GET YOUR BRAND RIGHT AND GENERATE SALES
It’s all about you!
Before you commission a branding agency to stroke their beards, order their vanilla lattes, settle into their multi coloured bean bags and book their next Californian surf holiday all at your expense, you could get a feel for your own brand and it’s positioning.
Do your commercial and brand visions match?
You don’t need to be a massive corporation to realise the benefits of clear brand vision. In actual fact, a simple marketing strategy, aligned to your business goals, just might give focus to you and/or staff, raise your profile with new customers, enhance your reputation and increase sales.
It’s certainly difficult to be seen and heard above the ‘clutter’ out there.
You may already have a unique position and high profile but you still need to nurture the credibility of your company or trust in your products, to boost profits and ongoing sustainability.
What’s a brand anyway?
Let’s paraphrase Wikipedia – after all, it’s a brand leader!
A brand is a name, term, design or other feature that distinguishes one seller’s product from those of others.
Branding was adopted to differentiate one person’s cattle from another’s by means of a distinctive symbol burned into the animal’s skin.
So it’s just a logo isn’t it?
No it’s so much more! No matter how contemporary it may be, a logo is a badge or symbol for the larger, holistic company brand.
The 3 main elements of corporate brand:
1. Visual – the logo, corporate colours, fonts, environmental, uniforms etc.
2. Communications – the way you convey your company, i.e. the language and tone of voice you employ across channels PR, press, media, advertising, emails, literature, events etc
3. Behaviour – the way your staff and processes satisfy your customers and live up to or exceed expectations, e.g. service, cost, delivery and reliability.
Brand is in the eye of the beholder
Brand Identity is what the company wants to communicate but the brand image is what customers/audience perceive or form as an impression in their own minds. You actually have limited opportunity to effect and control this but should make the most of all at your disposal.
So a logo isn’t the brand but the
visual interpretation of a brand
Get a personality!
You need to consider what you want to stand for. Then project this through the three elements above. Start by researching your target markets and consumer requirements. Review their current brand associations. Are you positioning as a premium (e.g. Apple) or value (e.g. Dell) brand?
Some brands attract ‘brand ambassadors’ – people/consumers who champion/wear/live the brand, e.g. Animal (surf brand) logo stickers on campervans/cars – the consumer’s lifestyle matches the brand vision.
What use is this to me?
All very well for the big guns. If you’re an SME (like Creative Generation!), your brand ‘equity’ might not have great value on the stock market… yet anyway. But doesn’t hurt to dream.
It’s inspirational to study the large blue-chip corporate success stories, they all started somewhere of course but what can local small businesses learn from them?
No matter how small, every business already has a brand, whether it’s good, bad or ugly. No logo doesn’t equal no brand. Reputation and trust are key and essential elements of how you and your products or services are valued.
In accounting, a brand is defined as an intangible asset but is often the most valuable asset to a business.
You should create a visual brand identity to attract, achieve recognition and meaning while also reinforcing trust and loyalty.
So a logo isn’t the brand but the visual interpretation of a brand.