Brand Communications

It is always a challenge to achieve branding that reflects the culture of your business or service and gives you a competitive edge over your rivals. Add to that the need to keep stakeholders in the loop and branding becomes a complex business.

For some sectors that challenge has stepped up apace with the onset of recession. Financial and other professional services in particular have to persuade investors and customers that their businesses are above suspicion – and do it in an honest and open way.

Sectors such as property have also been hit hard by the downturn, often bringing mergers and restructuring that again needs handling sensitively to resassure customers and guide them to the services that best suit their needs.

But it isn’t all bad news and areas such as the public sector are poised to bloom through effective use of design and branding. The Government’s commitment to design was boosted in Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s recent ministerial reshuffle and the elevation of Lord Mandelson to a central position across areas where design is already making a mark.

And Mandelson isn’t the only asset, from a creative perspective, in the new line-up. Alan Johnson espoused design while Health Secretary, notably through the Design Bugs Out programme, and we can expect similar interest from his successor at Health, Andy Burnham, who moves over from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Johnson, meanwhile, moves to the Home Office, where Designing Out Crime is taking hold as one of a raft of design-led measures to eradicate crime.

Moves such as these will keep marketers and designers on their toes as the initiatives filter down to the public. Has there ever been a better time to be in public-sector branding?

These are among the issues we address in this latest Brand Communications Book. We hope you find the publication useful – and are moved to join in the various debates.

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