Dauntless vs. Dauntless: A Matter of Identity
Written by Jason Marchant
Keeping your head when someone’s using your face.
A new videogame came out recently that, like us, is called Dauntless. It casts you as a warrior, hopping around flying islands, seeking out the giant monsters that inhabit each one, and brutally killing them for profit.
We wouldn’t have given the game more than a cursory glance – we’re in totally different sectors after all – were it not for the fact we started getting their mail. A few gamers were contacting us from around the world to say there was a bug, or they were stuck on the ‘Stormclaw’ level, or that SHATN3R5BASS00N69 was being a total “griefer”, et cetera, et cetera. Clearly they’d googled “Dauntless” found us, and blindly submitted their game woes.
It got us thinking about brand identity, and how important it is.
Brand identity or bland identity?
UK communications giant British Telecom unveiled their new logo to much derision recently. As a professional communicator myself, I see logos as a chance to connect with the audience; I see this as utilitarian and cold. To me it’s almost an anti-identity, like something Orwell would have dreamt up for his latest dystopia. Striking? Yes. Memorable? No. Emotive? Not on your nelly.
Imitation as flattery
The KFC brand is copied mercilessly across the UK by independent takeaways. But rather than sue the heck out of the colloquially-known ‘dirty chicken shops’, KFC chose to gracefully accept the implied compliment.
The KFC brand showed it was a level-headed, friendly entity able to laugh at itself. Consumers like brands like that.
Imitation as heresy
Conversely, legendary rockers Iron Maiden showed a complete lack of humour and humility, when lawyers discovered a small fry sci-fi videogame was going by the name, Ion Maiden. Rather than see the harmless pun for what it is, the multi-platinum-selling group brought the legal hammer down on publisher 3D Realms.
A case of the band taking their 1982 hit “Hallowed Be Thy Name” too literally, and winning exactly zero extra fans in the process. Will the sympathetic game exposure be worth the $2M lawsuit? We’ll wait and see.
The internet paragons Mozilla, are also in the identity spotlight right now, as they go through a beautifully handled Firefox re-brand. Change is scary for everyone involved – both company and customers get freaked out when things shift about – so the Mozillians remained open and transparent throughout.
Whether the end result is to your taste or not is somewhat irrelevant, Mozilla is managing the transition like transformation pros.
Getting the brand back together
When Dauntless (the super-cool agency, not the game) works with a business, we research and examine their brand in depth, and pick apart how it interacts with the world. We know it’s vital to consider the implications of everything you do to that brand and with it. The visual identity, the tone of voice, the audio identity, and what the brand is seen to do all build a picture in the mind of the consumer.
So when we create or re-imagine a brand for you (as we did for Marketforce, for example), you can be sure the best minds and safest of hands are working for you. Let’s have a chat about how we can help you.
And SHATN3R5BASS00N69, stop being an idiot, or we’ll tell your mum.
If you liked this article, don’t forget to share it.
You might also like to read…
In the second part of our interview with Josh Chesney, we examine what it takes to challenge and succeed.
There’s more to graphic design than just graphics and design, and getting that wrong may invoke the wrath of Dauntless designer, Rosie Munro.
We talk to the Dauntless head honcho Josh Chesney, about his life, his loves and about leading from the front.