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Ep 5: Brand Experience Design
In this episode of the Brandits, hosts Andrew Thomas and Colin Anderson discuss the importance of ‘brand experience design’, particularly for service brands like hospitality and those in the retail space.
The Power of the Word – part 1
While the visual side of brand identity such as the logo usually hogs the limelight, the power of the word - your verbal identity - plays an equally vital role in shaping how a brand is perceived. In a nutshell, your verbal identity is the voice of your brand. In this post we will discuss what a verbal identity is, and talk about each of its core elements.
Unleashing the Power of Brand Strategy
For any brand to succeed, it needs to have the right strategy behind it - defining its essence, its positioning, and character. This is what resonates with your target audience, and drives long-term growth. But what is brand strategy, and why is it so important? How do you build a brand strategy that will unleash the potential of your brand? In this post, we explain how.
How to build a brand identity the Equus way
Branding any product or company in a way that is true to what it is, and enhances its success, is difficult at the best of times. But it’s easier if you know how. Over the years we have developed a tried and tested branding process, which we adapt to meet specific client needs. Whatever branding or design project we undertake, the basic methodology is the same.
Equus Lights up Leung Sang's Flagship Store
At Equus it’s one of our core principles that when our clients embark on their branding journey with us, we see ourselves as partners in their business success. As far as we’re concerned it’s a joint effort – we create (or recreate) our client’s brands, together with them. Following on from that, we believe that each brand is a story waiting to be told, a unique narrative that related in the right way, will resonate with their target audience. But it’s only the client who can tell that story. We merely help to draw it out, and then we give them the tools to express it. To put it simply, if we do our job well, it’s about "When you shine, we shine too."
Why Good Brand Identity Design Matters – Part 2
People often say that ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, by which they mean that beauty is purely subjective, and there are no objective criteria by which we can judge it. Despite what the sceptics say, we believe that there are objective notions of what ‘looks good’, and ‘feels right’ in the human mind, across times and cultures, and this determines how brands are built. In this blog post, we explain why.
Why Good Brand Identity Design Matters – Part 1
From the moment we wake up to the moment we sleep, we are surrounded by our favourite ‘brands’, the products we’ve selected to get us through our day, all of them represented by the brand identity that defines them. Why did we select them, and what has all this visual ‘power dressing’ got to do with it? Why isn’t everything just sold to us naked, in plain brown paper bags? Answer that question, and we understand not only why we need logos, but also why they need to look good.
Why Brand Experience Design is the new ‘must have’ for brands – Part 2
In part 1 we talked about how one bad customer experience can destroy a brand, overnight. Bearing in mind that today, the perception of a brand is shaped by customers, not by brand owners, making sure the entire customer experience of a brand is on-target and consistent, is more important than ever. In this post, we describe how to do it.
Going for Woke – Part 2 | When it’s bad for the brand, as well as the issues
Back in 2020 we began our spotlight on the phenomenon of ‘Woke Capitalism’, and how it is impacting brands. Which is not all good. And we attempted to help brand owners navigate these potentially choppy waters in a way that would strengthen their brand, while building ‘a better world’. Sadly, it’s like nobody listened.
brand experience design
Why Brand Experience Design is the new ‘must have’ for brands… – Part 1
In today’s social media networked environment, one negative customer experience can destroy a good brand, literally overnight. So how can brands protect themselves from this kind of risk, or better still, how can they recover from it when it happens? It all comes down to designing the whole customer experience in the right way. Or what we call ‘brand experience design’.
Ep 4: The Evolution of the Consumer Buying Process
In this episode of The Brandits, hosts Andrew Thomas and Colin Anderson map the evolution of the consumer buying process over the years and discuss:
The evolution of the buying process and what it means for brands
Back in the day, ‘shopping’ meant going to a shop, looking at the branded options on the shelf, selecting the product that had promoted itself best in the media, pop it in the basket, and buy it with cash. End of story. Today, we review a myriad options and reviews on our phones, select the brand recommended by friends or others on web forums, buy it online without moving from our chairs, and either promote it or trash it on social media afterwards. What does this mean for brand owners today – is traditional retail and branding dead, or has it just changed focus?
Ep 3: Going for Woke – When is it too much, or not enough?
In this episode of The Brandits, hosts Andrew Thomas and Colin Anderson debate the merits and demerits of the way big brands nowadays are embracing an increasingly ‘woke’ social justice agenda.
Going for Woke – Part 1 | When is it too much, or not enough?
The economics guru Milton Friedman famously said “The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits”. Up until yesterday most companies heartily agreed, and convincing them to spend even a cent on corporate social responsibility was almost impossible. But today big brands are falling overthemselves to prove who is the most ‘Woke’, and it’s fast becoming a joke. How did we get here, andhow can we move forward to a saner world?
Ep 1: Why you need to invest in your brand during a crisis
In this inaugural episode of The Brandits, hosts Andrew Thomas and Colin Anderson make a case for why you need to invest in your brand during a crisis
Keeping brands afloat during times of crisis
We all dread a crisis. Whether it’s economic, political, environmental or health-related, turbulent times can harm consumers, damage businesses and kill brands. So what can brands do to stay afloat, and how can we navigate through turbulent times? In this post we explore what steps companies can take in a crisis, not only to make their brands survive, but emerge even stronger.
