Many businesses can overlook the importance that their brand has and the overall impact it has on their business and as a result don’t give it the time it deserves. After all, people will see your branding well before they see you. Consider the big brands, McDonalds for instance, spent a whopping $998 million on their brand advertising in 2013. Now we aren’t saying to spend that much on branding, the amount you spend is relevant to the size of your business and the industry you’re in, however what we are saying is don’t underestimate the importance of a strong brand especially if your plan is growth.
What is a brand?
The Dictionary of Brand defines brand as “a person’s perception of a product, service, experience, or organization.”
Even for branding experts like ourselves defining a brand is difficult because it encompasses so many things and a single brand can mean something different to every person. However, we can tell you that a brand is not a logo- it is so much more than that. It’s a process of reading unwritten information that reveals the very core of your business.
A logo is a solid place to start, but certainly not enough. Why? Because branding is based on emotions. So what happens beyond a logo?
Brands are emotive
Successful brands are emotionally fused and that is what makes them work.
If you ask someone why they love a favourite brand, they are probably unable to pin down exactly why. There might be a range of reasons, price, quality ethos but essentially it is all down to one thing- how it makes them feel. Brands are about feelings and feelings are complicated.
Every individual will have a different take on a brand depending on their own experiences. To accommodate this, a brand should be dynamic, as it will play a different role with different key players in your business and how they react.
A good brand doesn’t just happen
A truly effective brand that will stand the test of time isn’t just something created on paint (there are still a few businesses out there doing that). It is a well thought out strategic plan to ensure you get the very best results. At Creative 62, we have a 5-step process that we follow, this guideline forms the basis of our discussions with clients without being too restrictive.
Stage 1: Business goals and brand personality
A brand is an ambassador of your business, it dictates how your business is perceived, how your staff represent the organisation and ultimately projects your personality. The very first step in our branding process is getting to know why you do what you do. What is your passion, vision and business objectives and what drives the organisation forward? It is these elements we want to bottle and bring to life in your branding.
Stage 2: Market and user research
How do you stand out from competitors? Fantastic service, value, premium product or service? How can you communicate that at first glance and be easily distinguished from the competition? It does all come down to the branding, whether that is first impressions or long-term loyalty.
The second stage of our process is to fully immerse ourselves in the competition and the future of the brand. With research and data, we compile a selection of ideas that we feel are future-proof and integral to getting your message across.
Stage 3: Logo design
You can’t have a brand without a logo, or a logo without a brand (despite what some cowboys might tell you). A logo is the main point of recognition for your customers and is the most important foundation for the branding of your company. This is why the first visual you will see will be your logo and everything will flourish from this point.
Stage 4: Visual elements of the brand
Once the logo is complete, the visual elements of brand will come to life. This encompasses so many things and brings all of the important elements together: typography, colour palettes, and image styles. Then we want to focus on how to bring these together so they are perfectly balanced in any context.
Stage 5: Corporate brand style
Now all of the visual elements are prepared, it’s about bringing it to life inside your organisation. Rolling it out so all communications are in line with a professional finish. We will make recommendations based on your business for how best to include your brand in all elements of your business.
As we mentioned before, this process is a guideline. Every business is unique and our creative process needs to be too.
So to conclude let’s look at a real-world definition, one we can appreciate. Jeff Bezos, Founder, and CEO of Amazon Definitely brand as “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”. For a moment just consider what that means for you. Think about what you have invested in your brand and towards your business success.
If you want to know more about branding then have a look at our creative services page here: https://www.creative62.com/creative/ otherwise get in touch and we’ll grab a coffee and have a chat.