The term ‘branding’ is thrown around a lot, but what the heck is it? We are going to attempt to demystify some of the terms around branding and how we can help you with them.
Brand guru Marty Neumeier describes a brand as “a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or company.” Branding is the process of trying to influence public opinion about your brand. It is the difference between a consumer choosing you or your competitor. Innovative and memorable branding can help improve brand image, increase brand awareness, reach a wider audience and develop consumer loyalty.
Brand strategy is the roadmap you take to achieve your brand goals. Think of it as your foundation you build your brand on. Strong foundation, strong brand. Brand strategy involves tactics such as brand identity design, marketing, advertising, events and PR. A good brand strategy workshop will assess your product or service and it’s unique merits, your message, values, audience, competitors and your position within the market. This data will inform your business plan and create a brand strategy to launch and grow your brand.
Brand identity is the first impression you make on your audience. In a world of a billion brands, you only get one shot to make that impression count. Brand identity design is the creative process of aligning your strategic needs with tangible visual elements to reach your business goals. A cohesive brand identity system that is defined by a well informed brand strategy is how your audience recognises and differentiates you from your competition. Your brand identity is a box of various tools that allow you to deliver a clear and cohesive brand message across your website, social media, ecommerce platform, signage, advertising, business card, packaging, apparel and beyond. It is made up from elements including logo, typography, colour, imagery, communication, style guide and collateral. Let’s dive into these elements.
Your logo is the face of your brand. It is the main visual identifier of your brand to your audience. Everywhere you have a presence, your logo represents your brand. So it has to be perfect.
Your logo is a real socialite and is seen in many different locations. It has to be flexible and responsive to adapt to its surroundings. To do this a logo is usually backed up with a responsive family of secondary logos for different purposes. For example, a circular logo for social media profile, a horizontal word mark logo for website header, a rectangular logo for Facebook, Youtube or Shopify, a square logo for labels, a monogram for a favicon or pin.
Colour provokes an emotional response from the viewer. A carefully defined colour palette provides feeling for your brand. Bright colours can signify a youthful, vibrant brand. Muted, earthy tones can signify a holistic, organic brand. These colours are used throughout your branding to build a memorable palette your audience responds to.
To maintain a consistent brand message, a cohesive typography selection is essential. The fonts used on your logo, website and print materials say a lot about your brand, it’s services, products and values. Brand typography generally includes logo type, headline and body copy fonts.
Graphic elements can be used to provide context, personality, style and even humour to a brand’s identity. Use of illustration, typography, patterns and animations allow a brand to become flexible and responsive and go beyond a static logo. Graphic elements can be printed or used effectively online to help engage a visitor on your website or social media.
Branded marketing collateral is tangible touch points for your audience to engage with. Digital collateral includes social media templates, newsletter and email signature. These elements keep a strong brand message for all your digital communications. Print collateral can be a t-shirt, a tote bag, a coffee cup, a billboard, a business card or signage. In an increasingly digital world, physical assets can help increase brand awareness and customer loyalty.
The style in which you communicate with your consumer is your brand voice. The choice of words, or copy you use sets the tone of your conversation with your audience. A surf apparel brand may want to use upbeat, colloquial language to connect with a youthful audience. A yoga brand however may want to use calm, nurturing copy to inform a more spiritual audience of it’s holistic services and practices.
Think of a style guide as your brand bible. This essential document gives instructions on how to cohesively implement your identity to deliver a consistent brand message and narrative. It includes key details on where to use each logo variation, which fonts to use, brand colours, when to use graphic elements, what content to post, what tone of copy to caption it with and how to talk to you audience.
Behind every bonafide brand is a cohesive and strategic brand identity. A strong identity seamlessly promotes the brand’s products or services, tells the brand story and builds trust with its audience. A weak identity undermines the brand by tarnishing it’s image, alienates it from potential customers and stunts growth.
We hope this has helped demystify branding and it’s jargon for you. We can help even more. We offer branding packages to suit all needs and budgets. Check out our branding package and schedule a free brand consultation. Together we will find the perfect branding solution for your business.
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