AE: Hi, and welcome to the Onlinification Pod, a podcast produced by Zooma. I'm Alex, your host. This episode is going to be about brand identity, and the guest is Sanna Hedberg, who works as a designer here at Zooma. I really hope you enjoyed this episode. So now it's time to roll the jingle.
AE: Hello, Sanna.
SH:[00:00:25] Hi. How are you?
AE:[00:00:26] I'm good. How are you?
SH: [00:00:29] I'm fine, thanks.
AE: [00:00:30] Did you have a good summer vacation?
SH:[00:00:33] Oh, yes, I did. Very nice and quiet. Yeah, lots of nice relaxing. So. Yeah, no, it's been good. It's been a good summer.
AE:[00:00:46] That's good.
SH: [00:00:46] Yeah.
AE: [00:00:48] So it's the first time you're in the pod. So let's start with just asking you like, who are you and what's your background?
SH:[00:00:57] Yeah, my name is Sanna. I work as an art director here at Zooma. My background: it feels like I've been working my whole life with design, basically. I think I started off when I was only 16. I've been working on traditional agencies. I've been freelancing on my own. I've been working on more digital agencies. With all kinds of projects and clients, both digital and print.
AE:[00:01:44] So where did you start when you were 16?
SH:[00:01:49] I started off with an agency called SCP. It was called that back then. And yeah. And, I was basically doing work there and trying to get into a design school. But it was really high grades. So when I had some work experience, I could apply again. And I did, and I got in. But the agency actually wanted me to start working there full-time. So yeah, so I've been basically working with design for most of my life.
AE: [00:02:39] Yeah. And now you've been at Zooma for... It's your second or third year. But I know that you started here after I started. So it was like three years or something. But you and you have a long history with Zooma as well, right?
SH: [00:02:55] Yeah, I do. I was one of the founders at Zooma a long time ago, and then yeah, I've been doing a lot of other stuff, and I have also been freelancing at Zooma, and now I'm back as an employee. Yeah.
AE:[00:03:15] What type of projects do you work with now at Zooma?
SH: [00:03:20] All kinds of projects. I'm kind of responsible for the more the visual side of the projects, the look and feel. And it's all kinds, its web design, it's presentations, its look and feel on photographs and design elements. Yeah, it's everything that needs to kind of look good.
AE: [00:03:51] Yeah.
SH: [00:03:51] Yeah.
AE:[00:03:53] And today's topic, which is brand identity. Yeah, yeah. You're an expert team. So I have been involved in projects working with you with brand identity. So I have personal experience.
SH: [00:04:11] Yeah. Yeah, you do.
AE: [00:04:13] So let's start by explaining what brand identity is.
SH: [00:04:18] Brand identity is the personality of your business, what your values are, and how you communicate your product. And in a more how do you say in a more clear way. For most people, it can be colours, logotype, typography, you know, everything that gives your company an identity.
AE: [00:04:52] And why is brand identity important?
SH:[00:04:56] Brand identity can help build your reputation. It can make you stand out from your competition and attract your ideal client.
AE: [00:05:08] Yeah.
SH:[00:05:08] So it's very important.
AE: [00:05:11] And what, according to you, makes a great brand identity?
SH:[00:05:16] Good question. There are a lot of things, but I think the most important things are when it communicates the face of your business and conveys credibility and trust.
AE:[00:05:33] So if you're a traditional company and maybe you had a brand identity 30 years ago, which is not that actual today, is it possible to change your brand identity?
SH:[00:05:49] Yeah, of course. I mean, having a strong brand is crucial for different... I mean, to kind of stand out from the competition. A brand is always in motion, and the world is changing. So I think so should your brand. So, yes, absolutely you can. It should be an evolving process.
AE:[00:06:13] Yeah. And how often should you like to revisit and think about it? Is it like every third year, or is it continuously?
SH:[00:06:24] I think continuously. I think you should revisit it. I think you should take a look at it every year or every other year, at least.
AE:[00:06:34] And have you been involved in like this continuous work or is it often like one-off when you do work with brand identity?