Ep 2: Branding: where’s it going next
In this second episode of The Brandits, hosts Andrew Thomas and Colin Anderson gaze into a crystal ball and discuss where the world of branding is heading to next
What is the future of branding?
Once upon a time, branding was a tool for cattle owners to identify their herd. It’s been on an incredible journey since then, moving from labelling products to designing experiences, and from being created by brand owners to being curated by customers. So where is branding going next? In this post, we try to figure that out...
Inspiring your people to ‘live the brand’ – Part 2
As far as customers are concerned, your staff are your brand. How they live it out in their daily interactions with your customers, will make the difference between success and failure. So inspiring them to love the brand and become living incarnations of it is vitally important, although achieving that is far from easy. Here we explain how to do it, in five clear steps.
Inspiring your people to ‘live the brand’ – Part 1
Building a successful brand isn’t just about what your product does, it’s also about how staff deliver it and customers experience it. For people to trust your brand, your employees must ‘own’ it and live it, or else it all falls apart. But how do you inspire your staff to become its best ambassadors? It’s all about igniting a fire in them through effective ‘brand engagement'.
Sharpening up
the old axe
Every brand needs sharpening up from time to time to maintain its appeal, even famous old classics that appear to be doing well. The trick is to update the brand without losing its sense of authenticity and the equities that made it successful in the first place. This is our take on Axe Brand, one of Singapore’s local heroes.
Unlikely global icons: Axe Brand Universal Oil
One of Singapore's most iconic and popular brands, Axe Brand Universal Oil is now sold in more than 50 countries around the world. But how did this local health tonic with many competitors become such a global brand? Here we tell its story…
Refreshing heritage brands
We all love ‘Heritage’ brands, those favourite old products that we’ve woven into our everyday lives since childhood. They represent dependable quality, nostalgia, and a sense of continuity. So why do so many of these old brands lose their way, and how can they be revived?
Are you future-proofed for growth?
Why brand architecture matters 08.08.18
How can your business plan for growth and develop your portfolio of products and services so that they make sense to your customers, and build your brand equity? The answer lies ...
Transitioning from school to Equus, it was definitely a scary prospect. Stories of horrific internship experiences were rife and passed down from seniors to juniors in school...
Branding Design
embracing the
future of packaging
Let’s face it. When it comes to the weekly shop, people today are spending less and less time doing it...
to ‘er’
is divine
THE IDEAS SHOP #6 07.07.17
Er is a selection of bespoke artisanal wines from China’s Shanxi province. ‘Er’ meaning ‘two’ in Mandarin, represents the duality of Yin and Yang...
THE IDEAS SHOP #5 15.06.17
Behind every fine desk, we all need a perfectly styled collection of sartorially-led essentials. Courier no. 19 is the premium stationery...
raising the roof
in cambodia
EQUUS CSR TRIP 2015 19.05.17
Every year we aim to donate a portion of our profit, our design talent or our energy to helping the less fortunate, either in Singapore or the region.
in crisis - part one
Luxury is in an existential crisis. Market forces are driving a constant redefinition, and some would say a debasement of the category...
ethical branding
is branding
Is branding ethical? If you’ve read our booklet Being Equus you will know that this is a question we care a lot about..
copyright infringement and its consequences
The copyright minefield PART 2 10.02.17
Imagine this scenario. Your lecturer just gave you a huge assignment, and you need Adobe Photoshop to complete it.
the future of the museum in asia
For more than two millennia, museums have been a defining feature of high civilization, from the earliest recorded in the Neo-Babylonian Empire around 530 BC, to the iconic Tate Modern in London.
do it
for jones
THE IDEAS SHOP #4 16.12.16
JONES keeps it real on the streets with a cool awkwardness, a style statement which says ‘this is how our friends dress, so we can’t be that crazy’.
what is
The copyright minefield – PART 1 18.11.16
Ever been to a museum and been stopped by the security personnel for taking photographs of the artworks on display? That’s probably the only time you’ll suffer any consequences for doing what many of us do all the time – infringe someone else’s copyright.
wally olins
In the comparatively brief history of branding, there are a few people who could truly be considered as ‘Fathers’ of the industry, and one of these is certainly Wally Olins.
how brands
create value
If you want to know how brands create value, Tim Ambler, author of Marketing and the Bottom Line, put it in a very perceptive nutshell. He said that “brand equity is the UPSTREAM RESERVOIR of cash flow.
thoughts on design
paul rand
BOOK REVIEW 20.05.16
Paul Rand (1914-1996) was a prominent American graphic designer, art director, book designer, children’s book author, and the list goes on.
wear your values
on your sleeve
BUILDING A BRAND - 5 OF 5 18.03.16
Every brand should have a point of view – it should represent certain values. These values may be about the quality of the product, or they may reflect the ‘conscience’ of the brand.
BUILDING A BRAND - 4 OF 5 22.01.16
Brands should have a certain integrity – every expression of them has to be consistent with what the brand is all about, at its heart.
