Apple, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nike. You see, hear and live these brands almost every day, even if you don’t use them, you can’t help but see them all around you. First we’re going to tell you something, and it might be a shock, or you won’t believe us, it ‘s a simple statement; brands don’t exist.
What makes a brand special?
Close your eyes, and think of Nike’s swoosh, or the ‘M’ from McDonald’s. By just imagining these ‘simple elements’ of the brand, you can immediately relate to the full image, the logo, the colors, and some emotions associated with the brand.
This tells us that actually, the brand lives inside of our minds, based on years of information and emotions that have been communicated to us. So in other words, brands exist, only in our minds, the minds of the consumer.
In today’s highly competitive environment, it seems as if there is no way for a little company to carve its way to the top. Or is there? If you know how to create something unique and useful, you can certainly participate in the competition. And if you know how to lure people into using your services or products, you’ll have a chance to win it. It’s through building these emotions associated with your brand little by little over a period of time.
It all starts by a first appearance, will your brand be confident, will it be playful, will it be authentic, will it seem as if it’s existed for over 100 years. These are all considerations that will lead to the storyline that will live inside the consumer’s mind moving forward.
Branding is what you need to become a market leader. If you still have the tiniest grain of doubt, let us explain what branding actually is and how it helps companies increase their recognition and profits.
Why do you need branding?
Simply said: To win the hearts and minds of your customers. As well as their loyalty.
Not a good enough reason? Here are a few more good arguments to invest in your company’s branding:
- Branding makes your business unique and lets you stand out from your competitors.
- Branding adds to the value of your products or services.
- Branding shows the values your business stands for, such as dedication, integrity, experience and quality.
- Branding can make a potential client a loyal one.
- Branding is the best marketing tool.
Definition of branding
You already know that branding is an essential part of a company’s recognition. But what is the definition of branding?
Branding is a strategy used by a company to voice its goals to the customers as well as to indicate its niche and give a hint of its future plans. In other words, branding is storytelling and a practice of forming and improving the perception of a business in the eyes of a customer.
The best example of a company having the right branding strategy is Apple. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, understood what were the pillars of a successful brand strategy — clarity, cohesiveness, and, of course, consistency — and used these in the company’s branding campaign.
A consistent,well-developed and well-executed branding idea shows your company’s professionalism and works as an incentive for potential customers to give your services or products a try. And those potential clients, if they’re satisfied with your product, can in no time become loyal ones. So, the formula is simple: you demonstrate professionalism, and customers grant you their loyalty.
A product is what you offer to your customers. It generates your revenue. In order to attract attention to your product and increase its sales, you need to invest in an efficient and effective branding strategy and implement it across all elements of your business.
The truth is that even if your product is the best on the market, you have to confirm it through branding. Why? Because people won’t know about it until you tell them! Use the branding’s marketing powers to communicate to your customers that you are the most trustworthy and reliable business or product out there.
History of branding
Just a small history lesson:
Branding came into existence around 350 BCE and originates from “Brandr”, meaning “to burn”. In the sixteenth century it acquired a new meaning. It referred to a special mark farmers would burn on cattle to indicate who these animals belonged to, which would translate to quality and breeds. This almost exactly how logos are still used nowadays.
However, branding is much more than just a logo. Actually, it’s an abstract concept and refers to an emotional reaction of customers with regard to a company in question as well as their perception of it.
What’s The difference between brand and branding?
Branding and a brand are not the same things. However, many of us confuse the two terms and use them interchangeably. To avoid any further confusion, here are two short definitions of the concepts:
A brand is a perception of the business in the eyes of the customers.
Branding is the action and practice of forming and improving a brand.
What Is branding design?
Branding design influences how customers feel about a brand and what emotions it evokes when they look at it. You have to understand that branding is a practice with the purpose of winning clients’ trust, so make it striking, make it persuasive, and make it bold.
We have collected some useful tips you should consider to create an effective and successful branding design. So, let’s dive straight into them.
Study your competitors
Before starting to design your branding, make a list of your top competitors and study what helped them become the leading ones on the market. Understanding the strong points of your competitors’ brand design will help you come up with your own unique and powerful logo and brand identity design.
However, do not ignore the less successful competitors as, by defining their weak points, you will know what to avoid while brainstorming for your creative and persuasive brand design.
Choose a brand design suitable for different mediums
In our highly technological world, it is impossible to achieve success when working with a single platform. To reach a wider audience, multi-platform presence is a key to successful branding in business. However, different platforms come with different layouts. To make a good impression on your potential customers, make sure that your brand design looks good on all the platforms and adjust it before posting. Neat and appealing – the first word which should unintentionally pop up in the minds of your potential customers.
