Branding & Marketing Tips
Good brands can easily be distinguished. They are professional, consistent and meet expectations. Branding, corporate identity, logos, style manuals, icons – what does it all mean to a business and how does it affect you in the marketplace? Brand Action have been working towards educating our clients for many years on how to break apart these elements and this useful page should give you a clear and simple overview as to each element and where you can address what your organisation needs.
- Top 10 Branding Tips
- Branding (it’s about trust)
- Corporate Identity (it’s about management)
- Logos (it’s your only mark)
- Copyright is very powerful protection (relative article)
- Trademarks (relative article)
- Business Name : Venture past names such as Bob’s Plumbing or Andrew’s Detailing
- Conviction : Have a can-do attiiude, go the extra mile in your business for your customers
- Colours : See what your competitors colours are and do something different
- Uniforms : Look the part of your business and brand, this reflects back to your customers
- Website : Make it easy, reflect your business well and give out information to benefit your users
- Employees : Have expectations of yourself and your team. Talk to them about the value of brands
- Conscious : Be different in the market and promote that. Find new ways to improve your value, service and products
- Vehicles : If vehicles are important in your business good identity on them improves your professionalism
- Advertising : Have a budget and marketing plan and then keep your advertising related to your identity
- Miscellaneous : Everything from the way you answer the phone, email and deal with feedback is important to your brand. | top
A logo is not a brand unless it’s on something
Branding is everything to do with your organisation – how it’s perceived in the marketplace by your audience, both internal and external, your suppliers, essentially all stakeholders. It’s how you answer the phone, what you wear, your marketing strategy your invoice – everything is branding. The problem is that many businesses rarely see themselves as a brand and confuse this with their logo or single elements such as their printing. A brand is the perception formed by the audience about a company, person or idea. Only the audience can “make” a brand. However a company should create strategies to influence the perception of their audience.
The significance of a solid branding strategy cannot be underestimated. It’s imperative to the positive perception of your business. Because Brand Action understands business, branding and identities as a whole, we can rationally and confidently explain why a brand or identity is struggling or growing. As part of an audience, we make a perception about our client’s brand. This then begins the journey of refining that brand.
Let’s looks as some names and see how you react. McDonald’s®, banks, Michael Jackson, Disneyland®, George Bush, Elvis, Bunnings®, Sydney, petrol companies, Greenpeace® . All these, and many millions more, are a brand and what makes up that brand are the many elements. Let’s take McDonald’s® as it’s a universally recognised brand. How is their food? Are their premises clean? What’s their service like? Does it meet your expectations? What colour is their logo? Do you want fries with that? Every element in the McDonald’s® branding is covered and that’s the strategy and system they follow. It is systemised to such a degree that they deliver on your perceptions time and time again.
Irrespective of the quality or price of the product, it is consistency which counts and that builds trust. When Brand Action enter the premises of a client or review an idea, we take the brand and identity into consideration to formulate the best possible solution. How we see your business is how all your potential clients see you as well. You may have a “good” reputation in your industry but your brand doesn’t reflect it. Do you have a consistent brand? Brands can be fragile. If the perception of the audience changes rather negatively towards a brand then it takes significant time for a company or person to win back the trust and faith in that audience.
So, if you want to create a positive experience with your audience, focus on every aspect of your business and build the kind of brand you want to be perceived as, professional, clean, efficient, organised or messy, sloppy, dissatisfying, unprofessional – it’s your business choice. Design Train can assist in brand management because we’re in the business. | top
A consistent identity conveys professionalism and quality
This is where Brand Action is strongest with your brand management. Your identity is a combination of the logo and visual system (ie typeface, colours, imagery). The editorial tone work together to form a unique and cohesive message for your company, person, object or ideas. As an example, your identity should insist that the colours and fonts in your signage reflect the same message as your stationery and website. As an element of your brand, when your identity is consistent then the identity part of the brand is consistent.
Brand Action are very strong in this field. It’s been stated that a design firm should really only focus on the identity of a company as part of the brand management. However, we disagree. It’s our responsibility to assist our clients first and foremost with their identity and, secondly, with their overall brand management. If we see something that we perceive could affect their brand then we help in any way possible to get the brand back on track.
So, what’s your identity like? As we’ve explained, it is the visual communication element of your brand, the colours, typefaces, marketing (graphical elements) logo, editorial, photography, illustrations and all the mediums that these communications have the identity applied on, or through. These mediums could be stationery, websites, all forms of print, signage, uniforms, advertising, displays, anything.
Because corporate identity can be a large aspect of your business (just think of all the visual elements in your company), we encourage our clients to consider systemising their identity the same as a business like McDonald’s® does. A style guide is a fantastic tool for any business to use as a solid identity guide to ensure that all identity rules are followed. Things such as what typefaces does all your company literature go out on?, what are your company colours?, how does your logo get applied on different backgrounds?, are the variables considered? The application of a style guide means that colours are accurate because everyone has the same reference and resource tool that your business follows religiously. It’s an integral part of your branding and therefore your audience perception.
So when it comes to the visual elements of websites, signage, printing and other communications – do your elements look like a dog’s dinner? The funny thing is, that we can sort the whole thing out quickly following a brief visual audit of your organisation. Please contact us for more information. | top
A good logo should be a distinctive symbol
If you’ve ventured through the Design Train website you will have seen many fine examples of logos. Logos can be broken into a few categories including wordmarks, symbols and monograms (or elements used together). When we design a new logo or refresh an existing logo for a client, we cover a series of 10 areas and functions the logo needs to pass before we present it to our client. A logo is an important element in your brand management as it is normally the only time your potential clients are going to make the perception about your company, person, object or idea.
If you don’t have a strict policy on how you manage the application of your logo then you’re not getting value from it and not building a solid identity or brand. We can’t tell you how much that’s worth to you in actual $$$ but we know it could be significant. Your logo is sometimes your only contact with new markets so, what’s the perception? Design Train logos are designed with you and your market in mind. We have an extensive list of 10 areas and features the logo needs to cover before you get to see any visual from us. Please contact us if you want more information.
What’s your logo worth to your business? Well, consider an established mark and how much you’ve used it – all the advertising, stationery and other applications. I guarantee you that logo is branded. Naturally there are some poorly designed logos that aren’t really unique, have no impact or little distinctive appeal but, generally, companies with these marks haven’t given any consideration to the uniqueness of their business in a visual sense and consequently miss out on attracting additional clients.
The other important element of logos is trademarks. Many businesses have a tendency to let their unique logo mark go unprotected which gives your opposition a way in. For a small investment you can ensure that it is protected from your competition in the categories you choose. Design Train have much experience at registering trademarks or we suggest you consult your local IP Attorney for assistance.
Some important elements to consider for your logo include colours, shapes, typography, image/iconography, scale, emotion, competition. For assistance on creating the best possible logo (unique mark) for your organisation please contact Brand Action. As an important part of your brand your name and logo are very, very valuable. | top
Some information on this page was utilised from the Logo Design Workbook – A Hands on guide to creating logos published by Rockport Publishers. www.rockpub.com