Branding - whats that? Do you know the difference between a brand and a logo? If you don't - you may just miss out on the one of the strongest marketing devices the can be relatively cheap to create and big on return. And it goes deeper than just the marketing. A true brand gives your company image kudos, elevates your status and makes you recognizable in the ever increasing noise of the selling world, and that in turn brings the nirvana of all marketing - leverage. Are you missing out big time?
Your judgement is only as good as your information, so to set the stage for excellent information and therefore, supreme judgment, lets sort out what is the difference between a brand and branding, and a logo.
Often described as an ideogram - and image that embodies something else, which in our case is a company. Logo's are created to project a corporate identity. For instance, a logo can be a clever juxtaposition between typography that is so unique it is linked to a particular company or product. Even 'No named' ranges are identified by packaging style and color - in essence - a logo.
"[A] burning scar [with] bankable value" - Business week. 'Nuff said.
So how do you avoid a the product being recognized by logo, and get a burning scar of branding with bankable value?
Know your audience. This is the vital foundation of branding and if you skimp here you'll never be able to recover. If you don't know what your chosen demographic wants - how can you give it to them?
A brand has to be designed by your potential clients. You need to research what they like, want they want, but most importantly, what influences them. Your research needs to direct your brand in size, shape, form, color, design and look because that's what makes the difference. If you don;t already know - ask them.
The aim of all branding concept teams and graphic designers is to give the company a strong identity, then give the identity a face. It must be recognizable on it's own without an image or tagline, and without words. It needs to be recognized instantly and it needs to speak to the user as soon as it is seen. Your brand, which can include a well designed and thought out logo, needs to stand on it's own two feet, or get crushed in the crowded market it stands in.
Coming up with a strong name can either be fun or a complete burden. Regardless of whether it’s made up (Skype), a misspelling (Google), or a simple word (Apple); it all goes back to your researched foundation marketing strategy.
Be bold! Be brave! Think big! Your brand will blaze or trail - or be nothing at all.
Your brand has to build trust, or it just won't cut the mustard in the business world. Your logo and the image it creates needs to make clients open up and begin to look further, or to encourage them to think outside of the box because YOU are the ones who make it.
Imagine anyone using logo that includes an apple with w bite out of it. What do you think? Is this an Apple site or a rip off? Either way, Apple is such a strong brand it is linked to any related images or designs in the industry. If you decide it's linked and worth it, you trust it.
A strong brand is good looking. Let's face it, who is turned on by ugly? If you're going to create a strong brand you need to stand out int he industry noise, and good looking does it. Even if it's 'ripped off', a strong brand comes out on top as company quality and consumer trust will be linked to the stronger brand. Make it noticed! make it handsome!
The whole point of it being the best looking brand out there is to make an impact. If you don't have to skills to make - hire an excellent, talented graphic design company.
Think skimping here won't make a difference?Take a look at the picture below - guess which one was done by a professional ...
Need I say more?
The details are in the design. You don't need to dress it up with a side order of cerebral brilliance and wash it down with a large gulp of blatant marketing. This is a brand, something your company is to be known by for a long time - possibly forever. Your brand needs to be strong and eloquent and stand alone, your marketing campaigns are the vehicle for brilliance.
Break you design down into elements and look at each one with a critical eye. Ask yourself, 'Does this make my brand stronger?' If it doesn't - reject it. There is no place for clever, whimsical, adaptive or sweet on the corporate branding express.
A full branding package includes a chosen font family as well as recommended measurements that are eventually enforced on all branded objects/materials such as folders, envelopes, business cards, etc. There is a psychology to color, are you a calming company, an exciting company or an aggressive company - you need to figure this out, and how your audience wants it portrayed.
After that consider shape - does your typography lean to a square, round or flower shape? Do you want a angular image or a soft one? And to what scale? Equivalent? Assorted? Descending? It all has a voice and you need to know what it says, and to whom it speaks. NEVER forget your audience drives your design, not you.
Whatever you are trying achieve, make sure you get a brand, not just a logo. If you haven't got the skills needed - employ them! This is an image that you can't afford to get wrong. Remember in 1985 when Coca Cola changed their formula? There was an outrage that went on for month! Imagine what would have happened if they had wanted to change their name or brand? Brands create loyalty. Get it right from the start, then sit back and reap the rewards of pure marketing genius...