What are the fundamentals of branding?
Where do I start in building a strong brand? I know that you need a good logo, a strong tagline, & consistent content, but I have no idea what direction to go in nor how to prioritize those items. I also feel like I must be missing some important pieces to the branding puzzle. Can someone help provide some insight?
Branding has evolved from being an expense to being an investment now.
Smart marketers understand that branding can help them stand out from the crowd and get a top-of-the-mind advantage.
From my experience, I’ve identified some creative ways of branding.
1. Highlight Your Message
Identify your brand’s message and highlight it through all your customer touchpoints. Your website, emails, social accounts, and other campaigns should pivot around the core values and message of your brand.
2. Differentiate Your Brand
Don’t try to blend in with other brands in your domain, especially if you’re a startup owner. You should dare to be unique in a positive way if you want to get more exposure for your brand.
For instance, if you’re an FMCG brand, you can curate and send a free recipe to all your email subscribers. You can then say something like, “What good is a pancake if you don’t have the right ingredients?.” Contact us for sourcing the exotic ingredients.
3. Leverage Influencers
The right influencers can broadcast your brand’s voice within your targeted audience groups.
You should collaborate with top influencers in your niche and get them to create branded content for you. You can further use influencer whitelisting to amplify influencer-created content, reach new audiences, and enhance your brand’s authority.
4. Be Consistent
You don’t want to confuse audiences by using different social handles, logos, brand colors, and messaging tones. You should try to maintain a consistent branding style throughout all customer touchpoints. This will help your customers and potential consumers resonate with your brand.
5. Test Your Branding Elements
If you’re just starting out, you need to pay attention to minute details such as your brand’s name, logo, and tagline.
You can use brand name generators and headline analyzer tools to check their efficacy. You should aim for elements that can be recognized easily.
Remember, how Nike’s “Just Do It” tagline is synonymous with the brand.
6. Utilize Print Media
While digital marketing is very impactful these days, print media has its own advantages. So, if you have the budget, you should also invest in newspaper/magazine ads, flyers, and periodicals.
This list is by no means exhaustive. But it’s enough to get you started with branding. Remember that rebranding costs a lot, so you need to get this right at the outset.
You seem to have a good idea about branding. What I'm wondering is, are you trying to do this yourself or are you looking for the right person to help you with your brand. I can direct you to an article for each. If you are looking for the right person to help you create and develop your brand this article on How To Hire The Right Logo Design to Design Your Company's Logo will help you choose someone with a formal education in graphic design. Choosing an expert is important because there are so many facets to designing a proper logo and brand that will work across all marketing medias, target your audience, withstand the test of time, and communicate your business effectively. Click on this link to read the article. http://www.graphicdesignbyvictoria.com/#!How-To-Hire-The-Right-LOGO-DESIGNER-to-Design-Your-Companys-Logo/cjy3/4DBF3218-DAB8-4961-84CC-08D075CBF38D
If you are just interested in branding advice there are several articles on branding for that. Click here. http://www.graphicdesignbyvictoria.com/#!branding-tips/c14b8
I hope this helps.
Understand the process of creating the strategic content of a brand, will help position it in the market, build competitive advantage and generate a differential value.
To do this it is necessary:
1) Knowing the target market.
2) Knowing your motivations.
(The consumer Insigth, responds to the needs, but people do not always know their needs). Today, the motivations are a powerful axis of persuasion.
3) Designing a logo aligned values. Values that will be vital to the target.
(Visual Design experience)
4) Establish the context of brand. DNA Territories brand.
5) Use 5 Strategic Experiential Modules.
For this we must turn 5 types of levers to help us to that connection: Sense, Feel, Think, Act and Relate.
Jesús. F. Gordillo
General Manager / Kellenföl Advertising Agencia Publicidad
Kellenföl Advertising, creative agency & digital trends in advertising and communication, located in the city of Barcelona.
In any kind of branding, one should consider the following
Define yourself and your offer
Focus closely on Target Market
Build a clear proposition that co-relates with the TA
Maintain consistence and persistence with TA, with core idea
Look for new ways to reach the TA while being at it
Re adjust with the change in times while keeping the core idea un altered
This is a big question with a multitude of equally important aspects to the answers.
