Sunday, September 7, 2008

Branding 101

We received a request last week to write a piece on branding for one of our favorite clients to post on his blog. We did a rebranding for his company earlier this summer and he loved it so much he said he was going to have his wife get a tatoo of his new logo. I'm pretty sure he was kidding.

Here's the article. Love some feedback!

The Art of Branding

Kleenex or tissue? Coke or cola? Xerox or photocopy?

Branding, the art of using design to attract your audience and set you apart from your competitors, has become a common business buzzword in the last few years. But how do you really brand yourself effectively?

To brand a business, start at the beginning – with the message. If there were one simple message you could communicate to your potential customers, what would it be? Is it your reliability? Your great customer service? Your pricing? Your cutting-edge technology? Your playfulness? Your sense of community responsibility? Branding is about your customer, what you will do for them, how you’ll do it differently and how they feel about you. It’s about people rather than products.

Consumers buy a specific brand for three basic reasons: 1) It’s recognizable. It stands out from its competitors and tells the customer it will deliver its promise; 2) It’s reliable. The product will be exactly like the product you bought last time, no matter when or where you buy it. It takes the guesswork out of the purchase and 3) It makes the consumer look or feel good. All three reasons must be there for a brand to be successful.

How do you communicate all of this in a single visual image?

Your brand will be the foundation of all your company’s marketing and, as such, it has to be able to be translated to many different media. It needs to be flexible enough to be readable on a fax and vibrant enough to stand out on your website. Simple is best. Once you’ve determined what your message is, the design should communicate that message. If your message is reliability and your demographics reflect an older consumer, you should stay with traditional color schemes and shapes. If you’re appealing to a younger demographic, brighter colors and designs that indicate movement may be more effective. Remember it isn’t what you like that’s important – it’s what your customer likes and responds to that counts.

Dezign Matters Creative Group, Inc. is a full-service advertising agency. We take our clients through these and other fundamental principles of the branding process with ease. A strong brand is essential and we have years of expertise in developing branding that is clean, clear and effective.

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