Over the last couple of weeks, I spent quite a lot time with reading about brand design and brand strategies. I realised that it is a big task, especially if it has to be done after or while a business plan is set up. Why is that so?
Because branding is not just about beautiful colours and fancy fonts, it is about the expression of a particular idea — the idea of your business. Every design element like colour, typeface or shape, has a meaning which has to correspond with the business idea. You will use different colours and font for a bespoke furniture business than for a discounter supermarket.
This is a good moment to say that when we talk about branding, we actually mean the process of creating a brand identity and communication. Those two elements, over the time, become brand awareness, which is what everyone businessman/woman love to achieve.
Let’s have a look at this points and their impact on business strategies:
1. Brand identity
This is “the outward expression of a brand, including its name, trademark, communications, and visual appearance.“Because it is chosen and assembled by the business owner, it reflects his/her vision for the company. To define a brand identity, it helps to start with the questions: How I want the clients to perceive my brand? What my business stands for?”
To answer those questions, you need to know what the primary purpose of your company is? What are your products or services, who are your clients, how are you going to approach them? Those points are the milestones of your business plan. I will write about this later more detailed. For now, it is important to know that your brand identity and business idea go together.
2. Brand communication
While the brand identity is the base of a brand, the communication is the voice of it. “It refers to how a brand transmits a clear, consistent message to its stockholders”.This is how your business cards, website, and stationary look like the way you write an email, the way you talk to clients, the way you present your company and yourself. In other words: this is the way you show your brand identity to the outside world. From your website and email signature, over your business cards, up to the way you dress, talk to clients and write letters this is the voice of your company and at the beginning your voice. Be natural and be consistent, be truthful, in doesn’t matter what your idea is, it has to feel natural to you and be part of yourself.
3. Brand awareness
This one is the reason why we buy Kleenex or Pampers, but not tissues and one-way baby underwear. It shows if the costumers know the name if they can recognise it after a while if they remember it and think of it in certain situations. It is the measurable component which can be used for creating statistics: how many people remember a particular brand?
If the brand identity and the brand communication are well done, it doesn’t take a lot of time, and the people remember your brand, recognise it and buy the products.
The most interesting point here is what I call the boomerang effect: the client buy your product because of the products quality and because of your good brand strategy. But while the customers are using your products they are adverting it automatically for you, actually for free: you buy Nike shoes because you love the quality of the brand and while wearing them you present this brand to a wider public and advert it to them. You pay Nike for their product, and at the same time, you do advertising their products for free. If this is right or wrong is a topic for another post, but it works, and it is what all leading companies have achieved.
Enjoy the summer, and I will see you soon with the next brand design discoveries here.