Creating enduring brands that excite, inspire, and connect with people
The following case histories offer examples of how our clients have achieved better business results.
You may find some of these situations relevant to challenges you're facing.
We define and leverage brand equities (those things that make your brand special) in ways that can build revenue, market share, and customer loyalty. We uncover the rational and emotional drivers of your product, service, or company, articulate a sound strategic direction, and creatively express the brand with clarity and consistency. In the end, your brand doesn’t just reach people, it excites and inspires them – it connects!
We work with clients all over the world and offer a broad range of turnkey services from primary research, to naming, logo design, websites, design systems, salesforce apps, and more. See a complete list of services below.
Qualitative and quantitative research that captures the critical insights necessary to build a compelling strategic brand direction
Clearly defined strategic direction that guides the brand to meet your business objectives
Articulating the hierarchy and relationship of brands or parts of your organization into a logical system
Defining a clear and specific value that’s uniquely offered by your brand to your target consumer, which sets it apart from the competition and motivates a desired behavior
Creating the primary verbal expression of the brand that is memorable, authentic, powerful, differentiating, and culturally appealing
The hierarchy of messaging that leads customers to easily access and understand your brand story and business information
Capturing the core essence of your brand and expressing it in the simplest, yet most memorable, form
The strategically grounded look and feel of your brand across all visual media
Defining, planning, creating, and producing materials to communicate the brand across all printed applications ranging from brochures and product literature to posters and stationery systems
Balancing form and function to distinguish the brand from competitors, enhance the user experience, and reinforce the overall brand image
Creating an environment that encourages personal interaction between you and your customers
Creating a physical branded experience, from signs and wayfinding systems to full architectural environments for retail and corporate spaces
Everything from a plan for production of branded materials to complete execution of planning, production, and delivery
A comprehensive, highly detailed tool to direct and maintain consistent and efficient application of your brand through every reference touchpoint by every potential user
Creating interactive, virtual brand experiences on Web and mobile devices to engage people and offer them self-guided access to relevant brand information
Protecting and supporting your brand equity in times of crisis with strategic guidance and audio, video, and printed communication materials
VDLA follows a four-step process (shown below) that is based on the time-honored principle of “Keep it Simple.”
First we gain a rich understanding of the brand (Discovery), then assess how those insights influence the brand expression (Definition). Next, we develop actual ways to communicate the brand visually and verbally so as to build brand preference and loyalty (Expression). Finally, we develop the “rules” of application of the core principles of the brand expression to ensure a consistent introduction and future application (Implementation).
Before action comes understanding – or as a wise person once said: “engage brain before mouth.” We make it a priority to understand the brand both from the perspective of people in your organization who live the brand every day and from existing and potential customers and those who influence purchase behavior.
The research needs of each client are very unique and there is no single cookie-cutter solution. We only recommend gathering information that will lead to better strategic decisions and stronger design solutions. We start by separating the “nice to know” from the “need to know” so we can gain key insights in the most efficient and effective ways possible and quickly turn those insights into tangible solutions.
By analyzing the insights gained during the Discovery Phase, we’re able to define a clear strategic direction to guide creation of a powerful brand. With no vested interest in preserving any status quo, we’re able to directly, yet tactfully, define where the brand may be strongest, weakest, and most able to leverage positive equities in new directions. At the end of this phase, you’ll have a keen sense of the brand equities that must be preserved, which ones need improvement, and where rich, differentiating equities can be tapped. Surprising to many clients are the gaps we typically uncover in internal (employee) versus external (customer) perceptions of the brand.
Using the Strategic Brand Guide as a measure, we develop unique and creative ways to express your brand visually, verbally, and experientially. We create engaging and appropriate ways to articulate the core brand identity and capture the equities and character that define your brand. Combining inspiration, passion, and exacting attention to detail, we apply the full power of your brand across every touchpoint so that each interaction builds positive brand equity, delivers a consistent brand experience, and distinguishes your brand from the competition.
Brands are precious assets that require specialized care and attention. We create systems to maintain and even enhance value over time. Once the various forms of brand expression have been created, we develop the “rules” of application to ensure efficiency, effectiveness, and consistency with each use. The elements and systems established in the Expression Phase are now put into practice with thoroughness and precision. We work with your internal team and external partners to launch the brand to its full capacity and sustain its strength well into the future.
What differentiates us is our focus on the business implications of brand strategy and design. We’re not a consultancy that offers ideas with no plan for execution or a creative boutique that develops designs with no business rationale.
We have the expertise to help you meet and exceed your goals, the diplomacy to communicate effectively across all levels of your organization, and the experience to get the job done without needing to be micro-managed. After all, don’t you already have enough to do?!
We deliver the right blend of strategy and design, strike the right balance of information and inspiration, and assign the right sensitivity to your long-term goals and short-term needs.
Our business model is based on providing each client with direct, personal involvement from one or both founders of the Firm and supplementing the team with subject matter experts (our Associates) with specialized skills and experience that’s relevant to each specific client. We have over 30 employees and Associates and regularly add resources to our team.
We keep it simple. We have no complex organizational hierarchy, no silos, no black boxes, and no mystery. Simplicity is often a difficult thing to achieve, but you’ll see it in everything we do. Communicating a powerful brand experience is challenging enough without adding layers of complexity and confusion.
Our processes are transparent, efficient, and yield great results. For every project and every assignment, we provide clear and detailed actions, timing, and responsibilities so you always know the status of your project and are assured we’ll deliver what you need on time and on budget.
We are media, platform, and technology neutral and are not part of a holding company. Our recommendations are based on what’s best for your brand, not what would allow us to feed business to a sister division or profit center. Our clients are always our #1 priority, and finding new and better ways for them to excel is our ultimate goal.
The vast majority of work we do is the result of repeat assignments from satisfied clients and referrals to their colleagues and friends. We’re very proud that our reputation for treating clients right and delivering exceptional results continues to spread.
Tell us about your branding challenges and how we can help you realize better business results.
Telephone: +1 203 445 6244 180 Post Road East
Westport, Connecticut 06880
VDLA is a collaborative, energetic team that believes passionately in branding. We’re always looking for talented, insightful, and creative people to join us. We enjoy a challenge and are rigorous in our approach. As a member of our team, you’ll be engaged at every level of the process as we create solutions for our clients and develop exceptional brands.