What do you think of when you think of branding? A colour, a font, a logo? Building a real brand identity for your business is about so much more than that. It’s about conveying your values, beliefs and your ‘why’.
“In the past: it was the packaging, a logo and done. Today, your brand provides a promise.”
Philip Kotler, known by many as the godfather of marketing, is right. Things have changed and as such we need to change our behaviour as marketers accordingly.
But what is a brand?
It’s not just a logo, colour and font. It’s everything; the very soul of your business. It’s your messaging, ethos, tone of voice… Consider where your brand is used; social media, email footers, merchandise, uniforms, your website, business stationery – even the way you answer the phone.
No matter who you are, what you sell and how big your business, brand identity is crucial.
More people than you might think.
Consumers, suppliers and third party processors, they’ll all need convincing to buy from or work with you, over your competitors.
Your brand needs to be consistent for them to perceive it as high quality. Expectation promotes dependability – you’re creating a brand contract based on consistent delivery, whether that’s look, feel or service.
Just take a look at these images. Six brands, three pairs of competitors.
The likelihood is that you just identified them all within a matter of seconds. That’s the power of brand identity.
In 1985, Coke discovered that consumers preferred the taste of Pepsi. Following great investment into research and development, focus groups and extensive testing, Coke launched ‘New Coke’, which apparently tasted better than Pepsi.
Sales bombed. On 11th July 1985, just 79 days after it was launched, New Coke was ‘canned’.
The lesson here? Coke broke their brand contract with their customers. They tried to be like their ‘brand nemesis’ and consumers just jumped ship; brand equity was lost.
How do you make your brand consistent?
Creating brand guidelines (also known as a style guide or brand book) means that any agency, member of your team or third party processor can work with your brand and maintain its consistency, quality and overall identity. Guidelines typically include:
What do you apply this to?
The ‘seven Ps’ are well-known within the marketing world. This is the full marketing mix and covers everything from the product or service you offer, to the way it is delivered, the price you charge, your facilities and infrastructure, even the appearance of your staff and premises.
Apply your brand guidelines to everything, whether that’s seen, heard or felt.
What should you take away from this?
If you have feel as though you’re having a brand identity crisis, have queries about branding or would like to see how The Pack could help you, throw us a bone on 01325 486666.
What’s the right typeface for your company? http://harveyandhugo.com/right-typeface-company/
Telling your story with colour http://harveyandhugo.com/telling-story-colour/