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How Important Is Branding Strategy For Your Business

It’s not only important, it is essential. Your business’ branding is the immediate visual identity your customers and your prospects are exposed to and it’s all about your business' image and therefore, its perception.

WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL BRANDING STRATEGY?

The key to successful branding is how accurately your product and/or service targets its intended audience, how it portrays your business image and how it maintains its recognition throughout its intended markets. A fine balance between consistency and adaptability across all applications defines product branding.

HOW DOES BRANDING STRATEGY APPLY TO MORE THAN ONE IDENTITY?

When a corporate identity owns multiple sub-brands, each sub-brand needs to maintain strong symbolic ties to the parent brand, while establishing its own identity. The principle is similar if you choose to brand your products or services independently, within your main business identity.

WHERE DOES BRANDING STRATEGY START?

The first thing you want to think about is who you are, what is your philosophy, what do you provide and to whom. if your business is a family inheritance, it can be an asset to build upon the history, heritage and reputation of the company.
 
CAN BRANDING STRATEGY BE QUANTIFIED?

Yes and no. Certain given aspects of your business identity can be easily defined such as the family name that started it all, the location it originated from, or a symbol representative of your cultural origins, philosophy and/or mission. However, once the theme has been established, it can become challenging to convert its values into a memorable and meaningful visual representation.

WHAT IS THE FIRST VISUAL ELEMENT OF BRANDING?

That’s easy: most people know your logo is your visual brand ID. So, designing a logo does come first. But should it be an image with a name, or a name alone, or a single image? This will depend on your identity analysis. There are, however, three main requisites for a logo to be successful:

1) It has to be simple and instantly recognizable

2) It has to capture the essence of the business

3) It has to be usable for all applications – large, small, color, black, reverse, etc...

CAN AN IMAGE BE PART OF A BRANDING IDENTITY?

Yes, if it fits the goal. The danger with using an image in a logo is that it may become an illustrative comment instead of a core recognition. The image has to be symbolized to its purest essence and should not have any gratuitous decoration. Otherwise, it will be a distraction and it will dilute the branding integrity.

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT THE FONT STYLE?

Absolutely crucial. Fonts are shapes, just like any other visual elements and should be considered with the same emotional impact as images. One uncompromising requirement is readability. It has to be clear and easy to read, even in the smallest applications such as business cards. Otherwise, choosing the right font has a lot to do with the feeling you wish your business to portray: conservative, avant-garde, authoritative, whimsical, clever, humorous, delicate, solid, etc... Look for the adjectives that define your business. Then select the font that represents these attributes.

WHAT ABOUT APPLYING BRANDING TO THE BUSINESS?

It’s all about consistency. Once your logo identity is established, including color scheme and font style, it’s time to built a family: all of your marketing elements – business cards, brochures, advertisements, website, forms, merchandising, trade show booths, signage – should look and feel as united members of their branding family. The multiple exposures in multiple occasions will engrave your identity into people’s minds.

SOME FAMOUS BRANDS AND HOW THEY WORK:

BMWlogo (1)

BMW: Itself an acronym, the blue and white areas symbolize an airplane propeller where the brand has its industrial origins.


IBMlogo (1)

IBM: Also an acronym, the font style exudes strength and authority while the line treatment gives it a technical feel.

Lacostelogo (1)

Lacoste: René Lacoste, having revolutionized tennis wear, was himself a formidable player. The whimsical idea of a crocodile was drawn from his tenacious reputation on the court.

So while these examples, among many, used different means to achieve a successful branding identity, they also draw heavily from their history, heritage and philosophy.

CONCLUSION

Your first step is to conceive your logo, its color scheme and the font family to be used in your branding and marketing material. The second step is to define clear and unequivocal guidelines how you branding identity is applied across all material. Your third step is to work closely with your creative team(s) to factually implement these guidelines. It is recommended to define this strategy as a whole, so your branding consistency is paramount. The pitfalls to avoid are as follow:

• Do not have more than one logo treatment. It should be identical in all applications.

• Insure that your staff is made aware of your branding guidelines and do not customize the

  branding on their own, including color scheme, font style and proportions.

• Avoid at all cost “rogue” applications of your branding.

Eric Y. Francais, Principal, e-outbox, LLC Website Design & Digital Marketing

 




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