Ever since Philip Harrison opened the book on Harrison 35 years ago, there’s been an ever developing passion for creating hospitality brands and interiors with real depth of storytelling and levels of guest engagement. Though we began our company journey as an interior design service, throughout many years of experience, we’ve developed our offering now into a full-service global brand consultancy.
We’re so much more than designers – we’re storytellers.
Creating and nurturing brands with distinct narrative arcs and strong conceptual foundations is at the heart of what we do. We’ve used these skills to develop into the industry’s leading strategically-led, multi-disciplinary brand & interior design consultancy – with offices internationally in London, Birmingham, Dallas and Melbourne, all delivering over 6,000 hospitality projects worldwide.
It’s this focus on strategic understanding and analysis combined with an intuitive and intelligent creativity that enables us to uncover brand stories, and create and enrich compelling brand character for our clients.
We spoke with Rachael Armstrong, Brand Strategy Manager in the USA office, to answer a few questions on the importance of brand identity and how to have an effective strategy.
What is the importance of brand storytelling in 2023?
It’s important in 2023 because the consumer really wants to know who they’re purchasing from and why they should purchase from that band. The market is saturated with pretty much every type of food or product you could need so it’s not lack of choice. People are much more interested in WHY brands do what they do, as opposed to just being interested in the product itself.
People want to have a connection with the products that they purchase & brands they support; it is seen as an alignment of values. From the beginning of time, life has been told through the passing down of stories and that’s how we connect on a human level.
What does an effective brand strategy look like?
An effective brand strategy is going to have clearly defined values, vision & mission that everyone within that company buys into. Internally, values, vision & mission also act as a filter for all business decisions including partners, hiring practices, employees & staff, etc.
The most effective strategy would be to determine who you are and who you want to be and don’t waiver on that. Own it. Be proud of it. Do not by any means try to be all things to all people because you will fail.
What three things should you look for when choosing to work with a brand agency?
First, potential agencies values should align with your own company values, and whoever you’re speaking to should be truly excited about the prospect of working with you and believe in your mission and vision.
Second, you’ll want an agency that is not afraid to give you an in-depth peek behind the curtain at their processes and how they are going to involve you and produce a finished product. You also need to notice if they’re asking you questions that cause you to say “I’ve never thought of it that way.” or “I’ve never thought about that period.”!
And third, find potential agency partners whose portfolio contains the style of work and the types of companies you appreciate. Go one step further and ask for client recommendations to speak with them about their experience and use your network to talk to people who have worked with the agency.