The Lesser, the better
While creating a brand design, it’s important to not get carried away as chaotic designs distract and can convey the message your brand tries to send incorrectly. Branding is not necessarily about shouting to the whole world what your business is. On the contrary, it can be very subtle and leave a customer craving to find out more.
However, do not immediately reject over-the-top brand ideas. Instead, brainstorm on how to simplify them but preserve the originally intended message.
Take note that your branding design may evolve just like your company does. When working on redesigning and rebranding, remember to stick to the simplicity principle.
Thus, make them simple, make them explicable, make them memorable.
Design for your ideal customer
This is one of the most crucial aspects because many designers try to satisfy their customers- the business owner or the head of a marketing department. This is a huge mistake which is bound to lead to a branding disaster. The branding message should be targeted at the potential customers, not the business owner!
At DesignBro, our professional graphic designers know how to convey the right branding design message to the right audience. In the course of working, our designers try to learn as much as possible about the business and the niche in order to be able to picture an ideal customer and understand their needs. Thanks to our designer’s great experience and expertise in branding, each completed project adds value to the business’ recognition.
Who is your customer?
You already know how important is to picture an ideal buyer. But how?
To help your designer understand who he or she creates designs for, create buyer personas — representation of your ideal customer. For this, gather all the information available about your existing clients and pass it to the design expert. Information to include, but not limited to;
- Buying Behavior
The list goes on and on. The more information you provide, the better. Don’t be shy to send it all to your designer, he or she will appreciate it! At DesignBro, our skilled and proficient designers with an extensive portfolio are always at your services.
Make it unique
When researching your competitor’s branding, it’s important to not unintentionally steal an already used idea. This may lead to unpleasant consequences and possible legal challenges. Plagiarism is not to be taken lightly.
But take a deep breath. Our highly professional team makes sure and double-checks everything to stop any kind of a copycat. By offering you our services, we promise you pure creativity and high quality coupled with natural talent and experience of our best designers.
We are proud to have a zero tolerance policy towards plagiarism.
Use standalone brand icons
When choosing an icon, select the one which works well both with your typography as well as when it’s used on its own. It’s all about balance- the importance of which cannot be stressed enough.
With or without typography, the icon has to convey the same message. Take Chanel, Givenchy or Calvin Klien, each has a standalone icon that is easily recognizable and, at the same time, simplistic in form.
Make it all cohesive
At DesignBro, our designers make sure that each brand strategy is cohesive throughout all products, platforms, and elements.
Branding consists of small bits which, when added together, tell the whole story. It doesn’t mean that you have to use a sample or template. On the contrary, branding elements should be different, creative, and mutually complementary. Here are some tips to achieve the desired cohesiveness:
- Colors. Of course, a primary color set is what directly defines your brand. A secondary one, however, is of no less importance. It opens gates to more creativity and bold decisions.
- Fonts. To stay cohesive but diversified, you can choose one font for the web and another for print.
- Icons. Make sure that all your brand icons belong to the same style. These should be like different pieces of the same puzzle, which when put together, make a picture complete.
- Manipulations. Decide what can and what cannot be changed in your logo design. This will allow for modernization and rebranding while still preserving the main idea and style.
- Catchy Design. In the hustle and bustle of today’s life, the attention span has become significantly shorter. That’s why you need a catchy design that will not escape from the eyes of potential customers. It’s a good idea to test your brand design on multiple platforms and check how it fits them as well as how it stands out from the rest. If you feel that it blends too much, consider adding a creative element that will complement the branding strategy.
Not another out there
With the competition being fierce, it is quite a challenge to carve a place for yourself on the market. For your product to thrive, you do not only have to constantly improve it and come up with better solutions, but also work on your branding strategy which will make your business easily recognizable. In fact, consistent branding across all channels increases revenue by 23 percent. If you want to learn more, check out this post on branding statistics.
Investing in branding is a good idea because it’s a highly effective marketing tool. Branding is also influenced by the shapes, company’s identity, its mission, and vision. In business, bold decisions require creative and prompt actions.
Make it engaging, make it unique, make it global.
Besides having grown up in the design Industry, Christiaan has advised some of the world’s largest companies on their branding & packaging designs. Has been the resident judge for design awards, and has spoken at numerous global design & marketing events. Christiaan founded the London office of the award-winning Cartils agency, and has founded the DesignBro.com platform.