SH: [00:06:50] Yeah, I have been involved with revisiting, but I think you, you kind of add on or you maybe if it's a logo, you change it slightly and make it more modern kind of modernised thing because it's not good to kind of do a huge change. It should evolve gradually, so you don't kind of lose your target group or look very different because, I mean if you have a brand, it needs to be to evolve and modernise.
AE:[00:07:36] Yeah. So, could you briefly explain how the process looks like when you work with a brand identity project for a client?
SH: [00:07:48] Yeah, I mean, we did one quite not a long time ago. And the first thing we started off with Alex was to research the industry and the audience, the competition. And then when you kind of get the hang of that, I often start going back to the drawing board or do sketches, finding some kind of direction. And then I start, if it's a completely new brand, you start maybe designing the crucial building blocks or assets like the logo typography, colour palette, graphics, form, shapes, and icons. And then you build on from there. Yeah. So and then it's really good to have a very close cooperation with the clients during that period of time, so you don't lose track and then you can, yeah, it's good that you have a team around you that you on the client side that you can work really closely with.
AE:[00:09:17] Yeah, it was very interesting to be working that close with you during that because I saw like first like black and white draft. And we had meetings with the client every second day or every day.
SH:[00:09:36] Yeah. No, it was very, very good. And then it's really good to start on kind of a basic level because a logo, for example, should always work in black and white. Then you can add more stuff on. But a good thing is to try to keep it simple.
AE: [00:09:56] Yeah. And do you often, like interview people at the company to understand what they want or?
SH: [00:10:04] Yeah. During that research period, you try to get as much info from the customer, you know, what they are like, how they are perceived, how they work internally and externally. You really have to deep dive to understand the business I think. Yeah.
AE: [00:10:32] When you are done with a project, how do you know if you have succeeded with your brand identity?
SH: [00:10:44] But that's a good question. It's always a little bit tricky. I mean, you can monitor your brand. That's a good way. I mean, use Google Analytics surveys, comments, but not all the time that is happening for small clients. And then you kind of have to listen in, listen to family and friends and colleagues, you know, kind of grasp how you know, the feeling. But I would say it's really good to monitor it. Yeah.
AE: [00:11:21] Do you have an idea of the brand already when you start at the drawing board?
SH:[00:11:28] I try to have a moment where I look for inspiration, but yeah, normally when I am at the drawing board, I do have an image in my head. On on the direction. Yes.
AE:[00:11:48] How big difference is it when you're done?
SH: [00:11:52] Oh, that's a really good question. Sometimes it can go, really really, you know, it can go... You kind of reach the right direction very quickly. And other times, you know, it can take a while. And also, you know, it can be tricky because people think a lot about logos and colours and stuff. It's really important. And so it can be a lot of discussions on the client side if they know what they think. And so it's very, very different how long time or how quickly you get there? Yeah. And also it's good to have a good collaboration internally. So you are a group internally that that have a lot of discussions together on the direction. So you kind of are not on your own that you can bounce ideas with your colleagues. Do you think this is the right way to go? I normally have a couple of directions that I work on at the same time and then I see what happens with them and then I discuss it with my group or team before you start working or, you know, discuss it with the client.
AE: [00:13:24] So what's your main learnings? If you look back at the project you've been working with brand identity, what is the best practice, what's the most critical things for the project to succeed?
SH:[00:13:38] Maybe if there is a lot of discussion, on the client side that they can't really decide, and no one really wants to be in charge. You know, they don't really know what they want, and they don't really know if they like, you know, they can't really solve your... It's good to have people that really can make a decision about if this is the right, right way. Yeah. So but it's...
AE:[00:14:15] Someone needs to own it.
SH:[00:14:17] Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
SH:[00:14:20] Yeah, exactly.
AE:[00:14:22] So finally, is there any tips you want to share to the listeners related to brand identity that we haven't spoken about?
SH:[00:14:33] Oh yeah, there probably are a few, but my motto is always to simplify: simple, clean and uncluttered I would say go goes a long way. So that is my tip.
AE:[00:14:54] Well, thank you very much for talking about the topic. Brand identity with us.
SH: [00:15:01] Yeah. Okay. Thank you.
AE:[00:15:03] Nice to have you on. Thanks. Bye bye.