Think brand experience every step of the way, and how your prospective, current and future customers would recall their experience with your products, services, or professional services. Its about engagement and tangible, and intangible experiences with every touchpoint of your business etc, from imagery, to interaction, to experiential.
Hi Jen, great question! And you've already been given some great advice. But the very nature of the question itself shows that there's really no silver bullet answer.
What I would suggest is that you visit your existing customers and ask them what you can do to help instill confidence in your product/service.
If you don't have any customers yet, then you can create an online survey and give it to your friends/colleagues to answer. The response you get will be useful in building your brand. Start from the most to the least important aspects identified and use this in building your brand accordingly. Hope that helps.
This will help you a lot.
There are several aspects to branding: physical, emotional and social.
Your physical brand is everything you can touch, or see like a web site.
Your emotional brand is the feeling that comes across.
Your social brand is what people are saying about you and if you are able to connect in the ways that match your goals.
Physical is the easy part and just the beginning of a truly successful brand.
If you are just starting out:
1) the name and logo are the most critical. (just like naming a baby)
2) core values associated with that brand
3) the logo design (you want it to be powerful, not dated)
4) the business card and the web site (the first impression)
5) social media strategy to strengthen it.
If you focus on these, you will start your brand off correctly and on a solid foundation. Don't discredit your core values for anything.
Define who the brand is and the rest flows from there. Language, tone of voice, visuals - it's all led by brand personality.
Finding Your Brand's Personality
Interrogate your business. Ask about its values, attitudes to customers, self-perception, who it is similar to, who is it opposed to? All this will help you form a human personality, which enables consumers to relate to your brand.
You also need a brand story, the 'why' of the brand. What's it for? Why is it special? What's its journey? What part does your customer play in the journey?
There's loads more but that's a good starting point!
Well let me create this in a list.
1. Study your audience
2. Know your product
3. Ask yourself what methods best present this product
4. Have someone do an in-depth review process of your product.
So in my experience, you want to really figure out what your brand is all about. What is your brand bringing to the table? Anything unique about it? What's its personality (i.e. corporate and serious, casual, chatty)? What's your target audience? From there, it's much easier to figure out where your brand should go with regard to visual representation and brand communication; not just for yourself, but for the designer you employ to create your brand from the bottom up!
Depending on your answers to the above questions, you can also begin to decide what kind of collateral you'll require, of course keeping the project budget in mind. For instance, a street apparel brand targeting teenagers to young adults ages 16-25 may choose to have the conventional branding suite (business card, letterhead, and envelope), but may not require the 6-panel print brochure or postcard design. The techy start-up may just need business cards! Keep your target audience in mind, as they'll be the ones interacting with this collateral in whatever way. Sometimes keeping them in mind can give a bit more creative potential to the collateral you produce! It's definitely good to think as long-term as possible without breaking your wallet. The same principles go with choosing social media platforms.
Hope this helps! Feel free to contact me if you have anymore related questions!
Each one of us has something unique that signifies us. It may be the way a person dresses, a particular scent they use, a repetitive habit or the way they communicate. In other words, a brand helps to distinguish a single person in a crowd.
Companies, like people, are a distinctive and complete entity unto themselves. They have a personality of their own that helps to differentiate them from their competitors. This personality, usually referred to as the brand personality, is developed over the long term.
What Signifies a Brand?
Firms use different forms of expression, such as signs, slogans or catchy jingles to represent themselves to their target market.
It's very easy to get lost in the conceptual level - trying to make use of all the strategy and information we have in the development process.
Here is my attempt to strip a complex exercise to simple priorities...
Order of tasks:
2. company/product name and tag line
3. logo - graphic standards
1. unique in your category
2. emotional, not subjective connection with target audience
3. broad interpretation - not too specific
I agree with Larry's comment: "Descriptive" branding is the weakest. The strongest category is "Evocative" - names, tags and logos that have broader levels of interpretation.
Great branding in a focus group should split the room and cause an argument. If everyone thinks it's good, it's probably boring and predictable. If some people love it and some dislike it or even don't get it, it's probably a powerful branding and you are on the right track.
Apple's - Think Different and Nike - Just Do It, are both great examples.
