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Yo Santosa

How can businesses retain customer attention with branding and identity?

Branding: Identity Design
Branding: Identity Design

Branding: Identity Design

Yo Santosa
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Chris Do sits downs with Founder and Creative Director, Yo Santosa for her perspective on building brands with personality.

In this episode, Chris Do sits downs with Yo Santosa for her perspective on building brands with personality. Yo is a woman with many titles, and is the founder and Creative Director of at least four different companies: Feral Concrete, Commodity, Fruit, and LA Downtowner.

With her start in graphic design, Yo graduated school and went on to work at a branding agency. Her time as an employee would be a short, bittersweet 2 weeks, as she realized it was not for her. She then went on to spend 5.5 years in the motion graphics industry.

Still though, even when she was a young child, branding was something that always piqued her curiosity. She would ask herself, “why do I like this brand of toys instead of that one? What is so attractive about store X over store Y?”

She then reentered the branding and identity design space, and answers Chris’s questions about what businesses can achieve when they put more attention and focus into their brand.

The first thing to do, according to Yo, is find out who the customer is. You have to understand what they like, their hobbies, and what they’re attracted to visually.

Think of branding as playing the role of matchmaker. You’re trying to make two things fall in love with each other. You can’t change the people, but you can change the brand, give it specific characteristics and qualities, and make it as compatible with your customer as possible.

Before going into any visuals, Yo begins with words. She researches what people are saying about a current brand, why they buy from one business versus the competitor. With her clues in hand, Yo picks out specific words that define the brand. The key is to simplify the list of words with a little help from the Thesaurus.

Giving a brand a personality starts with a name. Then build a personality trait for that specific brand. Is what you’re building cool, innovative, trendy, or influential? What kinds of things would this person (the brand) say?

Brands that earn the loyalty of consumers are the ones that speak to them, literally and figuratively. How you craft these kinds of brands, starts with a simple word search.

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