Achieving brand growth through
building a brand strategy
and an innovative design process.
There is a demand for a paradigm shift across industries and within individuals in order to adapt to the current era marked by industry and market maturation, diversifying of consumers’ values, socially significant sustainability, and transparency of business activities. The same demand applies to brand creation as well.
Bannistar is a professional firm that specializes in building brand strategy and design.
We believe that the most important goals of brand building now should be to carve it into permanent memory, as well as to solidify a brand’s purpose and attachments. Always being aware of different environments, understanding people’s feelings, sharing information, and developing an intuition for questions are all important conditions for a brand to grow in our current era. We believe in taking ownership and sharing a client’s point of view, planning, asking questions, and searching for solutions together.
We take on all business related to branding, from surveying to strategy planning, design development, brand guideline development, and support for activities that promote changes in employees’ behavior. Rather than dividing each part of this process, such as assigning strategy planning to the strategy team, or delegating design development to the creative team, we incorporate multiple viewpoints in each step. Our organic team structure that helps us focus on both agility and project quality is what makes us unique.
Plan and conduct various types of surveys and focus groups/ in-depth interview.
In order to build brand strategy, we plan qualitative survey methods through roundtable or one-on-one interviews. We build surveys to best fit the topic at hand, such as conducting focus group interviews (FGIs) when studying interactions between subjects, a wide range of thoughts and ideas, and uncovering an overall emotional essence, or in-depth interviews when investigating the deeper thoughts, memories and true opinions of individual subjects. We do not conduct surveys and research for the sake of it. We customize survey methods as a tool to best uncover research findings when building brand strategy.
Customer Behavior Intentionality Analysis “Bannistar Scan™”
We have developed “Bannistar Scan™” utilizing personality tests and behavioral psychology expertise. Bannistar Scan™ observes/analyzes trends in consumer behavior and predicts future purchasing behaviors. We thoroughly conduct multivariate analysis of consumer sentiment, purchasing factors, purchasing influence factors and more, not only to collect quantitative/qualitative data, but to understand customer types. What makes Bannistar Scan™ special is its focus placed on the sums of individual actions, rather than groups, which allows it to amass data and derive people’s intentionality.
Planning and Organizing Brand Workshops
What is essential in the process and methodology of workshopping is not a simple “mold”, but rather knowing the people, culture, and mindset that put a brand into practice. Our workshops are built as spaces to output limitless ideas about the present and future, rather than as a space to simply accomplish the goal of brand building. A brand owner’s point of view is also essential in today’s marketplace, in which both companies and individuals are expected to face questions with no clear-cut answers and create new value systems. We will inspire confidence and courage in our clients’ personal viewpoints and support them in imagining a future built around their ideas. Bannistar’s Brand Workshops will set this process in motion.
Building and defining brand value “Brand Podium™”
Brand Podium™ is an original brand strategy platform that defines brands theoretically and emotionally from various different aspects and clarifies and establishes brand uniqueness. The “Podium” in “Brand Podium™” signifies something similar to the platform that an orchestra conductor stands on. Our podium will support you in establishing brand value and customer relations, as well as in clarifying future goals, visions, and strategic directions. Brand Podium™ will unify and add direction to all of the diverse elements in order to bring out a brand’s full potential, just like the support that a conductor’s podium offers them.
Building business brands/product brands
We believe that the sum of the values of business/product brands determine and increase the value of a corporate brand. In other words, business and product brands reflect the true nature of corporate brands. We identify target consumers while also identifying the positions of each business/product. We understand target consumers’ desires and pinpoint the proper values to offer them. We will continue to think about how to establish long-term customer favorability and attachments through uniqueness, as well as brand stories, which are never-ending bonds between people and brands.
Building corporate brands
Corporate philosophies and visions hold a corporation’s purpose, passion, and pride, and are important factors in directing all parts of a corporation’s present and future image, such as corporate culture, structure, products, and services. Recently, it has also become necessary to keep in mind the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Criteria. We support the development of corporate brand philosophies and visions in times of change such as corporate transformation periods, employee behavior changes, holding company systems and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) through management/experts/employee interviews.
Building design principles and UX/CX (Customer Experiences)
Each employee’s behavior changes are indispensable in realizing a brand’s value. In recent years, designs have been required to hold both specific, narrower meanings, as well as broader social designs. As a result, design management departments within corporations have to play an increasingly vital role, and the importance of design increases each year. We build task teams through the help of employee interviews, in order to support design management departments, and to streamline brand- and design-focused communication. Ultimately, in order to strength governance in branding design strategy, we create design principles based on design philosophies and vision.
Analyzing and developing customer journeys (customer touchpoints)
A customer journey is the visualization of customer behavior/thoughts/feelings created by chronologically organizing their interactions with a brand. By making customer actions and feelings visible, we can identify touchpoints with customers and the appropriate places and times to share information. We do not mechanically search points of customer contact, but rather simultaneously research the emotional elements (often including parts of design such as color and shape) which make up touchpoints. In this process, we identify, analyze, and study touchpoints that foster feelings and attachments toward a brand, through our unique perspective at Bannistar.
