Brand Design & Development

Brand Design & Development::

 

Why Brand?

 

Branding is a marketing technique that has the potential to elevate your business to the top. It involves helping your customers to form a recognizable association with you. Link your business with a design, logo, slogan, and/or color and observe the positive results. Brands create a feeling of familiarity, a sense of trust and connection.

 

If customers have seen your ad, or company name, they are more likely to continue to select your product or service. Also, they are more apt to suggest them to others. Referrals through word of mouth can be an extremely powerful form of advertising. An easy to remember name or familiar words can have a big impact and some do not realize this technique.

 

A brand helps possible customers remember your business. People may know little about your philosophy or reputation. However, if they can recognize your brand, the chances are greater that they will do business with you. Branding creates memory in the mind of the public.

 

When the public remembers your brand and familiarizes themselves and others with it, they will come back. Customers are more likely to remain devoted to your business and are apt to buy further products or services from you based on the brand of the initial product with which they had success.

 

People are willing to pay more for products or services that they highly regard. This means that customers are likely to pass up cheaper prices with competitors if your brand has made a positive impression on them. If clients believe in your product, they will pay for it.

 

When you have distinguished your business through branding, the marketing has the capability of becoming so profound, that little else is necessary. Developing your brand takes time and effort, but after it has been solidified, and after customers have had the chance to identify with it, your sales can increase naturally. You won’t have to spend as much time planning marketing strategies to attract the public.

 

 

Foundation of Branding:

 

Branding is most often considered as something to do with visual appeal. However it is much more than that.

 

Branding yourself, your business or corporate identity is actually a promise made to the customer, a promise that is based on your company’s reputation, the quality of your product, product experiences and everything in between.

 

Brand Perception is the look & feel transfers into experience; experience transfers into decision making and that leads to loyalty and sales.

 

This part of the article explores how a brand conveys its promise and how your product/service itself denotes the promotional mix it needs. Like a business plan, brand planning, designing, positioning and implementing is a process that’ is ongoing.

 

Branding is easier said than done. If you think deeply, what exactly defines branding and how it may be perceived in the marketplace. Why does one brand score over others and why does one fail to generate customer confidence despite everything going supposedly right for it?

 

  • Is it the logo, the tagline or the colour?
  • Is it the design of your ads, the packaging/presentation of your products/services, the over look-&-feel of your brand, etc?
  • Or is it the promise that a particular product or service conveys (connection/association) – the promise of quality, authenticity and credibility?

 

Actually it is a combination of all this, no matter if it’s a startup, a small business or a superior brand that needs to position or (re-position) itself. Primarily, it is the 3rd point which matters most – the promise!

 

  • Why is it that some products or companies are able to build up high brand recall and brand loyalty in the minds of their customers?
  • Whereas for some others, no amount of big budget advertising and marketing expenditure can help register their product as a brand people may keep coming back to?

 

Turns out, in addition to psychology, biology also plays an important role in marketing and advertising. The design and development of your brand is just as important as another component of your business.

 

 

Personal Branding for Small Businesses:

 

Most startups and small businesses are one-man operations and these, typically, are businesses that reflect the personality, attitudes and personal values of the owner. In fact, it is difficult to separate the business from the owner in this case. That is why for these small business owners, their personal dealings can affect their business.

 

How people view them as a person is not different from how people regard their business. This is where you can use personal branding to your business advantage. Example of personal branding’s are accountants, lawyers, real estate and mortgage agents, insurance brokers, freelancers, small business owner and operators and so on.

 

Personal branding, simply put, is self-promotion. It is all about you – your talents, skills, knowledge, traits, beliefs and values. Of course if you are part of a different brand, for example you work for Remax as a real estate agent, but you also act, do and deliver based on your character or persona. All of these form your personal brand.

 

Personal branding is identifying who you are as a person, defining a clear personal identity, and creating a personal message and then bringing all these elements together as a business strategy with the intention of shaping a positive perception of people about you and, naturally, your business.

 

To create a strong brand, you need to have a good grasp of your strengths and weaknesses, your skills and expertise and what differentiate you from others.

