When you think of branding, the logo is often the first thing that comes to mind. This visual expression gets embedded and associated in the mind of your target market and allows them to quickly recognise and distinguish your brand from others in the marketplace. As a critically important visual expression of your brand identity, a memorable logo can express the essence and characteristics of your brand, but it does not represent or illustrate everything about it.
A brand is so much more than its logo. It is the whole experience; an overall strategy that encapsulates – among other aspects – the mission statement, company culture, customer service, tone of voice, website, social media, visuals, as well as logo. Your brand reflects what people feel and see when they interact with your company on any level. Far from being just a well-designed logo, it is essentially the personality of your business, and therefore carries a lot of weight and responsibility towards your customers.
Branding should be an emotional experience. You want your consumers to feel your brand, your products and services, not just see them. Your brand voice must create an emotional and practical association between your brand and your market audience who share the same values. According to research, 64% of people have a relationship with a brand based on shared values. Your brand is the total experience of every touchpoint your customer has with your product or service, which is why it is so important to provide an authentic and consistent experience. For 80% of consumers, authenticity is the most influential factor in their decision to follow a brand. Finding the right words and a consistent brand voice is an important aspect of establishing its authenticity. In addition, a narrative about your brand, the people behind the brand and the story of the product development are all very strong points of purchase because they allow an insight into your offering and shape the overall appeal and impact of your business, which in turn, help to build customer loyalty.
Along with their logo, successful brands have other related visual shapes and graphic elements which make for impactful additions to their brand kit. In the case of businesses where the brand has extensive applications, for example Mercedes or BMW, such brands would have to apply their brand identity to a diverse range of media…from print adverts to showroom signage. These additional graphic elements give the brand a fuller, in-depth expression of itself and can be very effective in capturing the customer’s attention.
Colours associated with your brand should also be communicated to create a look, feel and characteristic in alignment with the industry or message you want to convey. Can you imagine Deutsche Bank’s logo in pink instead of dark blue? It would give the wrong impression and be inconsistent with the brand image you want to project to your customers.
Your brand must continue to evolve, innovate and push boundaries. To maintain a strong presence in a changing marketplace, it’s important to take into account the changing nature of technology and the evolving needs and tastes of your ideal customer. Consider developing a brand in two or three phases to help you determine how your business is evolving and growing. This allows for future expansion and enables you to be flexible in adapting to emerging trends and changing customer preferences.
Look at your branding with fresh eyes periodically. Does it look dated? Does it still appeal to your customers? Does your brand say ‘successful and professional’? Does it need a refresh? Regular assessment of your brand will ensure it continues to resonate with, and remain a perfect fit with your core audience.
A well-crafted corporate brand creates a positive association and emotional connection with your customers; it builds loyalty and is an extremely valuable asset to your business.
As Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon said, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
What are people saying about your brand?
For further information on branding, graphic design or marketing, please contact Vaishali Shah
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