Brand And Corporate Identity Development
Identity is one of the most important factors that sets different companies apart from each other, and a Brand is what sets the truly successful apart from the rest. Let's take a quick look at what it means:
"A Brand is the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products"Now that we have that out of the way, we have to ask ourselves the most important question...
Why does my company need a Brand?
Because you are unique. While business owners in every field are competing, your company has its own unique way in doing what you do. But no matter how hard you work to satisfy your customers and earn their trust...until they have an identity to associate your level of service with, you will struggle to expand beyond your current customer base.Brands are powerful. They represent more than just a name - they represent the quality of your service. And it is that power of association that allows a business to grow.
OUR SUGGESTION? START ESTABLISHING YOUR BRAND - NOW!
Web Artist's team of professionals are ready to assist any company looking to take this next step. Establishing your brand is a crucial move and we will be there to assist you every step of the way. Whether you are preparing to build a brand for the first time or if you are looking to reinvent the one you currently have, we are here to make sure it happens. For us there is no greater joy than seeing our clients achieve success.Some of our services are:
- Designing the central part of the brand - Your Logo.
We can assist clients with logo designing as part of a package deal as creating only half an identity can do more damage than good.
- Designing concepts for marketing material such as: flyers, posters, banners and much more.
- Developing a company profile.
- Creating a website
- Assisting with marketing campaigns
- And much more...
ARE YOU READY TO START BUILDING A BRAND FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Here are some interesting articles on Brand Development:
Do you realize just how important your company logo is? It appears on everything from your letterhead to your website, reaching customers, prospects, suppliers and the press. In other words, your logo reaches everyone who has any contact with you and is the first impression someone will have of your company. Because of its potential impact, your logo must offer a favorable impression of your business. Present yourself clearly and dynamically, and you'll look like a pro, even if your office is in your home's basement.
Easier said than done, you say? Maybe. Luckily, there are time-tested guidelines you can follow in your quest for a great logo. Whether you hire an agency or decide to create it yourself, commit these rules to memory--or at least bookmark this web page:1. Your logo should reflect your company in a unique and honest way. Sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised how many business owners want something "just like" a competitor. If your logo contains a symbol--often called a "bug"--it should relate to your industry, your name, a defining characteristic of your company or a competitive advantage you offer.
What's the overriding trait you want people to remember about your business? If it's quick delivery, consider objects that connote speed, like wings or a clock. Consider an abstract symbol to convey a progressive approach--abstracts are a great choice for high-tech companies. Or maybe you simply want an object that represents the product or service you're selling. Be clever, if you can, but not at the expense of being clear.2. Avoid too much detail. Simple logos are recognized faster than complex ones. Strong lines and letters show up better than thin ones, and clean, simple logos reduce and enlarge much better than complicated ones.
But although your logo should be simple, it shouldn't be simplistic. Good logos feature something unexpected or unique without being overdrawn. Look at the pros: McDonald's, Nike, Prudential. Notice how their logos are simple yet compelling. Anyone who's traveled by a McDonald's with a hungry 4-year-old knows the power of a clean logo symbol.3. Your logo should work well in black and white (one-color printing). If it doesn't look good in black and white, it won't look good it any color. Also keep in mind that printing costs for four-color logos are often greater than that for one- or two-color jobs).4. Make sure your logo's scalable. It should be aesthetically pleasing in both small and large sizes, in a variety of mediums. A good rule of thumb is the "business card/billboard rule": Your logo should look good on both.5. Your logo should be artistically balanced. The best way to explain this is that your logo should seem "balanced" to the eye--no one part should overpower the rest. Just as a painting would look odd if all the color and details were segregated in one corner, so do asymmetric logos. Color, line density and shape all affect a logo's balance.
Many logo gurus insist your logo should be designed to last for up to 10 or 15 years. But I've yet to meet a clairvoyant when it comes to design trends. The best way to ensure logo longevity, in addition to the rules I've listed above, is to make sure you love your logo. Don't ever settle for something half-baked.
And once you commit to your logo design, be sure you have it in all three of these essential file formats: EPS for printing, JPG and GIF for your website. Essentially, these file conversions render your logo as a single piece of art-so it's no longer a symbol with a typeface. Which brings us to the most important rule in logo design. . .
Never, ever re-draw or alter your logo! If you want to animate it for your website, fine. But don't change its essence. Reduce and enlarge it proportionally. And if you become tired of your logo, that's good. Because that's usually about the time it's starting to make an impression on everyone else!
One key way to develop your brand is to create a set of design rules that tie together the look and feel of all your marketing materials. These rules are often referred to as "brand standards." Ideally, brand standards do the double-duty of creating awareness of your brand and differentiating your brand from your competition's. Think you're not big enough to worry about your brand? It's recommended that even the smallest companies develop and maintain brand standards from the very beginning.