 

Have a look at the followings:

  • Why you do what you do?
  • Why do you get up each morning?
  • Why are you in this business?
  • How are you delivering your products and services?
  • How is your process different from others?
  • What have you done in the past?
  • What can you do or cannot do now?
  • What are you truly passionate about?

 

In what areas do you consider yourself an authority? You should have clear and solid answers to all these questions. Most of all, consider your customers’ needs and your relevancy to them. Make sure that what you are offering is not just different but, more importantly, relevant. If your target customers cannot relate to you, your personal branding is lost.

 

The success of your personal branding relies largely on your ability to communicate clearly your personal message whether verbally or through your actions. You need to let your customers know what you are capable of doing and how you value what they value, how they can rely on you, and etcetera.

 

When everything about you speaks a constant message customers pick this message up and associate it with your personal brand so that whenever they see you, hear your name, or encounter your product they immediately know what you are all about and this is the foundation of trust – a key ingredient to customer acquisition and loyalty.

 

Personal branding is not a one-time marketing campaign.

 

It should be an on-going commitment for your business to succeed. It should be evident in all your interactions, your communications, relations and involvements. Personal branding is building a credible reputation that customers will recognize, respect and associate with your business.

 

 

Preliminary Steps of Branding Yourself – Overview:

 

As discussed in earlier sections of branding articles, branding is much more than just a thoughtful logo or slogan and it’s more than just a unique color scheme. Below are the initial steps that need to be taken in order to start your successful brand image.

 

Step 1: Examine the Competition:

One of the keys to creating a successful brand image is to separate yourself from your competition. You will need to know how consumers see your competition. You need to recognize how your competitors differentiate themselves from others. Also, you should know your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. Your business can benefit from knowing this information by learning from their weaknesses, and learning how to differentiate your company from the competition.

 

Step 2: Identify Your Strengths:

Now that you know your competition’s weaknesses you can begin to focus on your company’s strengths. Perform a target market analysis, learn from it, and use it to your advantage. This is a useful tool to confirm your company’s strengths are in fact important to your target market. Once you’ve realized your strengths, and what strengths are important to customers, you can think about ways to successfully market these to the public and involve them in your branding campaign.

 

Step 3: Know Your Customer:

Learn more about the customer. Know their purchasing behavior. How often do they buy? Do they buy only during sales or promotions? Do they buy an array of products or services or just a select few? These are questions you should ask to better market to your customers. Also, know your customer’s lifestyles, needs, mindsets, and attitudes. Knowing and working with these personality traits are also key to marketing success.

 

Step 4: Be Your Brand:

Make sure your company truly represents what your brand identifies you with. For example, if one of the traits your brand identifies your company with is politeness, be polite. This means every employee from the receptionist all the way up to the CEO needs to live your brand.

 

 

How Does a Brand Convey its Promise?

 

That’s actually quite an interesting way to look at branding. This promise of the brand is conveyed through quite a few factors:

 

  • The product’s reputation (the company’s own reputation also goes a long way here).
  • Its experience (particularly if the product has been in the market for some time – a perfect material for viral marketing).
  • The product’s name – a catchy, easy to remember name helps.
  • Its logo – though innocuous looking, a logo is a stamp of authority.
  • News and reviews its positioning in the market and accordingly its pricing.
  • About it – the web 2.0 world is all about sharing notes, information and experiences through social networking sites and what is written about has become vitally important.
  • Advertising – a good tag line or slogan can race into public memory.
  • Marketing collateral – depends upon your product/service and what media suits it best such as flyers, sales letters, direct mailers, and so on).
  • The overall look & feel of the brand.

 

Developing a promotional mix depends on the character or features of the product/service. For instance for some products/services may just need a direct marketing campaign and not TVCs or print ads at all, such as home-based businesses.

 

While others require other types of advertising and marketing. Brand design and development is truly a lengthily process if done right, and you cannot speed it up unless you have all the tools and resources available to do so. You have to do your homework before you step into the next level.

