The Apprentice Highlights Why Branding Can’t Be Rushed
Episode 1 of The Apprentice’s season ‘Cruise Ship - Branding’ depicted the catastrophic tale of ‘Never Ending Nautical’, the health and wellness cruise line brand the boys failed spectacularly to develop and appeal to any audience, let alone the right one.
In the end, a host of poor choices cause the downfall of their ‘Never Ending Nautical’ brand. Today, we will take a deep dive into how the boys failed with their branding and explore why professional and correct branding is essential for your business.
Never-Ending Nautical - How their branding flopped.
The Apprentice is a hit television series where the business skills of competitors are put to the test. Competitors face a range of challenges wherein they must create, market and pitch a business idea to successful entrepreneur and multi-million dollar business owner Alan Sugar.
The boy's team struggled with the sixteenth season’s first challenge right from the start. Only one member of their team, Akshay, had any marketing experience, and he was placed in charge of filming the commercial for the ill-fated cruise liner pitch. The rest of the group had little to no experience with marketing, yet were placed in charge of the branding for their luxury cruise liner.
From the beginning, their brand identity wasn’t strong. The overall concept was based on Akshay’s Three Pillars. The cruise liner aimed to focus on health and wellness, luxury and providing the ‘ultimate’ experience. A branding flop that resulted in their logo looking like a rotten banana quickly dashed their hopes of winning this round, resulting in the girls coming out on top and Harry receiving the dreaded ‘You’re Fired’ line.
Why is branding so important?
Your brand is the identity of your business and should be synonymous with your services, vision and values. Your branding is often the first point of contact with potential customers, and you need to impress with a well thought out concept. If your brand’s design, logo and name are generic and garish, you’re likely turning away potential customers before you’ve even had the chance to talk to them.
This episode of ‘The Apprentice’ showcased firsthand how incorrect, ambiguous branding can be the downfall of a business. Never-Ending Nautical as a brand just didn’t make any sense. Repeated and ill-judged flops, including their logo and colour choices resulting in awful branding that didn’t showcase their business well or appeal to their desired target audience.
Your logo, brand colours and brand names are aspects of your branding that need to be well-thought-out and researched. You should spend time developing your brand, as this will be your business identity and the first point of communication with your audience. Rushed branding can reduce your conversions and put you behind competitors. It’s vital that you spend the time to choose a brand design you genuinely love and feel represents your business well.
Let’s take a look at each of the boys’ mistakes during the brand design of Never-Ending Nautical and explore how this can be rectified in future.
The brand name matters:
The boys took a simple approach to decide their brand name and didn’t spend much time critiquing it. They chose a word associated with cruises - Nautical - and then decided to make it sound like mindfulness. They went with never-ending, and thus ‘Never-Ending Nautical’ was born.
The issue with this brand name is that it doesn’t make much sense to their target audience. Never-ending isn’t a word we’d associate with mindfulness, self-care, luxury and providing an unmatched experience. Instead, it suggests that the cruise liner is targeted toward delivering longer cruise offers, like around the world trips and luxury living experiences. Nautical faces the same issues. Whilst it’s associated with cruise liners, sure, it isn’t one of the first words that pop into your head when you’re thinking about a cruise.
Your brand name should be easily recognisable and have relevance to your business. Potential customers should take one look at your brand name and understand what you’re offering. Never-Ending Nautical had absolutely no relevance to their target market, while also being too long for something to stand out and roll off the tongue.
Conduct market and competitor research to see what buzzwords are being used within your niche. This can help you ensure relevance between your brand name and your business. It’s always best to invest in a branding design expert if you get stuck coming up with the right brand name for you.
At Fortnight, we follow a simple but effective framework for naming a brand by splitting potential names between abstract, evocative and descriptive against real, constructed, inventive and misspelt versions.
Why your visual identity needs to be thought-out:
Their visual identity exploration also ended up in disaster, when the boys transformed what was supposed to be a person in yoga pose into a rotten banana looking abomination. Whilst the idea behind the log had some potential, the boy's choice of colour was questionable at best.
The boys picked the green and brown gradient logo as they felt it reminded them of a tree, which they associated with health, nature and vitality. Again, this entire concept is pretty vague, and it resulted in a logo that is indiscernible from a banana that has far surpassed its expiration date. What’s worse is they didn’t include the brand name!
Consulting with a branding expert would’ve saved them from this embarrassment. Thorough research and investigation was needed to analyse the target audience and what would appeal to them, through mood boarding and visual brainstorming before using that as a basis to explore the logo design. It's vital that you see branding as a long term investment as it represents your business visually through assets, digital products and more. If you rush it, you could end up missing the mark, which puts you behind your competitors and ultimately costs you more money when you need to fix it.
Realistically, the boys attempted to target their cruise liner towards individuals looking for a luxury health and wellness escape. Neither green nor brown are colours consumers associate with health, vitality and luxury. Plus, it’s not visually pleasing as these two colours don’t complement each other. The logo was just ugly and made absolutely no sense to their concept.
All in all, this episode of ‘The Apprentice’ taught us about the importance of branding and how lacklustre brand development can be the downfall of your business concept before it gets going. Your brand design is what represents your business to the world and how you communicate to your audience; it’s vital that you research a well-thought-out, memorable brand idea that appeals to the right audience.
If you’re looking for a branding agency with experience creating impactful brand identity, speak with our team here at Fortnight Studio. Let’s chat about how we can help you create something that will turn heads.