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AI in branding
4 minute read - by Jan Van Lysebettens

AI in Branding: Hype or Hero?

Over the past year, AI has exploded into every conceivable niche—including branding.

AI-generated logos are all the rage. It’s easy to see why: AI tools promise the world. Better still, you can create these logos in seconds, from the cosiness of your sofa, on a shoestring budget. Tempting, isn't it? But there's a catch.

Branding isn't a jigsaw puzzle that AI can miraculously solve. It’s not a simple equation you can pass off to an algorithm. If you want to create a brand that resonates deeply with your mission, values, and consumers, you still need that human touch.


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More Than Just a Pretty Logo

Imagine you’re rebranding your company. First things first, you need a logo. However, you can’t simply create a logo out of thin air. It might be the most visual aspect of your branding, but it’s just the tip of the branding iceberg.

So, what's lurking underneath? Your company's core identity—that's what.

We're talking about your mission, vision, and unique selling propositions (USPs). You need to nail down these elements before you pick a colour scheme or font. A logo without a strategic backbone is just ink on paper—or pixels on a screen.

Working with a branding agency allows you to nail down these fundamentals before creating your logo or branded materials. That’s why our first step is to run a comprehensive brand strategy workshop with all our clients.

We’ll flesh out your mission, define your USPs, and map out where you sit in your competitive landscape through a series of co-creation branding exercises. We’ll then translate these insights into a strategic narrative, the North Star guiding all your branding and marketing endeavours.


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Knowing Is Half the Battle

You might’ve heard some agencies remark that "Customers don't know what they want”. While this isn’t always correct, the phrase has some truth. Describing what you want is already very hard. However, describing what you actually need is often almost impossible at the start of the project.

The biggest challenge isn’t creating the best solution—it’s figuring out the problem.

We've spent over a decade untangling these knots with clients. We know that branding is an interactive and iterative process. That’s why we work together to determine what you want, need, and how we can help you build your dream brand.

We kick off the process with a branding workshop where we dissect your initial request. From there, we zoom out to define how you want your brand to be perceived and settle on the brand values you want to stand for. We then use these insights to create a moodboard where we agree on a rough visual identity.

These workshops often yield surprising outcomes—and personal preferences fall by the wayside in favour of what’s best for your brand. For example, your CEO might be set on using blue in your logo. But is it the colour your clients associate with your brand? Does it represent your brand in the best way possible?

If the answer’s no, then you need a new direction.

So, can AI dig this deep into the nuances of your brand's identity? Can it move beyond your initial assumptions, preferences, and requests to determine what’s actually best for your brand?

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The Catalyst for Change Isn’t Always What You Think

Branding projects are usually triggered by a spark. Maybe you've merged with another company, shifted your market positioning, or welcomed a new CEO. These aren't just surface-level changes—they’re seismic events that can completely reshape your brand's strategic direction.

Remember: branding isn't a stagnant exercise. It's a dynamic journey influenced by multiple internal and external factors. This is where using AI for branding falls short. It doesn’t have the emotional intelligence or capacity for contextual analysis required to adapt to these fluid, ever-changing scenarios.

Can AI empathise with the consumer's journey? Can it understand the nuance in cultural shifts, social values, or market trends? Not a chance. It may generate a polished logo, but it won't capture the essence of your brand, which is more than skin deep.

Branding might seem like a purely visual exercise—but it goes much deeper than this


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The Case for AI: It's a Tool, Not a Replacement

Don't get us wrong. We're not Luddites shaking our fists at technology. In fact, AI can be a fantastic supplemental tool in branding exercises. Need a burst of creative ideas? AI can generate several options in seconds.

But here's the thing: AI serves up raw, unfiltered suggestions without any nuance or strategic alignment.

AI-generated assets can certainly act as inspiration, but they should never replace human-led strategy and execution. AI can be an assistant on your branding journey, but it's not qualified to be the director.

We view AI as a tool, much like a sketchbook or a design catalogue. It can provide you with new avenues for creativity, but it can’t—and shouldn’t—dictate your brand's story.

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The Irreplaceable Value of Human Expertise in Branding

Branding is an intricate tapestry woven from various threads—strategy, emotion, innovation, and yes, aesthetics. While AI may excel at specific tasks, it falls woefully short in weaving this tapestry.

It lacks the human touch, the years of expertise, and the in-depth understanding of human behaviour needed to build a lasting brand. But that’s where we can help.

As a full-service agency, we’re experts in all things branding. We’ll work hand in hand with your team to carefully craft your company’s unique persona—one that aligns with your mission, values, and customers. What’s more, we’ll responsibly use AI where possible to boost efficiency in the creative process.

By working with us, you’ll get the best of both worlds. It’s a no-brainer.

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Creative Lead

Jan Van Lysebettens

Jan is an experienced senior designer and developer who’s really passionate about creating beautiful designs and turning them into fully functional digital experiences. He combines a strong sense for aesthetics with an analytical approach to turn a client’s vision into meaningful digital products.

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