Why should you bother with developing a memorable brand?
Today’s post is about branding. Everyone is able to quickly identify brands that they love and even some brands that they try to avoid. I’m sure you can think of a few brands that fall into either of these categories off the top of your head.
The interesting thing about branding is the undeniable emotional response it can illicit from your potential customer base.
We have all seen the endless queues outside Apple stores whenever one of their new products hits the market. A large part of the reasoning behind this is due to the fantastic design of their devices, but it is also due to the sheer power of their brand. Some customers are so in love with the Apple brand that they are quite literally desperate to consume everything they produce. The power of Apple’s brand means a lot of their customers will not even consider looking at and evaluating competing products.
I think it would be pretty fair to say that Apple’s brand is enviable. Who wouldn’t want such a dedicated and loving fan base?
We could wax lyrical about big global brands endlessly but the point of these blog posts are to give you helpful advice. So let’s look at 5 reasons why you should give your company branding the attention it deserves:
1) Branding makes you recognisable
Customers are much more likely to do business with a company they are familiar with. A solid, recognisable brand breeds trust in your client base and increases their propensity to choose you over the competition.
2) Branding differentiates you
We make this point a lot, but it’s worth making again. If you are trying to win business online then you are competing globally. Even if you trade locally you are still vying for the attention of an audience that has access to brands across the world. Your brand is your first port of call for differentiating yourself. You need to stand out.
3) Branding creates referrals
If people love your brand they tell other people about it. People wear brands, eat brands, and in more extreme cases, have been known to tattoo themselves with brands they love.
If people can’t remember your brand then they can’t tell anyone else about it.
4) Branding isn’t just external!
You could be forgiven for thinking that branding is all about how your customer perceives your company. That is arguably its main function. The best branding however can hold huge advantages to your company internally as well:
- A clear brand strategy helps your employees understand the mission. It shows them how to act, how to be successful and how to interact.
- A strong brand keeps you focused. It is easy to drift away from your core principles as you explore different ideas. Clear branding will help you focus on your core objectives.
- A well-formulated branding strategy is going to save you money and time! For example… rather than the same decisions having to be made over and over again on every piece of marketing collateral, a set of clear brand guidelines will streamline your decision-making.
5) A strong brand is valuable
Recent IPOs and acquisitions show us that a company is worth much more than the sum of its physical assets. When Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion it wasn’t because its tangible assets were made of solid gold. It is because it had a fantastic brand with a loyal customer base. Putting time and effort into curating a great brand will directly influence the net worth of your company.
These 5 examples represent but a fraction of the reasons you should stop and consider if you are giving your brand the attention it deserves. If have set you thinking that maybe your brand could do with a refresh then hopefully some handy Zudus and Zudon’ts of branding will set you on the right path to success:
Zudu: Develop a Style guide
A style guide is a powerful tool that keeps your branding consistent, saves you time and money and maintains quality. Your style guide should include guidance on things such as logos, colours to use, font style and size, graphical styles, images and presentation layouts.
Never again will an employee creating a presentation, press release, proposal or marketing collateral have to start from a blank page. Your style guide document will become one of the most useful resources in your arsenal.
Zudon’t: Mix and Match
Without a style guide, consistency has a habit of flying out of the window. Style is subjective and it is natural that without guidance marketing teams might struggle to remain consistent. An inconsistent brand will struggle to gain traction as it can be confusing to your audience.
It is also worth providing a word of warning….Keep an eye on your style guide. It is a working document that may be updated over time. Having several style guides circulating will lead to confusion. Make sure everyone in the organisation is working to the same brief.
Zudu: Develop a high-level strategy
Spend some time creating a high-level brand strategy. A high-level strategy should consider things such as the personality your brand wishes to portray. It should also consider your target audience, what makes them tick? Finally, it should also consider what it is about your brand that makes you different.
Zudon’t: Fill your branding strategy with fine detail
Be careful to not delve into the finer details of your branding when developing your overall strategy. If you find yourself considering fonts, colours and graphics then you have gone too far. This level of detail should be found in your Style Guide. Your overall strategy should remain ‘high-level’, it’s a vision not a list of rules.
Zudu: Consider your ‘overall’ message
Your overall message is all about defining what values your company considers important. You are likely to have a few values that are important to your company. How are you going to convey them?
Perhaps you are a very philanthropic organisation, maybe you are committed to being green. How are you going to get these messages across?
Define how these values fit into your overall branding message and it will help you with subsequent decisions.
Zudon’t: Deviate too much
Once you have defined the messages you want your brand to convey try not to deviate too much. Consumers are likely to associate your brand with a few key themes. Your company may have many values and interests but try to follow a common theme. Don’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none.
Zudu: Keep reviewing your branding
Branding isn’t an item on a to-do list, your branding is never ‘finished’. Re-branding isn’t just done by companies that haven’t been successful and need to start over, the most successful companies in the world are constantly evolving their brand.
Just look at how the Apple logo has changed since the company’s inception:
Zudon’t: Sit still
Branding and clothing share some common ground: some styles go out of fashion. If you wouldn’t think of wearing a 70’s belted sweater in public then you shouldn’t expect to use the same branding you developed in the 70’s either.
If you’re thinking of re-branding then feel free to give us a shout! We love building and re-imagining brands and our graphic designers love to get creative. If you want to re-invigorate your brand send us a message!