The definition of “Brand”, “Branding”, “Brand Development” is widely misunderstood…even by many who make their careers in Marketing.
Here is a short list of things that DON’T define, or may not even represent your Brand:
• A Logo
• A Tagline
• A Beautiful Website
• A Clever Ad or Commercial
• A Product Campaign
Or any other design element. All of these things that require design work are part of a “Visual Identity” or “Brand Identity”. A visual identity can be very strong, and very well-known. But that does not make it a good “Brand” nor mean that there is a valid and well thought out Brand Strategy.
Don’t take this to mean that you don’t need a good visual identity – we certainly do now more than ever. But make sure it actually stands for something. Not many sales are made by well-designed logos – but most are made by trusted Brands.
Having a “Brand” Means You Stand for Something
As in “Why would a consumer work with your company? Use your product? Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why?” is a must read for any small business owner. If you really want to stand out from your competition, you need to have a CLEARLY defined “Why?” to your business…not something you make up as part of your advertising, but as something that is core to your culture. It should be something that both employees and customers can sincerely believe about what you do.
“Authentic brands don’t emerge from marketing cubicles or advertising agencies. They emanate from everything the company does…”
― Howard Schultz, Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
I found this excellent post at Brand New. It is very thorough and if you want even more in depth the article contains a link to Absolut.
Just have a go at it and get inspired.
This is what Absolut’s saying in their press release:
“This is one of the most dramatic changes we’ve ever made, and our biggest and most transformative design project ever. Our goal was to give our customers distinctive designs that are unlike anything one has ever seen. Vibrant, captivating bottles that bring energy to any occasion and celebrate the fact that every flavour in the Absolut Vodka range is something extraordinary,” says Anna Kamjou, Global Design Director at Absolut. “The standard thinking says a fruit-flavoured vodka requires a picture of the fruit on the bottle. We wanted to break that convention. We asked our design team to reach into the symbolism and myths tied to the ingredients to find each flavour’s core essence — and then amplify that essence through art.”
To be continiously successful there’s one thing to keep in mind: Relevance. Sometimes relevance is mistaken for boring but that is not true. Actually relevance allows you to really creative, even with seemingly ‘boring’ products. Here’s some examples:
Allsecur Car Insurance
8in1 Hair Care for Dogs
Read this really meaty article on branding and simplicity when it comes to B2B and B2C. It’s written by Valerie Tan, Head of Digital Marketing (Global) at Dropmyemail.
One example is purchase motivation. In B2C businesses, the buyer is typically the end user in B2C, but that is not the case in B2B setups. This leads to vastly different sales cycles and marketing messaging.
B2C requires the traditional approach of convincing the user on the benefits of owning the product. It usually involves mass messaging and a single step to minimize e-commerce drop-off.
Meanwhile, the purchasing process in B2B is much longer, requiring several consultative discussions and sometimes bespoke work that lasts many months. The B2B approach is also more complex due to having multiple consideration parties (end users, influencers, and decision makers).
But while B2C and B2C marketing may look vastly different, both involve the same basic concepts: Customer Satisfaction and Cognitive Fluency.
Read full article
This is an excellent example of a well made face lift. It still feels very much like the old 7-Eleven but at the same time completely new. And that is not an easy task to accomplish. See more at BVD’s site.
One of the most relevant brand experience venues are your own office or shop. This is where you can show that your brand statement is for real and not just some smug words in the latest presentation/ad campaign. I found these examples for inspiration.
Classic brand extension.
For some the task of brand extension is an easy one…
Playful and excellent brand extension by Google.
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will not forget how you made them feel.”
One might think that the retail experience would fade into nothingness in this digital era. But not so. Fact is that in irl that the brand really comes alive. It’s the only place where we can use all our senses when meeting the brand. This provides ’an anchor in a shifting, multichannel world’ to cite Interbrand.
I recommend you to read the full report, it’s jam-packed with useful information. I added a link to the pdf below.
Best Retail Brands 2012