When it comes to branding, being attractive isn’t enough. Visually appealing brand identities that lack a strategy are worse than having no brand identity at all. That’s our opinion. Effective branding must be guided by a deep understanding of the heart and soul of a client’s business and a compelling brand strategy that resonates with stakeholders and prospects. It’s what makes brands work and stand out from the competition. That’s why and how they get traction in the marketplace.

The word “strategy” is part of our name for this very reason. As an award-winning brand strategy agency in NYC, everything we at Knox Design Strategy do is derived from, and guided by, strategy. Great design embodies that thinking – it has to be visually strong and help the client prevail in the marketplace.

Our design work is based on a hands-on analysis of every facet of our client’s business.

Accordingly, our design work is based on an exhaustive, hands-on analysis of every facet of our clients’ business. This is how we craft an effective brand strategy. It means we ask you lots of questions: Who are you in the marketplace? And is this who you want to be? Who are your customers? And who else would you like to have as customers? Who are your primary competitors? And are there any that you have not checked out yet but that might be doing something innovative that’s worth keeping an eye on? What are the trends in the market? What makes you distinctive? What is your competitive advantage? Given all this, what is the appropriate voice and tone for your target audience? And so on.

Our brand strategists also use a series of methodologies to augment this baseline knowledge. Internal workshops help us pinpoint how to optimize a visual brand identity and its messaging. We perform competitive brand audits to identify key differentiators, as well as their strengths and weaknesses and any opportunities they present. Stakeholder and client interviews help us get a clear picture of how a brand is currently perceived from a 360-degree perspective. By stitching together this information and working closely with you, we develop a nuanced yet comprehensive brand strategy.

Once a powerful brand strategy is in place as our North Star, then, and only then, do we begin to design. At every step along the way, we check our work against that strategy. If another metaphor would help, think of a carpenter who is periodically using a laser level to make sure a house’s floor is truly flat. We are the carpenter. The floor is the design. The level is the strategy. And the house/brand? It’s going to be beautiful and functional and last for a long, long time.

Brand marketing strategy workshop

Team workshops where ideas and opinions can be shared freely are essential to crafting successful brand strategy.

Our work for Aluko & Oyebode resulted in a vibrant, modern brand identity and website featuring the firm’s extensive art collection.

Brand strategy positioning Allensworth
Digital branding Aluko & Oyebode

Our Brand Strategy services include:

Diagnostic Workshops

to better understand how to optimize your brand

Stakeholder Interviews

to obtain a clear picture of your firm’s current status

Voice & Tone

to ensure all deliverables clearly communicate your message

Competitive Brand Audit

to double down on your strengths and shore up any issues

Brand Positioning

to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of your target market

Content Strategy

to develop a concrete plan for getting your messages out

Shearman & Sterling embarked on quite an extensive rebrand earlier this year. Knox Design Strategy helped us during the branding process and post-branding, to ensure that all of our materials were consistent with the new brand as well as usable for the entire firm.

Margaret Eleazar-Smith, Manager, Visual Design & Branding, Shearman & Sterling LLP