The breadth and depth of your brand standards can vary greatly, depending on your needs. Keep in mind that if you're too strict, you may hem yourself in creatively, while if you're too loose, design chaos can result. Focus on strategy and consistency in the following five areas:1. Logo. There's perhaps no single more important element to your brand standards than the consistent use of your logo. First, you should never alter or redraw your logo. Second, its placement and sizing should remain consistent within each communication vehicle (for example, your letterhead, brochures, postcards, fliers, etc.). Rules can vary according the type of material you're using your logo in, but they shouldn't vary drastically.
And if you want to look like a large company, remember this irony: The bigger the company, the smaller the logo.2. Graphics. Use distinctive symbols and shapes in a consistent way. Choosing the same basic graphic elements will help customers remember your brand faster. Also, be consistent when using borders and/or backgrounds--or show a pattern of consistency that complies with your brand standards. For example, you could choose a cupid-themed border for a Valentine's Day ad and a clover-themed border for a St. Patrick's Day ad. In both cases, your border should be consistent in size and/or weight (the amount of emphasis it receives relative to the other elements on the page).3. Colors. Color is one of the most important components when it comes to brand identity. The colors you choose will make an immediate impression on your audience, and play a large role in memory retrieval. Therefore color can significantly impact someone's perception of your brand. For example, gold, silver and burgundy are perceived to be upscale, while green is viewed as fresh and healthy. I highly recommend you research and/or test-market certain colors before you commit to a palette. One easy--if not scientific--way to do this is to create a brochure or ad in three or four different color palettes, then survey various people for feedback. And remember that colors have different meanings in different cultures.4. Fonts. Choose just a handful of fonts for use on all your materials, selecting at least one serif font and one san-serif font. Serif fonts have "feet" at the bottom of the font to guide the reader's eye, while san-serif fonts don't--"Times" is an example of a serif font; "Helvetica" is an example of a san-serif font. Serif fonts work well in paragraphs or body copy because they give the eye something to "hang on to." San-serif fonts should be reserved for headlines, numbers in charts, very small text or text that's reversed out of a color. As a general rule, you should use no more than two fonts in a document, although a third, decorative font could be used sparingly.5. Illustrative or photographic style. Consider what type of visuals-pictures--you want to feature on your marketing materials. Will your visuals consist of illustrations or photos? Try to stick with one or the other. Regardless of your choice, your visuals should be similar in style and color usage--black and white, four-color, two-color, etc.
When you've identified rules for the above areas, write them down and distribute them to any employee or vendor--such as a designer or printer--who may need to reference them. Your brand standards will go a long way toward building your brand equity. It's worth the time and effort to do it right.
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, retail or B2B. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does "branding" mean? How does it affect a small business like yours?
Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors'. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
Are you the innovative maverick in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can't be both, and you can't be all things to all people. Who you are should be based to some extent on who your target customers want and need you to be.
The foundation of your brand is your logo. Your website, packaging and promotional materials--all of which should integrate your logo--communicate your brand.
Brand Strategy & Equity
Your brand strategy is how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering on your brand messages. Where you advertise is part of your brand strategy. Your distribution channels are also part of your brand strategy. And what you communicate visually and verbally are part of your brand strategy, too.
Consistent, strategic branding leads to a strong brand equity, which means the added value brought to your company's products or services that allows you to charge more for your brand than what identical, unbranded products command. The most obvious example of this is Coke vs. a generic soda. Because Coca-Cola has built a powerful brand equity, it can charge more for its product--and customers will pay that higher price.
The added value intrinsic to brand equity frequently comes in the form of perceived quality or emotional attachment. For example, Nike associates its products with star athletes, hoping customers will transfer their emotional attachment from the athlete to the product. For Nike, it's not just the shoe's features that sell the shoe.
Defining Your Brand
Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable. It requires, at the very least, that you answer the questions below:
- What is your company's mission?
- What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
- What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
- What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?
Do your research. Learn the needs, habits and desires of your current and prospective customers. And don't rely on what you think they think. Know what they think.
Because defining your brand and developing a brand strategy can be complex, consider leveraging the expertise of a nonprofit small-business advisory group or a Small Business Development Center .
Once you've defined your brand, how do you get the word out? Here are a few simple, time-tested tips:
- Get a great logo. Place it everywhere.
- Write down your brand messaging. What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand? Every employee should be aware of your brand attributes.
- Integrate your brand. Branding extends to every aspect of your business--how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, your e-mail signature, everything.
- Create a "voice" for your company that reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it ritzy? Be more formal. You get the gist.
- Develop a tagline. Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
- Design templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don't need to be fancy, just consistent.
- Be true to your brand. Customers won't return to you--or refer you to someone else--if you don't deliver on your brand promise.
- Be consistent. I placed this point last only because it involves all of the above and is the most important tip I can give you. If you can't do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail.