Call out any popular commercial brand and it’s likely that people around you can share what stands out about it. Let’s try a few:
- Chick-Fil-A – Great chicken, great customer service, closed on Sundays
- Budweiser – King of Beers, been around forever
- Apple – i-everything, leading smartphone company
- Nike – Swoosh logo, famous athletes
- Pal’s – (local fast food) Good food in a flash! Quick service, cheddar rounds!
A “Brand” is how your company is perceived by consumers. “Branding” is the work of deliberately shaping a company’s brand to be distinctive and memorable for marketing purposes.
So, therefore, your company’s brand identity is all the collected elements that portray the desired image to consumers. This includes specific colors, logo, printing, building design, motto, taglines, your primary benefit proposition, and so much more.
Wayfair Senior Brand Manager Jared Rosen on brand identity: “Brand identity is more than just finding the right logo to place on coffee cup sleeves or mount above your front door. It’s about crafting a personality that amplifies the core elements to your brand’s DNA. Today, the most magnetic brand identities scale across digital platforms, IRL experiences, and even naturally converse with real customers.”
Corporate Branding is Deliberate
Do you think that Budweiser became known as the “King of Beers” by accident? Of course not. That was the result of a carefully crafted and deliberate branding campaign over years of time that has successfully “branded” that tagline into our consciousness.
What about the distinctive “Golden Arches” of the popular McDonald’s fast food chain? That iconic image has sat atop signs and buildings since 1968. Small children that cannot read recognize these arches from car windows and begin pleading with their parents for “fries” just on sight of it!
Effective corporate branding is pre-planned and structured after much deliberation, research, trial and error, design reviews, consumer testing, and a battery of other processes to discover the perfect combination of elements. In order to create your own company brand identity, you must engage in a similar process.
Building Your Brand Identity
The foundation of your brand lies in who you are, or at least who you want to be as a company. It is essential to know who you are and how you want to be portrayed. All your branding elements and efforts stem from some core truths.
What is Your “Why?”
Why does your company exist? On a deeper level, why did you found your company? What do you wish to do through your company?
What Values Drive Your Mission?
What core values underpin your business? What will you absolutely not do, no matter what? Why? Be honest and list these values as part of your branding process.
What Makes Your Company Unique?
What’s so special about you? Why should consumers choose your company over your competitors?
What Do You Do Better Than Anyone?
What do you want to be known for that you do better than anyone else in your line of work? Are you truly doing it better? How will you keep doing it better?
Who is Your Target Audience?
What demographic is your targeted base of possible clients? What appeals to them? How will your offerings meet a specific need in this demographic?
Design & Create the Tangible Elements of Your Brand Design
Believe it or not, there is a complete realm of science behind the tangible elements of branding design. Specific typography, colors, shapes, and other basic elements evoke certain feelings, emotions, and reactions among various demographics of consumers. All this should be considered when choosing your fonts, colors, graphics, logo design, and all the consumer-facing elements used in your company’s branding.
- Font / Typography – Who doesn’t recognize the distinctive script of the Coca-Cola brand?
- Color palette – Again, Coca-Cola white script against a simple red background is memorable.
- Shapes – Round, square, trapezoid, what shape will best fit what you want to convey?
- Images / Graphics – Will you use a symbol, like the Nike swoosh or the Facebook squared “F?” Or would your brand be better represented by the name in a design, like the oval Ford script within an oval?
- Logo – All the above and more contribute to creating a logo design that is simple, easily identified, memorable, eye-catching, and that effectively conveys your brand.
This part of developing your brand identity can be complicated, and often requires the services of an experienced marketing and design professional. They can explain more about how the color palette reflects certain things and how that should help determine your brand colors, how shapes matter, and more.
There are other elements of your brand that are also essential to communicating who you are and how you wish to be understood in the marketplace. These have to do with your brand voice and personality.
- Voice – how do you wish to sound when communicating with consumers? Wise? Funny? Cocky? Friendly? Old-fashioned? Modern? Male? Female? Aged? Young? Knowledgeable?
- Personality – imagine if your brand were a person: how would you want that person to act and conduct themselves before consumers? How will you express that in your branding?
Market Your Branding Effectively
After developing and creating your brand, it’s time to get it before the masses of consumers. Begin promoting your brand in your specific voice, identity, and personality across numerous avenues where your targeted audience spends time. This should include:
- Product packaging
- Marketing / Advertising
- Print communications
- Social Media
Saturate your market with carefully crafted brand messaging that positions your company as authoritative, trustworthy, useful, dependable, delicious, fast, reliable, and whatever other characteristics for which you want to become known. Use case studies and social proof to demonstrate how other clients benefit from your brand’s products and/or services.
After this brand communication has been underway for a while, begin testing its effectiveness. How is your brand being received? What are your most common responses from consumers? How does this align with your desires? What should be changed?
Again, marketing professionals can handle these and other related chores while you focus on serving your customers and making your company the best at what you do. Contact 1-FIND in Johnson City, Tennessee, for all your company branding and marketing needs.