The importance of branding
Branding is much more than what your company logo looks like. It’s how you present yourself to your audience, and encompasses everything from your website to your company’s tone of voice.
What is a brand identity?
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, big or small. It is so much more than just a logo or graphical element. Your brand is essentially the way your customers perceive you, your promise to them, and what they should expect from your product or service. Brands are defined by individuals and not companies.
The diagram below illustrates this nicely. The small circle in the middle represents your logo, although your logo is very important, it only makes up a small portion of the overall brand. Surrounding your logo you have your brand identity, this is everything your logo appears on, stationery, products, marketing collateral, signage etc.
Encompassing all of this is the brand. It’s how people perceive your brand, the gut feeling people get when they hear about or see your brand, it’s the memories and stories people have with your brand. A strong and professional brand identity can build credibility and trust, it can help the audience differentiate you from competitors, and gives you a greater opportunity of gaining sales. Most people will tend to base their buying choices on trust.
Your logo is the central identifiable visual element of your brand. It should be memorable and give people the desired impression of your brand. Your logo acts as the face of your brand, it will be used on products, your website and in advertising. Some of the most successful logos allow people to instantly connect with them, without seeing the company’s name. For example, the sports brand with a “swoosh” or the golden arches of a fast food chain.
Your brand voice
Your brand voice isn’t about what you say, but how you say it. It’s your brand personality and values. Your tone of voice needs to reflect trust, be familiar to your target audience and be consistent across all mediums.
For instance, Aldi have a different tone of voice and brand ethos’ to Waitrose, simply because they’re targeting different audiences.
Brand Identity in a digital world
Gone are the days where you just had a website, or you just advertised in one place. In this digital world more people have access to your brand and in multiple places. The internet also allows people to talk about your brand and these online conversations can impact your brand, which is why it’s important that you have a strong brand to start with.
Today people are used to scrolling and it really has to be something special to stop people in their tracks. Strong, engaging creative has the power to make you stand out, be remembered and shared.
Brands are what people say about you when you’re not in the room, and that room has gotten extremely big and extremely digital.
– John Battelle, Founder and Executive Chairman, Federated Media Publishing.
On average, established companies will change aspects of their brand identity once every seven to ten years. This can include restyling and modernisation of logos, colour schemes, fonts, language, photographic style, and occasionally the brand name. It’s very rare for a brand to completely change their identity but certain tweaks help to keep your brand looking fresh and up to date. You should also regularly review and update any creative, especially any that appears online so that it doesn’t become tired.
Tripadvisor refreshed their logo this year, simplifying their brand mascot Ollie the own and removing the colour, so that the logo only appears in black. The logo is bolder which helps it work across a range of different channels.
If you think it’s time for a brand re-fresh, or if you’re a start-up starting from scratch, our expert team of digital designers and marketers have years of experience designing and perfecting all branding elements. From advising on best tone of voice, to designing a website.