“Brand” is word that has become widely used in today’s design and marketing world but is often not understood or is used incorrectly.
WHERE DID THE TERM BRAND COME FROM?
The term “Brand” first began when cattle farmers used branding irons to burn a mark into their cattle in order to mark and easily differentiate from others. At it’s core this is still what a brand is today, a way to differentiate your company or product from other offering the same thing and make it easily recognisable when in a large group of others.
While many people may interchange the words “brand” and “logo” this isn’t quite correct. Your company’s logo forms just one part of your company’s brand.
SO WHAT IS A BRAND?
Your brand is essentially what people think of when they first hear your name, an intangible sum of your products attributes and perceptions. This could be your logo, a feeling, taste a pattern or sound.
Using the number one most recognised brand; Coca-Cola as an example (according to the 2012 Interbrand Report). The iconic logo makes up only a small portion of their overall brand. What do you think of when someone says “want a coke?” For me its the colour red, the sound of a bottle opening and the taste. The Coke brand is so well established now that even if you saw an empty bottle of Coke, with no label or logo most people would know what it was from the shape of the bottle and colour of the cap alone.
Elements that might be considered a part of your overall brand can include:
- Patterns or graphical elements
- A consistent style of imagery
- A consistent tone of voice
- Paper stock choice for any communications
- And much more!
WHY IS A BRAND IMPORTANT?
A brand can make or break a company or product and it’s crucial to get it right from the start and make sure for any business decisions you keep your core brand values in the back of your mind. For example if you promise excellent customer service to your consumers make sure you have multiple channels of contact, and have people ready and willing to help with a good attitude.
A lot of the basis of your company’s brand can come from your vision and values, as well as what you’re offering your clients. This can form a strong foundation for any design collateral that may follow to support your company.
Your brand can set you apart from your competition
In today’s market it’s critical to stand apart from the competition. If you’re faced with 10 options of which only one communicates a positive message and your values as a brand you’ve instantly got an edge over those 9 other brands. Creating a consistent brand that your consumers can instantly recognise not only keeps them coming back it makes them feel at ease with your product and also makes it easier for them to adopt new products later down the track as well.
SUMMING ALL THAT UP
A successful, cohesive brand can make or break a company or product and it’s essential that you get it right from the get go. The best brands are built on a strong idea or vision that can encompass every part of what you’re offering.