Unique in their category, emotional/inspirational target connection and broad enough to mean something a little different to each of us. And I know they split the room before they took off.
Once the core branding components are in place, there is another fundamental going forward - it's important to be consistent and true to the brand promise in all communications.
Most brands lead their communications with What We Do and finish with How We Do It. Always start your brand communications with Why Us to establish an emotional connection. Once you have their interest, prospects will be far more inclined to finish reading or listening to your message. See Simon Sinek's TEDTalk video, Start With Why: www.rowecodesign.com/brandgenesis
Bernadette and Tom struck the nail on the head. Start at the beginning, with you. There really are no missing pieces if you start there. It's like building a house, first a solid foundation (you) then the frame. Dazzle us with where this takes you. We'll all be eager to see how it goes.
All the best,
first you need to think about your target market and observe the consumer's behaviour, then you must conceptualise your brand (brand is not only the logo design, is a symbol which gathers all the meaning your business have).
With this concept defined (it can be done with the help of a brand specialist most likely) you must assign a logo and an identity for a designer.
Think of a brand the same way you think of a human being, it must have a personality, a essence, a spirit this are internal qualities, now you must take of the external characteristics and they must reflex and convey those internal ones.
These are any brand fundamentals, all the other things comes after and must be based on those former.
I hope I could helped somewhat.
Funnily enough I ran a branding workshop this afternoon! It's definitely something worth spending proper time on to get it right, starting way before the logo and tagline. To get to these more creative outputs, you need to ask various questions of yourself/your organisation or business, to make sure that what you come up with has a solid basis, rather than just looking good. I guess this is about separating out 'visual branding and logos' from 'building a brand' - two separate, yet related things. Just as a few examples of things you may want to think about - who are you trying to reach? who are your competitors? what makes you different? As you say, it is like a puzzle with several vital pieces. All of these together will (or should) affect how you develop your brand. Feel free to drop me a line if I can offer you any further advice!
Split the main task into smaller ones and solve them one after another. As applied to the logo and visual identity, don't be afraid to stand out from the crowd. The purpose of your visual identity is to help your customers to distinguish your brand from the rest on the market. However people feel more comfortable when they look and act the same way everyone around them do. So when it comes to logo design, some just afraid to accept bold creative ideas and therefore lean toward overused cliche concepts; some try to mimic the style of the famous brands; some gather countless focus groups in hope to evade the responsibility of making the final decision. Try to avoid such mistakes. It's quite easy — just don't be afraid to be different.
When I first read your question, I thought "she's in marketing, she must know this, what is she really looking for?" Then I read your question again. You know the fundamentals of branding, your asking about prioritizing. People are 1. VISUAL 2. RELATIONAL Being these two things consistently should be your priority in my opinion.
I was going to answer this from a legal perspective but I see that Larry Robins has pretty well covered that for you. I think you have plenty of answers from the business perspective.
I would just emphasize the importance of clearing the availability of the mark/brand and urge that the availability of the mark should be one of the first steps, if not THE first step to building your brand. Because the last thing you want is to invest in a brand only to be forced to stop that investment, waste what you have already invested and stop adopting the mark because a related business was using and has rights in a similar mark that precedes your adoption of the mark. Also, even before investing in the mark, it is important to not become attached to a particular mark before knowing that the mark is available.
I have seen too many businesses proceed with adopting a mark that either was not sufficiently searched at the onset and attracted a demand letter from an existing business, or the business owner could not move away from the problematic mark despite our advice to do so because that owner was too enamored with the mark. I encourage you to review some helpful videos and resources on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website at www.uspto.gov.
What a loaded question...but the short and sweet of it to me (and my clients is), in no particular order - Who are you
- What do you stand for
- What does your brand mean to your customers
- What do you want it to mean
- What is your value proposition to your customers
- Why are you in business?
- What should anyone care you are in business?
- What problem are you solving?
- When your customer leaves an interaction with you (or your business) what do you want them to think of their experience.
I could go on...
Having a nice logo, tagline, etc... are the last things you need to be concerned with, because it won't mean anything to anyone, including yourself, without truly understanding the above. You will just be throwing money away to answer the above starting from a logo or tagline.