The practice of creating an identity unique to the company is called branding. It has more than one element- the name of the enterprise, the logo, design and colours are all essential to create a brand. Why is this process so important for a business?
The brand of the company makes sure that it stands out amongst its competitors. This way, the company makes an unforgettable impression on the minds of the consumer. It’s not enough to create a fabulous product or service. It has to be backed up by a method that makes it stay in the minds of the public. That method is the brand.
Consider the logos that have stayed with you. Chances are that you use their products extensively. So the brand, simply put, is the identity of the company, the very face and presence of it. When paying attention to building a brand, pay special notice to the logo and its appearance. The value of a company increases when the value of the brand increases. Because a brand implies a certain strong presence in the market which every business aspires to have. What comes with an elevated brand value? Investors! The chances of investments go high when the brand value goes up.
Having a brand, having that unique identity acts as a catalyst to bring new customers into the fold. Why? Because a brand represents the company’s policy, its work ethic and what it stands for. There is a certain kinship, a trust factor that customers establish with a brand. That helps in not only retaining customers, but also in word of mouth. The best advertisement is word of mouth, at the end of the day.
The brand works internally too. Imagine the sense of pride that an employee associated with the brand, working in the company feels! There’s something positive and affirming about a brand that has a great reputation. Working with this type of brand helps boost employee productivity and positivity. The merchandise has a role to play too. A cup embossed with the brand, or a t-shirt that proudly proclaims where they work can be quite wonderful.
A great brand lends itself beautifully to advertising too. In fact, every component of advertising can be supported with a brand. Be it billboards, posters, freebies, brochures and others. Sometimes, you may need to add nothing else except the brand. It speaks volumes to the public.
When a customer looks at a brand, they see what all has gone into it. There’s a lot at stake for the company in creating a brand. Their reputation is on the line. Their work is in a position to be questioned. So a brand is not a light hearted element of a company. Understanding this helps the customer trust the brand even more. Brands are all about creating customer loyalty. This is one of the greatest assets of a company, the fact that loyalty will work in all times. In times of profit, and loss, a company can be sure to have customer support. Establish a brand and then you can extend the idea across platforms and people- online and offline.
Ways to create a brand – a perspective
Start by understanding that brand and logo are different things. The logo is an aspect of the brand. The brand encompasses the logo and includes way more than that. It is the catchphrase, the name of the company and the logo too.
Here are some ways that you can create a brand. Start with knowing who your audience is. It’s true that you can’t take everyone into consideration when you design a brand. It depends on what your product is, so keep that in mind before you decide your brand. You may want to undertake a market research to see what your audience wants. Some things to consider are their goals and what motivates them to find their goals. Try to track where their brand loyalties lie for the moment and how you can fit into their expectations.
To help you do this, think of the why you do what you do. This will become your mission statement; an important document that will determine the course of your action and the identity of your brand. The Nike mission statement focuses on the athlete. The logo is a swoosh. It resembles a tick mark, like a mission accomplished idea. This galvanizes the person viewing the advertisement into getting up and going. It’s a call to action in the literal sense.
Consider what your brand has to offer, what gives it an edge over your competitors and set about incorporating that into your brand. Keep your branding simple and clear. Look at Apple– its logo is the all-American Apple. The bitten into apple is symbolic of what? Encouraging the public to take a bite out of the experience? Either way, the logo works wonders.
While designing a brand, look for certain standout elements. The kind of colour palette you choose, the fonts that go with it, the images you use to convey your point of view. The always recognisable red of Coke is a fabulous example of this action. The brand has an interesting font that writes out the name. It’s a template that can be replicated but is never original. This logo immediately connects the consumer and the product. Or imagine the golden arch that is deeply connected to McDonald’s. It means M, but it is also symbolic of how overreaching the brand and its food are in the psyche of the consumer.
A successful brand tells a story. Who doesn’t love a good story? It’s important that the story you tell strikes a chord with the audience, that they identify with it and then make it a part of their lives. This means that you have to ensure that the brand has consistency across all the platforms. The social media page, the blog, the email missives- there has to be cogency in all these mediums.
We have seen that among the elements of the brand building exercise, it is the logo which is the greatest purchase point for the consumer. When designed well, the logo connects the company and the client, creates a feeling of trust and dependability, and makes a customer a vital part of the entire growth process.
Top brands in the world and how they were created
When young business school graduate Philip Knight, travelled to Japan, he found a business opportunity. He partnered with shoemaker, Onitsuka Tiger Co and decided to sell their shoes in the USA. To this end, he created a company which he called Blue Ribbon Sports. Towards the end of 1943, he was selling 200 pairs of shoes from the back of his car. Having decided to expand, in 1964, Knight entered a partnership with his ex-track coach, Bill Bowerman. Sales hit $20,000 in 1965. When the partnership between the Japanese and the American ended in late 1971, the two men changed the name of the company, used the logo design the iconic swoosh for a logo and Nike was born. Nike, is the Greek goddess of victory.
In 1940, the two brothers, Richard ‘Dick’ and Maurice ‘Mac’ McDonald started the McDonald’s Bar-B-Que, a drive-in. The extensive menu underwent a change about eight years later and became simple and speedy. The food included the now familiar burger, pie, fries and drinks. A few years later, a travelling salesman, Ray Kroc, began a own McDonald’s franchise. Few years later, he bought over the company from the brothers and pushed to create more franchisees. As of now, there are close to 38,000 McDonald’s across the world.
The electronics giant started off as a small grocery store in 1938. Known as Samsung Sanghoe, it was set up by Lee Byung-chul. When business flourished, he shifted his base to Seoul in 1947. The Korean War forced him to start both a wool mill and a sugar refinery. When President Chung-Hee opened up the economy and offered protectionist policies to the huge companies that helped the country prosper, Samsung did extremely well. The eighteen years that Samsung was allowed to operate without external interference set the company on the road to mega success.
The founder of the most recognised cigarette brand in the world is a Britisher, Philip Morris. In order to find a good market for his cigarettes, he shifted to New York. How do you stand out in a world with great cigarette brands? You pitch it differently. For example, Marlboro’s brand for women, with the instantly recognisable red band was warmly received by the female population. For the men, Marlboro created a macho, non-filtered cigarette. The brand is also famous for its advertisement. The idea of the lone cowboy and horse, the man with the cigarette between his lips, against the backdrop of a spectacular sky is one that’s instantly recognisable.
At the young age of fourteen, Louis Vuitton travelled from Jura, his hometown to Paris. It was a long journey and the young lad did it on foot, working to make his way to the city. In Paris, he worked as a trunk maker in well-heeled houses. This caught the attention of Napoleon III who employed Louis Vuitton as a trunk maker for his wife, Empress Eugénie de Montijo. This experience helped create the brand we now know to mean supreme luggage quality. His first store was started in 1854 in Paris and has now spread all over the world.