The term ‘branding’ is often confused with a visual identity. We’ve come a long way from burning our products with hot irons, but some companies still think their brand is their visual mark. Below are some points to help you think differently and how could you build a brand successfully.
Ultimately most organisations aspire to gain the trust of their customers. This is hard! Your brand lives in the cynical headspace of time poor, battle hardened consumers who are bombarded with brand noise every minute of the day. Why should they give you their precious time? The answer is you see things differently. If your point of difference is at the heart of your brand and it’s communicated in an authentic way, you’ll be on your way to success. Brands like Pret A Manger, Tesla and Dyson have strong values and visions. People share their values and buy their products, wearing that association like a badge of honour.
Imagine your brand is a person that you have created. Now think of all the elements you would need to create their personality. You probably have a logo, website and social icons etc. but these are effectively the primary colours, you’ll need the whole spectrum to paint something life like!
Many organisations have multiple strands. This is often referred to as brand architecture. Keep things simple and create a brand that considers hierarchy from the outset. A great example is (RED) the HIV charity. It’s unique architecture united participating businesses by literally multiplying their logos to the power of RED. A visual device allowed partner logos to be integrated into their brand using simple brackets, creating a lock up that was considered and impactful.
Evolution not revolution
Not everyone likes change. Sometimes a sudden logo change can alienate or confuse your established customers. However there are subtle ways to address necessary changes to your business. A logo evolution can re-energise your identity and not leave your followers out in the cold.
The phrase ‘staying on brand’ gets bad press within some organisations, usually from those that don’t understand ‘who they are’. A good brand guide should be a clear document of ethos, vision, culture, tone as well as the identity. This sacred asset will allow others to fully understand who you are, creating a real culture that can scale.