Brands help customers make choices, to differentiate products from one another. The purpose of branding is to ensure that your product or service is the preferred choice. Success in business hinges on customers’ choices and those choices are largely based on the perception customers have of a brand.
Successful branding distinguishes your brand from others like it. Successful branding has a clear and consistent positioning wherever it is encountered, which results in a predictability that builds trust and loyalty for your brand.
A brand is comprised of certain tangible attributes, which form the bedrock of your identity but also, and more significantly, a brand is formed by the perception of your brand in the marketplace. David Ogilvy described brands as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.”
A brand is shaped by the perceptions of its audience.
Outlined below are some important elements to consider when developing a brand:
A great LOGO. The foundation of your brand is your logo. A logo’s meaning is derived from the quality of what it symbolizes. A logo is a face for your brand, in that when someone sees it, all the associations they’ve made with it quickly come to mind. It’s a little like running into a friend and immediately your feelings toward them, trust in them, memories of them come to mind at the sight of them. A logo should accompany all experiences with your brand to reinforce those associations.
BRAND IDENTITY: brand identity includes all visual elements that contribute to your brand: uniforms; packaging; store design; letterheads, business cards and other stationery; website design; signage to name a few. The continuity of these elements is essential in reinforcing your brand. Develop design template and create brand standards for your marketing materials that consider guidelines for colour, logo placement, fonts, layout to name a few.
Create a VOICE for your brand, which will be applied across all channels and incorporated, in visual imagery representing your brand. Consider the kind of personality you would like your brand to have – is it friendly, irreverent, sincere, conversational? Maintain this tone across all platforms so that your brand becomes dependably consistent.
DELIVER on your brand promise, the hope for every brand is to foster brand loyal customers who ultimately become brand advocates. This journey begins with your brand living up to its promises.
Be CONSISTENT – across all platforms and encounters. With the rise of social media and the endless ways in which customers can encounter your brand, consistency is an artful and valuable pursuit because if you get it right, it is a solid investment in the future success of your brand. Consistency improves recall and it ensures that customers enjoy the same experience with your brand wherever they find you.