There are many areas that are used to develop a brand including advertising, customer service, promotional merchandise, reputation, and logo.
With creativity, skill and strategy, a brand can establish an identity that sets itself apart from the competition and sparks a connection with its audience.
Branding has so many different elements – probably more than you could imagine. Below are some of the basic branding elements / definitions you should know before starting to build your brand:
A brand is a name, logo, word, mark, tagline, or any other identifying characteristic that separates a company’s product or service from others on the market. A brand is among the most important assets that a company has because it represents the company and helps keep the company in consumers’ minds.
Brand recognition is the extent to which a consumer can correctly identify a particular product or service just by viewing the product or service’s logo, tag line, packaging or advertising campaign. Brand recognition can also be triggered via an audio cue, such as a jingle or theme song associated with a brand.
Over time, your brand will help your business be known to consumers. As you consistently use visual cues like your logo and brand imagery, your audience will come to associate these cues with your brand. Brand recognition is developed by reach, frequency and consistency.
This takes brand recognition a step further; rather than just identifying a logo with a specific company, your audience will see your logo and instantly be able to correctly associate your product or service with your brand.
Brand awareness is about pinpointing what makes your company different, and using those differences to show the inherent value of your company. Though “recognition” highlights your unique aspects in terms of voice, strategy, and image, “awareness” focuses on the heart and soul of your company, everything that comes together to convince your customers to choose you over anyone else.
Brand loyalty is ultimately what keeps your customers coming back. The more your audience connects with your brand, the more likely they are to become repeat customers.
Think about how you interact with brands in your daily life. Are you open to trying the new coffee blend from the store on the corner, or are you heading straight to Seattle for your morning Cappuccino?
What about when you have a specific gift in mind for a relative; are you going to Google the gift name and try to find sellers, or are you typing “takealot.com” into your browser without a second thought? This is brand loyalty, plain and simple.
TYPES OF BRANDING
Just like there are various kinds of businesses, there are various types of branding – it will be up to you to choose which one is best for you, based on your audience.
This type of branding creates a brand around an entire corporation rather than a specific product. Companies with good corporate branding are usually associated with a promise that they deliver on.
Ask yourself – do you call it Kleenex or tissues? You’d agree that most of us refer to it as Kleenex. This is strong product branding – centered around a product instead of a company or person.
This is creating a brand around a person instead of a business. Mostly used for celebrities and politicians, CEO’s could also benefit from investing in their personal brand.
These are what I consider the three most used types, there are others, such as geographical branding or minimalist branding (but that’s for another time).
Your brand identity is the way that your brand, with its core mission and values, is expressed to your audience. It’s at the heart and soul of your branding. The following is what will go into creating your brand identity:
This is at the core of your brand identity and is the “spokesperson” for your brand. You will need to think about font and colour, you need to think about if it represents what you stand behind. Think about whether you want a logo that’s just a symbol, or a word logo, or a mixture. Are you adding your tagline to the logo? These are all things which need to be considered before you go full steam designing. Something to remember though, is that your logo can evolve as your business grows.
Fonts influence your readers’ subconscious perception of your brand. This is why selecting brand typography that conveys your business’ personality and values is one of the key elements of visual branding. The style of typography, the line weight, the curvatures and spacing reflect and define the brand’s personality.
Colour is the secret in producing a good identity for a company. Colours are more than just a visual aid because colours convey emotions, feelings and experiences. Your brand colours have the ability to impact your sales or performance even more than the products you offer.
Photography & Imagery:
Brand photography is a suite of images that represent your business and provides another element to its visual identity. Photography should fit with the rest of your brand identity, its colours, logos and messaging. Brand photography can include photos of your business’ products, your team, workspace and other things relevant to your business.
Brand guidelines, also called a brand style guide, are essentially an instruction manual and rule book on how to communicate your brand. They lay out all the visual details, as well as important notes about the company’s voice, tone, and messaging. Essentially, it’s the rules of engagement when it comes to the use of your brand identity.
As mentioned, the above are some of the basic elements of branding. In our next article we will delve deeper into Brand Strategy, Brand Marketing, Brand and Social Media and more.