONGEVITY DEMANDS DEPTH. 
We often partner with scaling brands several years after a brand creation or redesign when the limitations of simple, one-dimensional, design become too obvious to ignore. They have grown successfully but have reached the point in their journey when they need the added depth that comes from a strategic distillation of their brand idea and how it reflects their unique place in their category. In today’s multi-touchpoint landscape, brands need to continually create content, showing up in different places in diverse ways. Contemporary brands need way more flexibility than old-school design guidelines allow, and simple design systems can quickly become repetitive. Of course, consistency matters, but these days that means staying true to your values, essence and purpose, not just a trendy font.

WHY CREATIVE STRATEGY MATTERS 
Creative strategy connects what your brand stands for to how it is expressed. It’s vital, because it links the internal with the external, ensuring that everything you want to say about the brand and its products is captured in the resulting visual communications. So often brand owners tell us that they wish they could talk to their consumers one-on-one – a good creative strategy should mean you don’t have to. At B&B, all our creative strategies have a big idea at their heart, a differentiating essence that can be interpreted through design, through words, through campaigns, and through new product development – ensuring that your brand can stay consistent without running out of steam.

CREATIVE STRATEGY FOR START-UPS 
When we create brands from scratch, the brand positioning, creative strategy and creative brief are crafted alongside each other to ensure a single-minded vision as we go into design. It’s a way of working that has helped us create some of the most influential start-ups of the past 15 years. From Bear to Pip & Nut, these brands have grown and evolved over time without ever needing to change their essential nature – because the right foundations were built from the start.

CREATIVE STRATEGY FOR ESTABLISHED BRANDS 
For existing brands, creative strategy offers us the opportunity to return to the fundamentals of the brand before we dash off to create something new. By applying the discipline of going back to the brand’s essence and using it as a filter for new work, we help prevent brands from being derailed by passing trends and influences, and ensure innovation is undertaken in a way that’s relevant – and unique – to them. From a design refresh, to a restructured range architecture, to a new product launch, creative strategy integrates new thinking in a way that will strengthen, rather than dilute, a brand.

TRUE SIMPLICITY IS DEPTH DISTILLED 
There’s a world of difference between simple and simplistic. Creative strategy is the essential tool in distilling brand depth into design simplicity, ensuring a creative solution that has both immediacy and longevity.