Every business has a brand. But not every business uses branding, or uses it well. So what’s the difference and why does it matter?
A brand, simply, is a company’s message to the market, combined with consumers’ messy set of emotional reactions to that message. A business that elicits an overall positive response from the market will be largely successful. The public recognizes this business as a consistent producer of quality products. Even if this company has an occasional negative or neutral review online, customers generally are willing to let it slide. If, however, a company consistently churns out junk, the negative emotional reaction from the public nearly guarantees the company will take a hit at the bottom line.
Nike, Apple and Coca-Cola are brands that elicit strong, positive reactions. These businesses enjoy worldwide recognition, and global profits. Each has built a brand that resonates with consumers, especially their loyal brand advocates.
These businesses also have been masters at branding. Branding delivers a company’s message to the market. Reminding consumers how they feel about a brand is the mission of branding. These initiatives include logos, taglines, even colors and fonts that remind buyers how much they like Coke, and wouldn’t one taste great right now.
“Have a Coke and a smile.”
Branding extends to how customers are treated, how the phone is answered and a myriad of other intangible actions. For example, employees of the Ritz Carlton won’t just give you directions, they will walk you to your destination. Certain fast food restaurants use the phrase, “my pleasure” when customers say thank you.
Any company can benefit from strong branding messages. To create effective branding assets we need to first understand the brand. When Marketing Relevance experts work with businesses on branding initiatives, we identify the message, the brand promise (or brand pillars) and then shape branding material around that message. Our content creators, designers and developers examine the emotions each client wants to evoke from potential customers. Then they set to work creating images, logos and designs that work toward that goal. Color and font play a significant role in the emotional reaction to a brand. We work with clients to select a primary color to set the tone. Then we work toward completing the palette with a complementary color and a contrasting color. This three-color palette acts as a brand guideline for all branding material. It provides a continuous message and emotional appeal across all platforms. In conjunction with color, fonts-both the style and size-create a clean message and can resonate with the age and target demographic the brand wants to capture. Strategic branding combines the right message with a balanced color scheme and deliberate font choices to create branding material that will build an effective brand. Branding, used in this way, can also lead to a consumer mind-shift for a company. If a company focuses on a new product line, or wants to turn neutral perceptions into positive ones, new branding can help turn the tide of passive emotion to bring back loyal customers.
Working with professionals to create consistent branding can help businesses deliver their intended messages to the target audiences. Contact us to find out how we can help.