 

 

Brand Essence:

Brand essence guide strategy refers to the personality, facts and symbols of a brand. It summarizes who you are and what your brand stands for in terms of promise. Many take brand essence lightly, not realizing that it’s a crucial part of the overall picture of the brand. The diagram below is just a simple outline showing questions as regard the transformation value of brand essence. You can download your copy below.

pdf_file| » Download Free Brand Essence (1382 downloads)

 

 

Six Key Components of Branding:

 

Before discussing essential components of branding, it’s highly recommended and it’s a must to do your homework. By homework, we mean of course you will do your research as to the style, colour and so forth but do not forget the most important part of branding which is intellectual property.

 

It’s your duty and responsibility to make sure you do not infringe or have similar brand, marks or trade names that is similar to others. Not only will this cause legal and liability issues but it will ruin your brand also should an issue rise. Therefore, do your homework thoroughly before creating your brand identity.

 

Brand identity:

is how brand strategists want the brand to be perceived. It is a set of unique brand associations that represent what the brand stands for. These associations imply a promise to customers from organization members. Brand identity should help establish a relationship between the brand and the customer by generating a value proposition involving functional, emotional or self expressive benefits.

 

Brand image:

is a key component in the formation of a clear and recognizable brand identity in the market. Brand image is related to how the brand is currently perceived by consumers. In other words what is the reputation of the brand in the marketplace.

 

Brand character:

is related to its internal constitution, how it is perceived in terms of integrity, trustworthiness and honesty. This is also related with the promise of the brand to deliver the experience associated with its name.

 

Brand culture:

is about the system of values that surround a brand much like the cultural aspects of a people or a country.

 

Brand personality:

is the set of human characteristics that are associated with the brand. It includes such characteristics as gender, age, socioeconomic class, as well as human personality traits such as warmth and sentimentality.

 

Brand essence (brand soul):

represents the emotional elements and values of the brand. Essence should be part of a long term positioning that does not change with every communication

 

Branding:

Brand wheel is brand essence, and it is the vehicle that drives your brand to its destination. Generally, while brand essence is the emotional heart of a brand, brand wheel is the arrangement for capturing and communicating the conceptual delicacies of the brand. Download your brand wheel diagram below.

pdf_file| » Download Free Branding (3017 downloads)

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Corporate Branding Plan:

 

It is thus a necessity that one makes use of a sound corporate branding plan. It is important that your company gets its image right, and is perceived in the right light. 

 

With a corporate branding plan, one can take the necessary steps to make a name for itself in the industry it is in.  It can get itself recognized in the market it is targeting. It can make consumers feel a certain way, and prompts them to choose your product over your competition. 

 

Corporate brand management is a vital part of almost majority of the organizations today. Managing your corporate brand and translating them into the brand management book keeps a brand alive internally. Protecting your brand including any risks, reputation and so forth can also be an extensive process from time to time. For additional information, please refer to our Intellectual Property – IP article.

 

A corporate branding plan is no longer a luxury – which a company may do or may not do – it is a must, if a company should take it upon itself to succeed in the tight competition out there.  Companies – small and big alike will find benefits in coming up with a corporate branding plan. 

 

 

 

Implementing a Corporate Branding Plan:

 

Yes, putting your corporate branding plan into action would mean costs and expenses. It means getting money out of your pocket to an investment that only the future will be able to repay in kind.

 

It is understandable especially for smaller companies that there are limitations on one’s budget, and there will be second thoughts on taking on such expenses especially if the returns are not readily seen.  But even with the limited resources your company may have, make do with what you have, and work with what is given you.

 

A sound corporate branding plan may not necessarily mean spending large amounts of money.  It is always wise to spend within one’s means. The point is sending the right business message out, with whatever means you have available, and getting your company name the right corporate branding it needs.

 

Corporate Branding Logo Design:

 

Many people say that the key to succeeding in business is through constant improvement and innovation, the ability to keep up with the ever-changing trends in the industry. So if you ever notice why some of your competitors enjoy more attention and interest than you do, you better move fast and find out the answer before it’s too late. Complacency has certainly no room in the highly aggressive world of business.

