Design, Strategy and Culture at North Collective

Harness the power of a Brand Sprint

May 27, 2019 5 min read

  • Insights
Your brand isn’t just a logo, a colour palette, and a font. Your brand is ‘your story’.

It champions your values and beliefs to your customers. It’s the essence of your business soul. The unignorable sign in the sky that your customers connect with — stay loyal to — and eagerly advocate to others.

If it doesn’t represent everything you want your business future to be — it’s flawed. That means your competition are way ahead in the race for loyal customers.

Here’s some better news… If you’re starting out — you’ve never had a better opportunity to get your brand strategy right. If your branding is already in place and misfiring — it’s not too late to fix.

Enter ‘Brand Sprints’.

What is a Brand Sprint and how does it work

Most recently, ‘design sprints’ were popularised by Google Ventures (GV), to transform the way businesses design products, enhance services, install customer loyalty and accelerate growth.

The success of this method is easily measured by the fact it was used in creation of their own Gmail and Google X products. It’s a framework created to solve a unique problem or develop a piece of technology to prototype (and test) in a far shorter amount of time. It ‘sprints’ prototypes — and enables ‘cross-functional’ teams to validate ideas quickly.

Whether starting from scratch or refreshing your brand; the ‘sprint’, like the name suggests, gets your business to the finish line faster. This greatly enhances the chance of product success and saves your business a substantial amount of time, effort, and money.

The ‘Brand Sprint’ is a highly effective way to bring your internal teams together and create a clear ‘compelling’ brand position, narrative and visual identity — in record time.

Branding Project Vs Brand Sprint

A branding project is often a long-term engagement that needs your commitment to a drawn-out process of Briefing — Discovery — Visual exploration — Moodboards — Brand Strategies — Brand Guidelines — Strategic Planning — Design of Various Assets and Collateral… the list goes on.

It can often take several months (depending on the agency) before the business has any ‘strategic direction’ or ‘actionable’ deliverables.

A Brand Sprint optimises the branding process to give you all of the above — in the shortest time frame possible. This is achieved by getting all the right people in the room and by validating input at regular intervals with internal stakeholders.

A ‘North’ Brand Sprint creates ‘immediate clarity’ for your business that can then be used to leverage other ‘key’ deliverables — as we build out and augment your brand with you.

Your Brand Sprint is the ultimate motivator. It connects people from multiple departments — and signposts them towards a brand focussed, productive future. And crucially, after your Brand Sprint is complete — you’re left with ‘custom designed brand artifacts’ that everyone involved can act on in real-time — to propel your business forward.

A Brand Sprint is all about creating and transforming brands with velocity.
Ian Howarth, North, Creative Director / Managing Partner

What are the benefits of a Brand Sprint

There are three crucial reasons to consider a ‘North’ Brand Sprint for your business:

− Create fully optimised alignment of departments and teams

− Generate ‘actionable’ artifacts — within the ‘shortest’ time-frame

− Save your business countless time and money

Fully optimised department and team alignment

Whether it’s the CEO, CMO, CTO, UX Designers, engineers, marketers, or communications professionals; everyone is creative. Everyone in the room has ‘valuable’ input. Getting input from all areas of the business puts everyone on the same page from the start.

This invaluable advantage keeps everyone involved at regular intervals — keeps the project moving forward smoothly — greatly enhances team input — and optimises productive output.

Faster ‘actionable’ artifacts

This is not a replacement for the big branding agencies; they do an incredible job. This is an ‘accelerator’ to market. It does produce major benefits with excellent results.

A Brand Sprint creates artifacts quicker. No need to explain that benefit.

No longer do you have to engage an agency to create a brief. No more endless rounds of ‘creative’ that take months and cost your business hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It simplifies decision making — and projects an abstract idea of a brand into something concrete — fast.

Saving time and money

Brand Sprints are ‘concentrated creativity’ sessions. They give you a framework to optimise your chances of creating customer loyalty by producing something they want to buy.

Brand Sprints drive outcomes through velocity — and introduce constraints that encourage teams to concentrate on your ‘overall vision’.

With your ‘sprint team’ locked in a creative environment, they focus on the challenges that matter to get to the desired outcome.

This, in turn, drives immediate value as a sprint produces ideas, concepts, positioning, and a visual language in a much shorter amount of time — with subsequently, far less cost to your business.

Who benefits most from a Brand Sprint

Our effective Brand Sprint strategies can benefit any business, but there are three main stages where we can help the most:

− Start-ups

− Early-stage businesses

− Established and in need of a brand overhaul

Start-ups/Early stage businesses

We help fledgling companies get on the first rung of the ladder by gaining a solid brand position and purpose (as well as those well needed initial assets).

By working closely with you and your teams, we aim to craft and optimise your ‘brand vision’ from the outset — help your product through the funding cycle — and swiftly on to market success.

Brand overhauls

If your current brand isn’t working, or you’re considering a change of direction, our Brand Sprint strategy can help in refocusing and realigning your visual identity — to ensure coherence, consistency, customer friendly actions — and accelerate your bottom line.

Connect more meaningfully with customers through clear brand identity, core values, and a ‘user transparent’ business persona.
Ian Howarth, North, Creative Director / Managing Partner

Our Brand Sprints are for future-thinking businesses who strive to

− Connect more meaningfully with customers through clear brand identity, core values, and a ‘user transparent’ business persona

− Shape ‘key’ business decisions around everything they stand for

− Create ultra-productive team environments that install ‘brand ownership’ and belief to all involved

− Attract and retain world-class staff with a business culture that encourages creative and valuable input from all departments

If this is a future that resonates with your business – our Brand Sprint strategy is perfect for you.

Why choose North for your Brand Sprint

You gain a 20-strong team of creative minds who are passionate about exploring and improving how humans communicate in the digital age.

You gain a ‘work with you’ Brand Sprint built on proven results and highly recommended service.

You gain over 20 years’ experience of brand development for some of the world’s largest organisations.

You gain that ‘unignorable sign in the sky’ that your customers connect with — stay loyal to — and eagerly advocate to others.

Let’s talk about how we can future-proof your brand together.

Written by

Ian Howarth

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