Why do you need a brand?
Branding can help you stand out from your competitors, add value to your offer and communicate with your customers.
Branding is a way of clearly highlighting what makes your offer different to, and more desirable than, anyone else’s. Effective branding elevates a product or organization from being just one commodity amongst many identical commodities, to become something with a unique character and promise. It can create an emotional resonance in the minds of consumers who choose products and services using both emotional and pragmatic judgements.
People are generally willing to pay more for a branded product than they are for something which is largely unbranded. And a brand can be extended through a whole range of offers too.
Connecting with people
Creating a connection with people is important for all organisations and a brand can embody attributes which consumers will feel drawn to.
The key ingredients of any brand
Defining your brand
If you’re thinking about how to rebrand your business, its products or services, or if you want to assess where your brand stands at present, there are a few key aspects you should consider:
- The big idea – what lies at the heart of your company?
- Values – what do you believe in?
- Vision – where are you going?
- Personality – how do you want to come across?
If you can start to answer these questions with clarity and consistency then you have the basis for developing a strong brand.
The big idea
The big idea is perhaps a catch-all for your company or service. It should encapsulate what makes you different, what you offer, why you’re doing it and how you’re going to present it. The other ingredients are slightly more specific, but they should all feed from the big idea.
The big idea is also a uniting concept that can hold together an otherwise disparate set of activities. Ideally, it will inform everything you do, big or small, including customer service, advertising, a website order form, staff uniforms, corporate identity, perhaps right down to your answer machine message.
To pin down your own big idea you will need to look very carefully at your own business and the marketplace around you, asking these types of questions:
- How can you stand out?
- What is your offer?
- What makes you different?
- What is your ‘personality’?
- What do consumers want or need?
- Is there a gap in the market?
To aid this process it’s usually very helpful to get an outside perspective on things too, so consider working with a design consultancy.
Once decided, the articulation of these ideas can be put into action through branding techniques such as design, advertising, events, partnerships, staff training and so on. It is these activities that set up the consumer’s understanding and expectation of your company; in other words, its brand. And once you’ve set up this brand ‘promise’, the most important thing is to ensure that your products and services consistently deliver on it.
Generating a vision for your company means thinking about the future, where you want to be, looking at ways to challenge the market or transform a sector. A vision may be grand and large-scale, or may be as simple as offering an existing product in a completely new way, or even changing the emphasis of your business from one core area to another. If you’re clear on what you’re aiming at, it’s obviously easier to put the structures in place to get there.
Once you have established your ‘big idea’, vision and values, they can be communicated to consumers through a range of channels. The way you decide to present this communication – the tone, language and design.
Personality traits could be efficient and businesslike, friendly and chatty, or perhaps humorous and irreverent, although they would obviously have to be appropriate to the type of product or service you are selling.
- Graphic design: The visual identity – hard corporate identity or soft, friendly caricature?
- Tone of voice: Is the language you use (both spoken and written) formal or relaxed?
- Dialogue: Can your users or customers contribute ideas and get involved in the organization? Or is it a one-way communication?
- Customer service: How are staff trained to communicate with customers? What level of customer service do you provide?
To explain this in more detail, let’s start: A logo is not your brand, nor is it your identity. Logo design, identity design and branding all have different roles, that together, form a perceived image for a business or product. There has been a lot of discussion on the web about this topic.
- What is brand? – The perceived emotional corporate image as a whole.
- What is identity? – The visual aspects that form part of the overall brand.
- What is a logo? – A logo identifies a business in its simplest form via the use of a mark or icon.
Some sketches & ideas
A brief overview of the basic concept
The brand was developed to reflect the naturalness and simplicity of technology. This is a distinctive label, secure and minimalist it forms a brand that seeks to introduce the company as a professional and modern identity. The idea behind the symbol was born in the form how a photographer selects a fragment of reality. Thereby the photographer decides how to capture the scene influencing in the composition and the photographic frame and so affecting the visualization and interpretation of the image. Of course, in postproduction the photographer can even choose to crop the image taken even more and in that way highlight even more the object photographed or take it out of context. The goal is to obtain a symbol with a strong expressive value and great geometric simplicity, facilitating its assimilation and its use in small-scale reductions. Therefore the symbol will be built using as concept the “framing” of photographic shooting. The square format is an unusual format in the “real world” but I used it in the development of the symbol because it is a point of view with which you can isolate and focus more on the subject. The basic shape is reminiscent of the Polaroid 6×6 shots but was considered too symmetrical, solid and stable so I turned it 45 ° getting close to the viewing angle of a 50mm lens which corresponds to 46 °.
As you may see every aspect has to be considered even the application of the brand if it´s stamped on a textured paper, foiled stamped or UV printed.