Naming is the process of representing a brand in just one word or phrase, in a way that is both accurate and leaves an impression. It is one of the most important elements of branding. We develop naming around elements such as values, differentiation, and personality. We take into consideration the sounds and etymologies of various words, instead of just focusing on creating a simple, strong statement. Following customer requests, we will also develop this process by conducting research on names/trademarks, international languages, and negative connotations based on cultural backgrounds, in conversation with affiliated patent offices.
Taglines are slogans that concisely represent why a corporation, product, or service is valuable to target customers. They differ from catchphrases used for sales promotion in advertisements in that they must be able to be used universally and long-term. Along with medium-term management plans and new corporate visions, taglines can also be used to change external awareness and employee mindsets.
Developing brand statements
Brand statements capture brand values and outline a brand. They tie together market environments, values provided to target customers, uniqueness, personality, and a brand’s social purpose, and they communicate a brand’s purpose to both those within and outside of a corporation. Brand statements are used in various touchpoints and must convey a brand’s intentions within and outside of a corporation.
Developing product design/packaging
We believe that product/packaging development is one of the most important brand identifiers that physically captures brand values and uses the product itself to represent a brand with technology and emotion. People do not select brands only because their prices, functions, or stores stand out. In order to remain the brand of choice, we believe that it is essential to communicate the values that a brand provides, and foster emotion-based bonds between people and brands through products and packaging.
Developing Brand Identity
Brand identity is an important element in communicating brand value through accurate and memorable visual representations. Brand identity development is conducted based on components such as provided value, differentiation, and personality. Our goal is for customers to experience value-representing brand logos and taste through various touchpoints, and to think about methods of visual communication that will make brands memorable and likeable.
Developing Tone & Manner / Tone of Voice
Tone & Manner and Tone of voice are the efficient ways of representing brand characteristics through “how it looks” and “how it speaks”. By regulating Tone & Manner, those who produce a brand’s touchpoints can possess elements of a brand’s representative “appearance”, such as mood, worldview, color, shape, and texture. Tone of Voice allows us to share a representative “manner of speaking” through linguistic touchpoints such as ad copy and social media posts. Both tools allow us to build a memorable brand image that retains brand characteristics and uniqueness.
Developing brand guidelines
Brand guidelines serve as a foundation for brand consistency. These guidelines aim to increase brand quality and value while reducing communication costs for brand development, by a broader and deeper understanding of the brand. They are also a vital tool in the continuation of a brand’s intention in cases where the person in charge changes. In recent years, the necessity of brand guidelines as tools for long-term brand maintenance has increased, as touchpoints with customers (such as digital channels) continue to diversify.
Developing and supporting space/ retail store design
Developing a space/ retail store design that will foster favorability and attachment is a necessary component of brand strategy. It is important to develop formative experiences that will create brand memories for customers, by accessing the uniqueness and emotionality of spaces, and considering favorability, usability and movement lines for target audiences. We will explore what customers want to experience and support the creation of store concepts through brand strategy. From now on, real experiences will become valuable assets in brand strategy, so we must establish consistency between brand strategy and store strategy.
Supporting internal branding
The objective of internal branding is to adapt a brand’s visions to what a company or business actually looks like, in order to maximize brand value. Internal activities that cause behavior changes in each employee’s work are extremely important in achieving a brand’s goals. In order to prompt these behavioral changes, it is important for us to understand a client’s corporate culture and connect the work of individual employees with brand visions. This allows employees to think of brands on a personal level, and piece together concrete action plans for themselves.
Supporting new business/markets development
In accordance with rapidly changing markets, we will support brands in entering new business areas and markets, such as the switch from B2B models to B2C or D2C. We will build a brand strategy function and concrete design representation as a long-term realistic plan to aim for success. We will rely on our knowledge of various brands in order to best support the brand building of new businesses. We also provide brand strengthening support for small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as startup companies throughout Japan.
Support for strengthening brand organization
In order to manage brand strategy, it is essential to strengthen marketing functions in the organization. Eventually, we will support the creation of organizations in which clients can develop their own brand execution. We will nurture, strengthen and promote brand strategy task teams through projects. We will also implement internal seminars and workshops to nurture brand expertise within companies, and support clients in their brand strategy team building.
Executing and supporting branding activities
It is necessary for branding activities to be consistently integrated within and without companies, and to be steadily implemented and promoted at each section level. There is a wide variety of touchpoints both within and without companies, such as advertisements, on the internet, events, product planning, store, PR, and training programs. We go beyond assisting a client’s brand and marketing departments, and also cooperate with other departments and provide on-site execution support. According to the situation of each channel, we will assist execution teams’ focus on brand strategy, and support business through new transformations.