A celebration of Equus down
the ages 18.12.15
Not many of you will know that our name means ‘Horse’ in Latin, and to...
flying high
with gulliver
the ideas shop #3 20.11.15
Premium air travel in the Fast Lane just got better with Gulliver, the chic in-flight leisure kit which turns transcontinental air travel from a trial to a pleasure. Enjoy a customised pack of travel essentials combined with a Gulliver classic travel novel of your choice, accompanied by a leisurely meal the old-fashioned way.
happy birthday
to us!
2014 is definitely a year to celebrate, the more so as Equus turned 20 and it’s the lunar year of the Horse... As you may recall our name means ‘Horse’ in Latin. Coincidence? We think not!
good practice
or bad idea?
the free pitching debate 03.07.15
Just recently it was reported that a well-known Singapore mall asked nine leading creative agencies to pitch for a brand building campaign for the mall, worth a six figure sum. No pitch fee was offered, and the agencies were asked to come up with ten ideas... each!
how do
brands work?
building a brand 19.06.15
Scott Bedbury, the person responsible for the explosive growth of the Nike and Starbucks brands in the 1990s, identified two important theories that shed light on the ways in which brands work on the human psyche, derived from classical philosophy and modern psychology.
what exactly is
a brand?
building a brand 05.06.15
The word ‘Brand’ has its origins in Old English where it meant two things: 1. A burning piece of wood, or torch, hence ‘Firebrand’; 2. A sword. Both these original meanings hold resonance for how a brand works today, but as time went by, branding came to mean ‘to mark by burning’ as a proof of ownership, usually the branding of cattle with a hot iron.
branding: what's
the big deal
building a brand 22.05.15
Everyone is talking about branding nowadays. From America to Asia, from businessmen to teenagers, from the government to the man on the street, everybody has become aware of the concept of ‘the brand’. But beyond the very considerable hype, not many people truly understand what branding means, how brands work, nor how brands actually build financial value.
i bolo,
you follow
THE IDEAS SHOP #2 08.05.15
With a sweet-tasting menu, Mister Bolo is the first-ever African Desserts Diner to launch in Singapore. The concept – surprisingly refreshing with exotic African-inspired concoctions – is a magnet for adventurous diners who love the idea of mixing things up. Charmingly back-to-basics ingredients make life all the sweeter at Mister Bolo.
the arctic
THE IDEAS SHOP #1 24.04.15
“When you are lost in the silence of the fjord, the world seems to fade away, its values subverted. The purity of the Arctic gives me new values to live by”.

Kooroq is a luxury resort with a difference. Located in Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland, one of the most isolated places on earth, it offers guests an elemental adventure
the ideas
‘Nobody is as smart as everybody’ as Kevin Kelly, founder of wired Magazine, said. In the networked economy the future belongs to what he calls ‘polyvation’ – where new ideas are generated from multiple sources in a collaborative way which benefits all.
vs strategy
Whatever happened to identity designers? They used to be the guys who designed logos and identity systems, and the design schools turned out lots of them. Well they are still there, but they have ‘rebranded’ themselves as brand consultants.
by step
In order to build a brand identity or any other kind of design project, Equus follows a tried and tested process which we adapt to meet specific client needs. But the basic methodology is the same whatever project we undertake, be it a brand identity, a brochure, a website, or an annual report.
Over the years we have developed a distinctively Equus way of approaching design, gained in the process of serving our clients and generally learning how to get the best out of each other. Called ‘Being Equus’, it represents the collective wisdom of about 20 years of working together, seeing what works and what doesn’t.
your market
BUILDING A BRAND - 3 OF 5 13.02.15
So many companies have launched brands that the marketplace doesn’t want. Business owners are rightly concerned about managing risk, but there are few things riskier than trying to build a brand without doing any research. Which underscores how important it is to know your customer, and your competitor.
your voice
BUILDING A BRAND - 2 OF 5 23.01.15
There’s no point in having a great brand if nobody knows about it. In a crowded and noisy marketplace, having a quality product is not enough – you have to promote it. The trick is to be heard without appearing to try very hard – to make the brand sell itself. So giving your brand its own ‘voice’ in a creative and engaging way is vitally important.
building a brand - 1 OF 5 09.01.15
We all know how ‘personalities’ become brands, but are less aware of the flip side – that product and company brands develop personalities, with an age, a gender, a status, emotions... even a sense of humour. Nurture this personality and a brand can really stand out. Neglect it and a brand will become like a person with no character – ignored.
the power
of EQ
In all the work we do for our clients, whether the project is a complete rebranding or just the reskinning of their website, we try to understand what their brand is all about first. This means defining not only what they do but also who they are – what their personality is, what they stand for, what sets them apart.
Established in 1994, Equus has since become one of the leading design consultancies in Singapore, and by extension, South East Asia. We were founded by four partners – Andrew Thomas, Chia Chay Hwa, Alex Mucha and Cindy Lim, two English men and two Chinese women.
Our vision is to be the most creative branding consultancy in SE Asia, with a borderless capability and a global reputation for design excellence. And to be the best in terms of the quality of our product, the service we give to clients and the care we take of each other and the world around us.