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3 ways we gave our brand its personality

Does your brand have one?

I’ve been working at Orchard now for almost 8 years, and I have seen it flourish from a small company of around 20 team members to a bustling hub now of almost 80! We’ve gained new client relationships and worked on an endless list of new and exciting projects, establishing ourselves within an ever-growing creative industry. Orchard has definitely found its feet.

As time goes on, trends change; brands change; and the way we market ourselves and communicate change.  We felt it was our time to grow and evolve. We didn’t want to fall to the bottom of the pile, and needed to show that we were still following those current trends, and staying ahead of the game - whilst staying true to our beliefs and heritage. We’re a humble bunch and there is no way we’re about to forget who we are.

So a few months back, we came together internally to discuss how we wanted to develop our brand going forward. We knew from the start that we didn’t want to change our logo. It was our identity; our character - it was ‘us’. So instead, we thought why not evolve the brand and push it to the best it can be. Develop our colour palette, our tone of voice, our values and our marketing collateral so that consumers would see that we’re ahead of the game, we are serious about what we do and that we know our s#*t!

Why does a brand need a personality?

A brand is more than just a logo, colour palette or a font. It also embodies a set of human characteristics i.e. how it looks, how it makes you feel, how it communicates with you etc. A company’s brand personality prompts an emotional response to a product, service or mission with the intention of inciting positive actions. Just as people have values, goals, beliefs (and even flaws) - so do companies. This personality is an added value to the brand in addition to its functional benefits. Clients are more likely to buy into a brand if its personality is similar to their own. However, it is essential to accurately define the right personality for your brand so that it resonates with the correct client. There are five main types of brand personalities:

Competence – Possession of a required skill, knowledge, qualification or capacity.
Sincerity – Freedom from deceit.
Sophistication - Ideas, tastes, manners altered by education, experience etc.
Excitement - To arouse or stir up the emotions or feelings of happiness.
Toughness - Strong and durable; not easily broken or cut.

So we asked ourselves - if Orchard was a person, how would we describe them? Could delving deeper into the brand persona abyss help us become a more memorable brand?

We believe Orchard is fun, humble, professional, confident and proud and we wanted those attributes to shine through in the way we work and the way our clients perceive us.

This led to a little ‘spring clean’. After all we were overdue.

1. We updated our colour palette

We are mostly recognised for our distinct corporate palette – the ash (black) and our very own ‘breen’. We couldn’t change those in any way so, we re-visited our secondary colour palette. We wanted boldness, warmth and confidence to match our brand evolution.  We also wanted our secondary palette to be distinctive but to show our ‘fun’ side to reflect us as people. After a lot of research and colour-mixing – we succeeded, and we feel that our new colour palette shows us off at our very best! Giving our new colours names also added to the brand personality as well. For example, our Navy colour is called Midnight Notes which was derived from team members being up all night working ‘making notes.’ This gives our team that emotional tie with the brand.

2. We updated our team photography. We are our people after all.

So, using one of our in-house photographers, we experimented with different lighting and colour levels to get our desired look and feel, taking a mix of serious and relaxed poses which we felt illuminated our individual personalities. We are bursting with so many different types of personalities it wouldn’t be right to have everyone sit in the same spot and shout “Cheese!” as we pointed a camera lens at them. We wanted people to express themselves, pull faces and just be them. We wanted our audience to see the real people behind the magic, and be able to connect with them on a different level.

3. We developed a unique brand mark to use on all of our marketing collateral moving forward.

We wanted something distinctively ‘Orchard’ that would become memorable - not only to us but to our clients. That’s when we came up with the giant O. Derived from the Orchard logo, the O. represents one team as well as the process of how we provide our services - from start to finish. It is everything we are and what we stand for. Keeping our ever-important breen dot represents a stamp of approval. It’s the sign off to all the jobs we complete, and adds a sign of quality to everything we deliver. Together they create a character, our mascot, which portrays the people behind work – 80 of us represented as one being.

I think it’s best you just take a look for yourself. As you can see - we’ve had a little tidy up of our website so why don’t you take five minutes to explore? The proof is in the pudding after all.

Emily, Designer / Brand Consultant

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