What’s Brand and how to do branding?
Posted 10 September 2012
We all know that brand is a crucial aspect of any successful business, but what do we know about brand and branding strategies.
As a web design agency, our work often overlaps with branding. When working with either established or new business we often see business owners and marketing directors not going much further than logo design when it comes to branding. We find that often the real meaning of brand is being overlooked, since there seems to be lack of understanding in the field.
Wikipedia defines Brand as “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” Although officially defined as a noun, brand is also often used as verb, i.e. representing an action, for example to brand something.
While we do tend to think of brand as something that requires action many fail to take this action further than sticking a letter head on their product or adding a company logo. To avoid this common mistakes here at
VizionOnline Web Design company London, we believe it is important to understand components of brand and branding:
• Brand Name (the name of the product or service)
• Brand Positioning (the business’ niche)
• Brand Management (the application of marketing techniques)
• Brand Equity (the marketing effects or outcomes)
• Brand Definition (the distinguishing name and/or symbol, including the logo and colours)
When thinking of branding you business whether it is a web start-up business or a more established one, you need to think of how you going to develop effectively every element of your brand.
To quote Brian Hoff, “a brand is what the emotional response your company receives. The emotion behind what someone feels, sees, tastes, etc when they come across your brand. A memorable logo is just the beginning – yet an extremely important beginning – that sets the overall tone for your new or existing brand.”
However, complete and effective brand development involved working consistently on engaging all the sense of the customer. For example, what do we think about when we imagine an Apple store? We think about the friendly people dressed in bright coloured clothing, a clean atmosphere in which everything is well-designed. Furthermore, when we interact with customer service in-store or via phone support, we get the same feelings.
As we all know, the Apple logo is an Apple with a big bite taken out of it. For someone who might have never heard of Apple and was left with their logo and without everything that came with it, we would think they’re apple farmers. But it’s because of their recognition of the important of brand further than their logo, that Apple’s products and services are easily distinguishable.
When it comes to online elements of branding it is equally important to develop the story and appeal to the senses. While you can stop me here, saying: “But you can’t smell a website, you can’t taste a website”, I would actually disagree. As web designer our job is to work with the product on the electronic platform and deliver it in such a way that it evokes the senses and appeal to emotions.
But design is just one element of it. While designers can work with concepts and ideas to deliver a brand that makes your product stand out and have its own personality, it is up to the business owner and marketing directors to open up their perception of different aspects of branding to included all of its components.
One cannot achieve effective branding without analyzing all of the impressions a business makes on it’s clients. While we may be asked to create identity pieces, we need to ensure they reflect the company properly and are part of a winder carefully thought through marketing strategy.