Branding is such an important part of business, so we are excited to bring in Jacob Munch, founder of brand development and design agency MS Nordic, to drill down into the details of it. Based in Barcelona and Copenhagen, MS Nordic’s clients have included well-known brands such as Audi, European Union, WHO and Olympus.
Munch has more than 20 years’ of experience in communication, branding, design and IT-related solutions. In an exclusive interview with EuropeanLife, Munch shared his knowledge with us.
First of all, what is branding and why is it so important for every kind of business?
Jacob Munch: According to the Cambridge Dictionary branding is “The act of giving a company a particular design or symbol in order to advertise its products and services”. This is a very simple and narrow way of describing it that only focuses on the visual part of it. There is actually a lot more to it, especially today when we have so many different (social) media platforms.
All the associations we connect to a specific brand are the result of branding. In fact you could say that branding is the process of giving a meaning to a specific product, company or service by creating a brand in people’s minds. A brand really is what the audience perceives it to be and if this is equal to how the company wants the brand to be perceived, you could say the branding is successful. To take your business to the next level, you need to make a memorable first impression on your potential customers. Branding is a way of expressing. Now, more than ever, it takes unique insight, engagement and a dose of daring to be noticed. Creativity and good design therefore are highly valued needs.
What does the branding process look like?
Jacob Munch: My company comes into the ‘branding chain’ at different levels. Sometimes we start from zero. Other times we work for strong brands who basically just want us to be creative, make a cool design and simply make things work – all respecting their brand manual.
If you are starting a business, the majority of entrepreneurs are preoccupied with their idea, product or service itself. They sometimes forget that branding should come in the early stage, together with other strategies such as pricing, target group and market. You will have to create a brand identity to attract investors and customers.
Branding starts with a carefully defined description of how you want your brand to be perceived. What can you promise your customers? What is the thing your brand has that will elevate you above competitors? If you are aware of the value, uniqueness and potential of your brand, it will be easier to communicate and express this. And a passionate, inspired and enthusiastic business is much harder to ignore. Your communication includes all of the visual design and of course creative copy, such as a strong conceptual catchphrase and slogan.
As a brand consistency is very important. It is crucial if you want to gain trust and have loyal customers. A good branding proposition, visual guidelines, etc. are all essential here. Even the tone and voice of salespeople and their way of dressing, for example, make a huge difference.
Is the Covid-19 pandemic affecting the world of branding?
Jacob Munch: Well, tricky question. Undoubtedly, the fundamentals of what makes a good brand remain the same today as they were before the pandemic. However, most strong brands have adapted to the pandemic. New brands have risen to be a lot stronger, thanks to the pandemic, like Amazon or delivery companies like Glovo and Just Eat. It has certainly changed parts of the landscape. Some brands have reacted immediately by responding to the needs of their customers who are facing a new way of life. These brands have demonstrated they know how to respond and have continued offering what they always offered.
In our own case we have merged to be more like a remotely based company. Our clients no longer value the fact that we have a cool office with cool people inside. Now, it is also totally accepted to start projects without shaking hands with the client. The pandemic sped up this transition. Are we still perceived as a creative design and brand studio with Danish roots? Yes! I hope so. The pandemic hasn’t changed that.
Bio Jacob Munch:
Jacob Munch is an entrepreneur, branding expert and founder of MS Nordic–, a brand development and design agency, with Danish and Spanish roots, just like Munch himself.
His team has over 20 years of experience in communication, branding, design and IT-related solutions, for both print and digital media. MS Nordic helps clients all over the world communicate, develop their brand and create presentations that look strong and professional.
For more information about MS Nordic please visit: https://www.msnordic.dk/