You’ve no doubt heard the term tossed around a lot, so what is “branding?” The simplest explanation is that branding is everything you do to identify and differentiate yourself from the competition. Think about that for a second before you move on…
Your logo, website, promotional materials, color palette, typography, voice, tone, and everything else that you do integrate with one another to make up your “brand,” and they should collectively (and independently) communicate who you are. So, who are you? What are the advantages of your product or service? How do you want people to feel about you?
Brand recognition comes in many forms, and it can be as simple as a logo – or as complex as the tone of a message. Subaru is a great example of this. Their video ads have a very distinct tone, and they’ve been consistent with it, so the payoff is that we know it’s a Subaru ad long before we ever see a vehicle or a logo. Think about the brands that have had some kind of impression on you. How did they make you feel, and what was special about it?
Brand positioning deals more with competitive advantages within your niche market. Are you the luxury option? The value option? Before you decide, determine where the market needs you to be – where the opportunity is. Once you commit to a position, it should play a major role in the development and deployment of your brand. The luxury option can’t come across as a value product, and everything – from the logo to the packaging – plays a part in that experience.
On the application-side, everything must be considered. You not only need to be consistent, but you need to be strategic with your messaging. Everything you do is making some kind of statement, so even if it only has your logo on it, your brand’s t-shirt is making a statement. What is it? There can be a reason for every choice. We say “can” there, because it’s a rabbit-hole that goes as deep as you want it to. If you have the time or resources to go all the way, great!
For the agency, we have a “brand guide” for each client and follow that for every asset we create. The logos, colors, typography, tone and style all have to match up to what the brand is aiming for.