Building Corporate Brands

Unlocking potential, challenging established thinking, raising the bar

What we do

Our passion is corporate branding – it’s what we do best and we stick to it. We provide all the analytical, strategic, creative, and digital capabilities needed to build a corporate brand that outperforms. From market research to implementation guidelines, we provide turnkey management of all aspects of brand building.

Our Services
  • Market research

    Qualitative and quantitative research that captures the critical insights necessary to build a compelling strategic brand direction

  • Brand strategy

    Clearly defined strategic direction that guides the brand to meet your business objectives

  • Brand architecture

    Articulating the hierarchy and relationship of brands or parts of your organization into a logical system

  • Brand positioning

    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

  • Naming

    Creating the primary verbal expression of the brand that is memorable, authentic, powerful, differentiating, and culturally appealing

  • Nomenclature systems

    The hierarchy of messaging that leads customers to easily access and understand your brand story and business information

  • Logo design

    Capturing the core essence of your brand and expressing it in the simplest, yet most memorable, form

  • Visual system design

    The strategically grounded look and feel of your brand across all visual media

  • Print design

    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

  • Package design

    Balancing form and function to distinguish the brand from competitors, enhance the user experience, and reinforce the overall brand image

  • Brand exhibit design

    Creating an environment that encourages personal interaction between you and your customers

  • Environmental design

    Creating a physical branded experience, from signs and wayfinding systems to full architectural environments for retail and corporate spaces

  • Implementation plans, execution, and management

    Everything from a plan for production of branded materials to complete execution of planning, production, and delivery

  • Brand guidelines

    A comprehensive, highly detailed tool to direct and maintain consistent and efficient application of your brand through every reference touchpoint by every potential user

  • Website and application design

    Creating interactive, virtual brand experiences on Web and mobile devices to engage people and offer them self-guided access to relevant brand information

  • Crisis communications

    Protecting and supporting your brand equity in times of crisis with strategic guidance and audio, video, and printed communication materials

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How we do it

  • We start with the end in mind, by understanding the business goals that branding can help you achieve. We follow a simple, yet rigorous four-step process that is fact-based, transparent, and highly collaborative.

    • Understand the situation, define the opportunity, assess the key audience needs

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    • Define a clear and actionable strategic direction

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    • Create an appropriate and engaging way to communicate the strategy

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    • Introduce and sustain the brand to all audiences

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  • Discovery

    Understanding the Situation

    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.

    • Internal input sessions
    • Management interviews
    • Qualitative research – one-on-ones, diads, triads, focus groups, intercepts
    • Quantitative research – mailed surveys, online surveys, tracking studies
    • Competitive profiling
    • Brand audit
    • Situation analysis
  • Definition

    Defining a Clear Strategic Direction

    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.

    • Brand strategy
    • Brand architecture
    • Brand positioning
    • Strategic brand guide
    • Opportunity matrix
    • Audience mapping
  • Expression

    Bringing Strategy to Life

    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.

    • Naming and nomenclature
    • Information architecture
    • Environmental design
    • Visual system design
    • Package design
    • Brand exhibit design
    • Logo design
    • Website and apps
  • Implementation

    Launching and Sustaining Brands

    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.

    • Roll-out plans
    • Vendor management
    • Brand guidelines
    • Production management
    • Programming
    • Brand testing
About VDLA

About us

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 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.

Every client has direct, personal involvement with a senior member of our team, including one or both founders of the Firm, and subject matter experts with specialized skills and experience relevant to specific issues. We have over 30 employees and Associates and regularly add resources to our team.

Why Us?
  • We believe simple is better

    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.

  • We do what we say

    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're innovative

    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.

  • We earn respect

    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.

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Brands Served

Contact us

Tell us about your branding challenge and the goals for your business. We build brands capable of achieving their full potential, so your business can outperform.

Telephone: +1 203 445 6244 180 Post Road East
Westport, Connecticut 06880
United States

Career opportunities

Interested in joining us?

Full time positions
Van Deusen & Levitt Associates is always interested in meeting people that share our passion for turning brands into powerful drivers of business success. If you enjoy peeling back the layers of a complex challenge to uncover compelling insights and creating intelligent, creative, and exciting solutions that produce tangible business results, we should get to know each other.

Independent Associates
Van Deusen & Levitt Associates maintains a roster of independent associates with deep expertise in specialized area of brand strategy and design. If you like your independence, but also find it exciting to occasionally partner with a company to address a challenging assignment that’s right up your power curve, we’d like to get to know you.