Five minutes with Matt Walpole
We Launch design director Matt Walpole believes ownable assets can provide long-term success for brands. He discusses the importance of creating strong visuals, how to implement strategy through brand assets and how ownable assets can work across all of a brand’s touchpoints.
In your experience why is it important for brands to create strong visuals to bring the brand story to life?
There are two key reasons. Firstly, you need to stand out in your market with the ability to grab people’s attention and, secondly, visuals are a leading brand touchpoint, so no matter what your target audience is, it’s a key avenue for resonating with them to communicate brand messages.
How can you implement strategy through distinctive brand assets?
What’s important is not being disruptive for the sake of it, like using neon pink over industry common blue, if it’s clearly unsuitable for instance. You need to make sure your strategy is chosen with the consumer in mind so it resonates to the company service and brand, but also picks up on key cues. This means working out what audiences have a predisposition to and using those values in a strategic aspect, finding points that resonate and bringing those to life in an ownable and disruptive way.
Audience must always be central to your thinking, meaning a focus on how you create a strategy for a certain audience outside of personal and client opinions. Our role as an agency is to provide the outside perspective to challenge what our clients are doing. Our project work on Atech acts as a nice example. We understood their industry and worked with the client to challenge that space whilst remaining grounded and strategically positioning Atech in the market. This approach brings the client on the brand journey and makes them proud of that work which helps them sell the product.
Why are brands using ownable assets to not only narrate the business story internally but to their target audiences?
Whether it’s CGI, photography or illustration, for instance, ownable assets are brilliant for a brand because you can build it into the brand’s longevity as it moves forwards. That’s why it’s important to consider when creating something new how it will work at launch but also further down the line, you can always refresh imagery through new shoots, or re-working them in the brand architecture. It makes building upon a brand so much easier. Get it right at the beginning and there’s always something that will be built upon after a brand launches. It’s never the final thing, they are living, breathing things that have to be able to evolve. Industries can change at the drop of a hat, so brands need to be able to adapt in that nature.
What factors do you consider when curating a suite of ownable brand assets, and how can brands create ownable assets that can work across all touchpoints of the brand?
When approaching the creation of brand assets, we like to think about how we can build out that flexibility for our clients, and frequently, their internal teams. Not only do these assets need to become recognisable in the market, but we make sure everything we are creating is functional and can work across all touchpoints from billboards to small digital formats like an app.
This was a key factor when we worked on Openpay with the competitive nature of the market. When you go to buy something online now there are so many buy now, pay later services, so one challenge was making the brand stand out in digital baskets. Colour became an important factor; using a strong branded yellow to help stand out from other payment options was a small but vital consideration. We also ask ourselves how we create something that has a visual purpose when appearing in the context of third-party environments. For example, how can a brand use their assets on social platforms, cut through the noise and demand attention. The same principles will also affect physical spaces like corporate event spaces or out of home advertising, so every possibility must be considered to make a brand as flexible and effective as possible.