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To Brand Or Not To Brand, That Is The Question?

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room." Jeff Bezos.

Where it all began

The history of branding goes back centuries when tribes used markings to distinguish themselves from other tribes. Each tribe had their own unique personality, values and means of expression with a perfect example being the ancient Egyptians branding their cattle when trading.  

In 1876 the Trademark Registration Act came into effect, with English Pale Ale brewers Bass becoming one of the first companies to register a trademark to protect their red for the next pub quiz!

Bass' trademarked logo famously featured on Édouard Manet's 1882 painting 'A Bar at the Folies-Bergère' pioneering 'corporate identity’ and sparked reasoning for businesses to start to delve deeper into the how and why they needed to protect their visual identity. Businesses needed to find new ways of expressing these values visually and verbally—marrying the visual with the emotional thus creating the brand and it becoming what it is today.

More than just a logo

‘It’s about values. It’s a complicated and noisy world, and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So, we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about us.” – Steve Jobs.

There has always been an air of mystery surrounding the meaning of the Apple logo, with rumours circulating that it has biblical meaning or is a tribute to English mathematician, computer scientist and logician theoretical biologist Alan Turing, however, others believe it came elsewhere as Steve Jobs used to work in an orchard and it is often thought that he took inspiration from his time there and the bite was added to the famous logo for scale so that it wouldn’t look like a cherry… Sorry to disappoint you. 

How then has such a simplistic logo become one of the most iconic logos in the world? One thing for sure is that Apple’s brand depicts simplicity by offering clear messaging, beautifully art directed advertising and a clever tone of voice; they’ve even trademarked the design of the glass stairs in every store, making Apple what it is today…who trademarks stairs these days?! 

The brand touches every element of the business, epitomising creativity and emotion; that’s why when you satisfyingly peel the plastic off your shiny new Apple device, you can almost hear Steve Jobs whisper in your ear, “Welcome to the family, my friend”. Gone are the days when it was important for companies to advertise and look good but how the company makes you feel… that’s the power of branding. The Apple brand offers us simplicity in an ever-chaotic world, which is somewhat comforting don’t you think?

A good investment

An effective brand increases customer loyalty over time as it becomes more memorable; therefore, consistency across every element of your business is vital, even from the way employees speak, act and if you are selling a tangible product, the way it’s packaged. The more exposure a brand gets, the quicker it is recognised when someone needs the product or service.

Businesses need to identify what makes them unique and consistently communicate that message, this does not mean that everything has to look the same all of the time as you can find new ways to work with the elements that complement your brand. Design trends come and go in an ever-changing world, and consumer behaviours change, but you can still stay true to your brand values whilst tweaking design elements and even refreshing your logo every few years. By taking clients on that journey with you, you can buy their loyalty, which is worth investing in.

For every budget

Now that we have both physical and digital touch-points, a Smörgåsbord of design offerings can help you promote your message, however, it is not always in everyone’s budget or appropriate to use every tool at your disposal. It’s the job of designers and brand strategists to identify the needs of the business and work as an extended part of the business team to deliver creative solutions that can make a difference, whatever the budget. 

Brand Optimism

English Poet, John Donne’s famous quote “no man is an island” is as relevant today as it was four hundred years ago. The last eighteen months has forced us to realise how much we rely on each other and this sense of camaraderie has filtered into dynamic and responsive brands, changing their behaviours for the greater good, from tech companies contributing to the ventilation effort, theatres streaming plays, distilleries making hand sanitiser and restaurants offering takeaways, thinking outside the box and adapting through innovating. 

The pandemic has allowed people to pause, think and re-energise, with many people recognising opportunities they didn’t know they had, starting their own businesses and being authentic. Authenticity is essential now more than ever, with brands needing to think bigger and this creates a tremendous opportunity for businesses of all shapes and sizes to use branding to redefine their future. I think that’s worth investing in, don’t you?

Does your business require a brand strategy or brand refresh? Contact our team today at for more information, and we would be delighted to create a proposal for how we can help. 

Welcome to Whitenoise, a creative agency committed to transforming global brands through compelling visual experiences.

We’re a creative agency whose work turns heads, transforms ideas into action and creates real-world impact and lasting value. Our structure is unique. Built on collaboration and an integrated approach, we deliver engaging touchpoints across all brand expressions. 

Our work encompasses Brand Creation and Narrative, Digital and Print Advertising , Web Design and UX , Film Production and Promotional video, Animation and Motion Graphics, Digital Marketing and Paid Advertising, Digital Strategy and Content Creation.


Further reading

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