Beyond Branding

Branding is so much more than a neat and colorful logo. Truth is, if you have a logo without a proper branding process and a tailored strategy to back it up, your logo is pretty much pointless. It can’t stand for you, represent you, promote you, your business or your sales. Now that we’ve covered what not to do, let’s talk
about how to do it right!

Brand Much?

Branding is that X factor. It’s a feeling or a certain inner urge that overcomes the client when they encounter the brand. When you drive across a large yellow M towering over a highway, your body and mind immediately respond: your tummy starts growling, your mouth waters and you’re ready to reach out for that napkin. And perhaps not, it basically depends on your experience with McDonald’s products and service. All these reactions and instinctive feelings are what branding is.

This not-so-complex M logo, does nothing more than remind you it’s there to please your cravings, invoke a chain of reactions that intuitively lead you to buy whatever that M stands for. It’s there at the right time and place: while you’re driving down a highway, just jonesing for something quick to grab on your way. The product – the sweet bun, the juicy patty and veggies – is just what you need. Or, if to borrow from professional terminology, it keeps the “brand promise”.

With the right branding, your brand can also invoke the precise feeling at the right moment and of course, provide the product or service your clients expect.

Start at the Very Beginning: Strategy!

Every branding process begins with creating a branding strategy tailored for your brand. The strategy is the brand’s identity, its character, its essence. It relies on two foundations: target audience and values.
To establish a strong relationship with your audience, the first thing you have to do is ask yourself: who are my customers? Who needs this service or product? How old are they? Are they men, women, children? What do they like? Where can I find them? Refining your target audience is the first step in defining its needs, its “pain”, and building your strategy accordingly.

Next you’ll have to identify the brand’s leading values. The questions in this stage are: Does this brand stand for innovation? Reliability? Quality? Perhaps sustainability? Or transparency? These are the values which are in fact the solution your service or product provides for the target audience’s “pain”, even if the pain is momentary or specific.

The artistry behind structuring a well-rounded branding strategy is by connecting the dots between the need (the “pain”) of your target audience, and the values (the “solution”) at the right time and place. By creating the perfect connection between the two, we can extract the essence that the brand can offer its clientele. This essence can then be translated into messages projected through the brand’s identity; its visuality, language and actions.

Show Time!

Now for the final step; applying your strategy. The messages become a part of the logo, the brand’s look and feel (the visual language), its voice and tone (verbal language). All those affect your client’s experience and the way they feel about your brand, both visibly and on a subconscious level.

It’s super important to maintain consistency throughout all the messages you send your clients on different platforms. From your website, through social media, product and package design, your environmental branding (of your store or business) and all the way to your customer service experience.
This element of coherence and authenticity strengthen your clientele’s faith in the brand. The client knows exactly what to expect, the experience consistently repeats itself, and the decision whether to buy this product or specific service from this brand – simply happens on its own, instinctively.

*Written by the Order Art Team – Branding Agency

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