A brand encapsulates so much more than many people realise. It goes far beyond its logo, or its storefront, or its packaging. It’s more intangible than that. It’s an experience. It’s an atmosphere that carries beyond a company’s building and into the everyday lives of their customers.
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
– Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
The concept of branding isn’t new. In fact, branding was originally used for cattle as a stamp of ownership. Right from the start, branding was all about making your mark. Soon manufacturers and farmers would begin burning their brands on wooden crates. This meant that regardless of where it was shipped in the world, the brand was a guarantee that it came from a good source and good quality. But since then, branding has evolved to so much more than just the owner of livestock or the origin of a product. Now, Brands are not just seen or heard, but they are experienced.
The Purpose of Brand Identity
The way that you visually represent your brand is crucial. It lets your customers know the what, how, and why behind your business. Utilising creative strategies, brand identity allows people to build awareness of a product or idea to the people who need it most. Your brand identity can take the form of your logos, typography, colours, and even communication.
“Branding is what sticks in your mind associated with a product, service, or organization — whether or not, at that particular moment, you bought or did not buy.”
– The Tronvig Group
It all Starts with Strategy
The most important part of brand identity is building upon a foundation of great brand strategy. Brands should always start the process by answering a few questions about their vision and mission. In the strategy stage, research is crucial. This goes beyond just defining the problem your product solves, but detailing the traits of your ideal customer. What do you want people to think when they hear your brand’s name? What kind of feelings do you want them to experience?
More questions brands should answer…
- What does our brand stand for?
- What makes our product or service unique?
- Who are our target customers?
- What do we do better than anyone else?
- How do we want our brand to be perceived?
Common Misconceptions of Brand Identity
If you’ve ever been confused about brand identity, don’t worry – you are not alone. With so much access to unlimited articles and research, it can be an overwhelming amount of information to process. Today we’d like to break down some common misconceptions of branding, to help you make the right creative decisions for your business.
#1 Branding is nothing more than a logo.
Which came first, the logo or the brand? This is a complex question because their definitions seem to be constantly changing. However, a clear brand strategy should always come first, to then be followed by a logo that represents and compliments the brand. Branding is all about the feelings and experiences associated with your business, and a logo is what wraps up your brand into a recognisable symbol.
#2 Only big companies should worry about branding.
When most people think of brands, their initial examples might be Nike, McDonald’s, or Apple. But branding isn’t just for global corporations! Large companies do utilise branding strategies to grow and maintain their position in a competitive market. But the same branding principles apply to every business. Larger brands tend to have a larger budget, but even a modest budget can do incredible things for the smallest of brands.
#3 Your brand should appeal to everyone.
Some think brands need to be so broad they appeal to everyone, but this isn’t the case. Instead, your brand should focus on a specific segment of customers. This is called your target audience. The brand strategy stage includes developing a customer persona. Ask yourself, what problem does your business offer a solution for, and who experiences this problem the most?
#4 Branding is just bells and whistles.
This statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Your branding can significantly impact profitability. If customers emotionally connect to a brand, they’re more likely to purchase if they feel they can trust them. This is why giving close attention to the visual representation of your brand is vital to any business plan.
Insight Out Marketing