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Once upon a time in 2018, in a city named Ahmedabad, India, A branding studio was established. Branding a branding studio was not only meta, but a service we rendered for ourselves. That made it challenging, and a true test of our abilities.
We are a proud studio based in India, with a global scope of work and experience. Branding without borders.
Right when we started, before we underwent the branding process ourselves, we already had a creative team, projects at hand, and a functional studio. But we realized that we were a business that provided a service, not a brand. We got aware of the irony and decided to brand ourselves.
We already had the knowledge of the branding process through various projects we had done in the past. And according to our process, the next phase was research. Competitive analysis made us realize that the branding agencies that we considered our competition were nothing but digital shops that sold logos that were living proofs of symbols without substance. They plagued the branding industry. Media industry, ad agencies, etc were also eyeing branding as a potential service upgrade without knowing what it actually meant. Upon removing the geographical filter, we found our competition on a global scale and started studying them.
Before we began branding ourselves, we had to make an effort to not fall into the client trap. All the generic digital shops were getting more business and they were producing more logos by the hour. There is a demand for average branding. But we decided to take a step back and focus on the bigger picture. We focused not on the demand, but the need of making branding about the essence, about the gut feeling again.
We realized that we were anything but a 360° service agency with a vision to serve anyone with a fat pocket.
The global branding fraternity was coming out with exceptional work. But one factor common with most of them was the dependence on corporate jargon in their communication which was clearly implicated to ‘sound’ one with expertise and professional potential. When we talked to them, we realized they were losing out on a great deal of the essence of the branding process behind the jargon.
This helped us shift focus to ‘the Slangbusters difference’ which was as basic as clarity and inclusivity. The communication gap we found in our competition inspired our brand strategy and positioning.
Our strategy: include the client in their own branding process to accelerate the presence of their idea in their brand, and reflect the best of them in the identity. We are not a studio that you outsource to, we are here to collaborate with you to bring your ideas to life.
Slangbusters Branding Studio is not an agency. We are a collective of misfits who rebel against the generic. We ask why. Through branding, we want to build culture, design experiences and excavate great ideas from the muck of generic identities.
With the branding process, we decided to take inspiration from the best branding literature available out there, along with our personal experience of building brands. We designed the first two phases as purely business processes, with design thinking, but without considering any visual identity aspects. The first two phases are data, facts and research heavy, followed by the identity phase which includes aspects like naming, logo, and touchpoints. This makes sure that the identity is not symbols without substance. It makes the identity more communicative of the brand.
We decided to focus more on positioning and brand strategy which is a long term approach towards branding. We drew lines on when will we give standalone services, and designed various models to not become a logo factory. We realized our value proposition was to help businesses identify and connect with their tribe at a deeper level.
We believe that the branding process could be so easy, one can do it themselves.
Our own identity began with our naming, for which, we kept on coming back to our brand strategy. After generating about 800 names, a number we usually achieve when we undergo the naming process for any brand, we found one that perfectly reflected who we are.
Slangbusters is not just a brand name, it is also the smallest job description for anyone who is looking for work at our studio.
Slang=Lingo, jargon | Bust=to shatter, get rid of. Making us, the jargon shatterers, or clear communicators if you want to go meta.
The visual identity followed right after, and was as smoothly integrated with our strategy as hot knife through butter. We created a custom typeface which was slightly unreadable on purpose. It was a risk we took to further emphasize on why we exist. The ‘Slang’ is followed by a ‘Busters’ in a very legible Futura, further clarifying our standpoint.
Our color palette is Neon, strategically chosen to represent the Slangbusters. We also built a culture within the Slangbusters to avoid jargon in all internal as well as external brand communication.
We realized stories help communicate easily, analogies help digest complex concepts and even jargon. We used that to explain the Slangbusters branding process through a simplified story.
All this, and more, at the Slangbusters Studio.
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