THE BUSINESS OF BRANDING
Good branding is vital to the long-term success and growth of your company, however, branding concepts are often poorly understood. For this reason Immere have put together a few simple ideas for consideration when branding is on your company agenda.
BRANDING ..... WHAT IS IT?
Branding is much more than the creation of a logo or a name. A brand reflects the customers perception of your company and the quality of products and services you provide.
A 'brand idea' is the message that companies communicate to the marketplace about their products and services. Companies control the message they deliver, but have little or no control over its perception by the marketplace.
Immere's goal is to ensure that:
Company Brand Idea = Consumer Brand Perception
One of the biggest challenges that companies face is maintaining a constant brand idea, that is, communicating the brand consistently and effectively across multiple mediums such as television, print, internet etc.
It is important to focus on a single brand idea that can be reinforced by repetition. This allows customers to not only develop a firm understanding of your brand, but more importantly to remember your company or product when it comes time to make a purchase decision.
Confusion is a brand's worst enemy.
A brand idea must remain focused to deliver a single message to ensure the meaning is never lost. Sometimes it is best to keep things simple!
Ineffective brand delivery leads to miscommunication of your company's core message and values, eroding any goodwill you may have in the minds of existing and potential clients.
Focus on the quality of your branded message as it may be more effective than the quantity. With so many potential delivery mediums, it has become increasingly vital for companies to establish a consistent brand idea. Poor execution in one medium effects the perception of the brand as a whole.
Traditional avenues of delivering the brand idea are becoming ineffective and costly. This is due to consumer awareness of competing products and the over stimulation of advertising in the market, especially on television. It is necessary for companies to be innovative in the way they place their brand in the market place, ensuring a strong point of difference from competition.
Good branding is an investment that when executed correctly, ensures your company is 'top of mind' when an existing or prospective client is considering a purchase in your chosen market.
This attracts and maintains customer loyalty, and works as your best defence against competitors and those targeting your clients.
REBRANDING & BRAND DEVELOPMENT
Establish a 'brand plan' for your company and/or product that outlines future brand directions with the potential to cater for change in the market place. It is important to continually revisit the brand to revitalize and strengthen it, but remember, too much change can be threatening or confusing to the consumer.
It may take years to establish a brand but it can take seconds for the meaning to be lost. To quote Jack Trout (author of Big Brands Big Trouble):
"Remember the Titanic!"
It is imperative that companies evolve their brand position, differentiate themselves from their competitors and invest quality time on being innovative.
LEVERAGING BRAND RELATIONSHIPS
Establish working relationships with complementary companies for brand leverage. Associations with other credible brands can assist in reinforcing your brand idea.
An example of this is when Immere assisted New Idea with point of sale branding for a joint promotion with Bosch and Channel Seven's The Auction Squad. Each brand offered something unique and complementary, building on the credibility of each brand's history to ensure the success of the promotion.
It is important when considering working with other brands that a careful eye is kept on maintaining the individual brand ideas. Leveraging other brands is a fantastic way to enter new markets or gain further exposure for your brand, but it is pointless if it confuses or conflicts with individual company brand ideas.
About the Author
Brent Nolan is the Senior Designer at Immere, an Australian advertising, branding and design company. Immere's clients include Ansearch, an Australian search engine and directory.