The Buzz About Branding: The Parts of A Successful Brand and Identity
What's all the buzz about branding?
In this blog post, we will explore the tangible and intangible parts of a brand, or rather, the difference between your brand and your brand identity.
Branding has become a big buzzword in business lately. Because the term is so widely used it can become confusing to sort out exactly what the term encompasses. In the past, branding has been synonymous with packaging or logo design. Today, it means much more. Consumers are not only judging your brand on the outside, but on the inside as well.
Why do consumers care about a brand?
Now more than ever consumers have choices. From the products they buy to the services they use, the consumer is in control. When there are five companies all selling similar products, how does the consumer differentiate and make a purchasing decision? Well, more and more purchasing decisions are driven by the desire to spend money with companies whom the consumer can relate with. As a business owner, you have a lot to do behind the scenes to win them over. We believe that these efforts are all a part of establishing your brand identity.
A brand identity consists of the visual and moral decisions your company makes when branding and presenting itself to the public.
A brand is the judgement consumer’s have made in response to your brand identity efforts.
Matt Davies writes that, “The scary thing about this of course is that you do not own your brand - other people own the meaning they attach to you. It’s in their heads and hearts. This is where “branding” comes in. Branding is the attempt to manage that meaning”.
What are the parts of a brand identity?
Before you pull your hair out, it’s important to know that you still have control of your brand. Your brand identity may consist of, but is not limited to: brand values, logo (including colors and typography), product(s) or services and advertising efforts.
A good brand strategy starts internally and flourishes from the inside, out. Internally, when building your brand, it’s important to first ask:
- What is our mission statement?
- What purpose do we serve and what consumer needs do we meet?
- Who is our target audience?
- What are the ethics we believe in when doing business?
- What benefits are we offering our employees?
Like humans, brands need to have ethics and values, as well. The answers to these questions, among others, will drive many of your company's decisions.
Visually, you’ll want to be sure that your appearance is reflective of those standards. An interviewer probably wouldn't judge you as the professional you truly are if you showed up in the graphic tee you had slept in. It’s likewise with your brand identity. You are in control of the logo you choose and content that will be shared with the world - be intentional about it. As we all know, first impressions are crucial and Exigent aims to make them lasting.
What makes a successful brand?
A successful brand is one that exists pleasantly in the minds and lives of consumers. A common question is, "If your brand were a person, who would they be"? You wouldn't trust a stranger with your child, just like you wouldn't trust any old website with your social security number. Consumers are doing their research and want to feel good about their purchasing decisions. A successful brand can prove their credibility and trustworthiness.
You can cross the T’s and dot the I’s and still miss the mark.
Values that reflect in their marketing but beyond just their image, reflect internally with their employees, with their ethics, with how they do business and treat their consumers.
One thing is clear: more and more people are making their purchasing decisions based on what they see about your brand, what their peers are saying about your brand, what your employee’s share about your brand. Remember: your brand is more than just your logo. People, especially millennials, want to associate with companies whose values align with their own. As a business owner, it’s crucial to bridge the gap between the tangible (your product/service) and intangible (your reputation).
Because your brand stretches across every part of your business, every part of our business is involved in your branding project. Exigent Creative Solutions partners with you to provide a uniﬁed look and message across every touchpoint of your brand. Wherever your business is in the relentless pursuit of branding, let us work with you!