 

In marketing and advertising, branding goes beyond just merely creating a strong company name, it should also ensure that people would be able to easily recall it and would stay in the periphery of the consumer’s minds for a long time. A powerful brand would be able to differentiate your company’s products and services in a highly positive way. In effect, this will create a lingering effect on consumers, thus making them potential buyers of your products or future clients that will seek your services. The company logo is unquestionably one you’re your major marketing tool to get across the message that you would want to send out.

 

So what makes an effective corporate branding logo design?

 

Contrary to what others believe, a logo is not just an ordinary symbol that represents your business. Such assumption could potential render the conceptualization of company logo as ineffective. To be able to maximize it to its fullest potential, a corporate branding logo design should be treated as an important communication tool that you can use to interact with consumers. Use your company logo to convey your company’s message, to project a competent and highly capable company and most importantly would efficiently educate the consumers what is the nature of your products or services. A simple and easy to remember name is the best choice for a business or brand. Choose and design it wisely.

 

Here are some useful tips that could help you in creating a powerful corporate branding logo design:

 

Direct and concise – A logo usually comes with a tag line but not in all cases.  It would be ideal to create a short one that would easily be recalled even by children. Avoid using flowery or elaborate words, as this would only defeat its purpose and confuse your consumers. Overall, taglines or slogans should be simple and easy to understand. If it evokes emotions, it’s usually the best.

 

Distinctive and bold– A strong corporate branding logo design should be visible – easily be seen even from afar and should not be confused with any other establishments. A complicated design, this will only alienate and confuse consumers.

 

Graphic imagery Start with a simple, clean and original concept. For company’s primary logo, it should complement the company’s name and the nature of the business. Consistency is the key here since you wouldn’t want to send out mixed signals.

 

Suffice it to say that brand name and brand logo is the primary tool in reaching out to consumers and developing consumer awareness. Anyone who sees a distinctive crown logo would readily associate it with Hallmark. So in conceptualizing your very own logo design, make sure to incorporate all the marketing and advertising elements to make it more effective. Just remember that a logo is the face of your company and it must be a simple design unless you are creating an emblem.

 

 

Corporate Branding Strategy – Tips for branding success:

 

As discussed above, one important question for many businesses is what makes a corporate branding strategy successful? Whether a company is looking to create its own brand or to make it over, ensuring success is a top most goal.

 

A powerful corporate brand serves to create confidence in your business and your product and service offerings. This confidence should not only be felt by the business owner or the management team but should also be present among employees and, more importantly, the customers. While it may be difficult to weigh intangible values such as confidence, a good way to measure customer’s perception of your corporate brand is through sales performance. Logically, when you have successfully built an effective brand it will translate to more business – the end goal of any corporate branding strategy.

 

There are several important considerations in order to develop an effective corporate branding strategy. First, you need to have a thorough understanding of your customers or your target market, your business offerings including your competition. Thorough research on these areas is the first step to identifying how to best position your business.

 

For any corporate branding strategy to be successful, it needs the attention and commitment of the company’s leadership. Confidence in the corporate brand should start at the highest level of management in order to reach all shareholders effectively. If people involved with your business believe in what you offer, this will undoubtedly create an interest in customers. They will want to give your product or your service a try because they associate with your brand a certain confidence that you will deliver what you promise.

 

Because your corporate brand is a powerful tool, it needs to deliver the right message about your company. That is why you need to plan your corporate branding strategy carefully not only to save time and money but, more importantly, to ensure that your brand is conveying the values of your business as effectively as possible.

 

If there is one other thing that your corporate branding strategy should have, it is consistency. Delivering the same message about your business every time across all medium – whether it is print, broadcast or the Internet – is the key to establishing a recognizable and enduring brand similar to successful brands such as Coke or Pepsi, Apple, Google, Kleenex, among others.

 

Lastly, your corporate branding strategy will not work if your goals are only set for a short period. Time is an important element in corporate branding. It took a lot of time for big brands to get where they are, so you need a solid corporate branding strategy that will survive the test of time.

 

We provide a number of basic branding tools and info-graphics to get you started. You may download them free from canadasmallbusiness.ca.

 

 

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