The most important assets of any business or company are their brands. However, there are still a lot of mistakes made by managers, while either developing a brand or evolving them. Many decisions are blindsight by performance indicators, market moves or company situations that management tends to narrow the focus and impact creating a huge mistake for the brand and potentially killing the brand.
Brands have many elements incorporated. Logo, name, colour, typography, icons and slogan to mention some of the most relevant. However, the most important branding decision you will ever make, is how to name your product or service. A brand needs a unique idea or concept. This idea or value proposition will help position in consumers mind. A lot of brands are born and start with a concept that establish a category and create a new market. Other will follow and try to compete in the same category and fight for market share. However, in the long run, a that unique idea tends to disappear and all is left is the difference between your brand and your competitors.
Other important factor on branding is the shape. In fact, the logotype is a combination of a trademark or a symbol and the name of the brand you have establish and has been set in a unique type. However, logotypes come in many shapes, from round, square, oval, horizontal, vertical to name the most use. As a matter of fact, all shapes are not created equal to the eyes of consumers. Depending on your culture and how you read, you might prefer horizontal shares, this is easier to read for many cultures. However, some asian countries might prefer vertical. One thing to consider is that if you want to become global, you need to consider the future of your business. To maximise impact the ideal shape is horizontal. More
importantly, part of the shape has to do with the design. There are some fantastic logos that are not readable and therefore non existent to the consumer. Like Lord & Taylors logo. A department store in the United States. They have manage to evolve the logo into something that is more easy to read. Another part of the shape is the typeface that is use. There are thousands of styles and weights. However, customers are only dimly aware of the differences. Here i would like to quote David Ogilvy when he mentioned, "No woman says, I would have bought that detergent, except they had to go and set the headline in futura semibold". If you are in marketing, you would have probably had many discussions on this, but to consumers eyes some small elements would not affect the perception or the buying decision. More important to be easy to recognise and read.
Another important rule is consistency. This rule is probably on of the rules that is violated the most often. A brand can not get into a consumers mind unless it stands for something. When you establish that position in your consumer mind, you must not eliminate, change or betray it, by taking away the recognition establish from consumers. I have heard many managers giving explanations on why we should change to a new category with the brand because is where the market is growing and heading, or because the brand is recognise and therefore we should leverage on it. Markets and categories might evolve into new segments. However, when you make a move with your brand to that new segment you are starting to play into a territory that is not necessarily the best for your brand and the attributes that you have establish in your territory might not be enough as you might think in the new one.
Here are some tips on branding that we will continue in a series of rules that you need to incorporate. However these rules are pure marketing tools that apply to traditional or digital channels of communication. Is about the brand not the delivery, which as important we will discuss in another article.
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