As an owner of a business or simply an entrepreneur, you probably have the clear knowledge to make a solid mark on the minds of your customers is a daunting task. Through the creation of a trusted, consistent and recognizable image of the brand, you make yourself able to win the hearts of your customer and earn their loyalty and grab their attention. Without creating a clear differentiation between you and your competitors, you could easily be out of the race.
To put in it in the simplest of words, a key factor to your company’s success is definitely your brand.
When the majority of the people imagine of a brand, the initial thought comes is the logo design. While the logo is a core brand aspect, without a doubt. Usually the immediate association (visually) with any company, there is more to your brand than just your logo.
To build and promote any great brand, there are generally three terms that are key and a core requirement to have awareness of:
– Brand – What is the perception of your logo company among masses?
– Branding – Your actions are taken to build a specific image of the brand
– Brand identity – The group of brand elements that are tangible and by getting those together create a singular image of your brand.
Let’s get deep knowledge about these concepts:
BRAND: WHAT IS THIS?
A set of unique and distinctive perceptions, feelings and ideas that people have in relation to your company, which keep it separate from available alternatives, is called Brand.
What the consumers think about your company, is basically represents your brand. As rightly put by Intuit’s co-founder Scott Cook, “A brand now is not what we tell to the customers, a brand is what customers talk among them what it really is.”
For example, many brands and stores for furniture exist in the market, but one which really hooks the majority of the customers’ minds with itself is IKEA. When people imagine some stylish furniture and that too at reasonable prices, Sweden originated company is the immediate association.
BRANDING: WHAT IS THIS?
Although it is the customers who tell what really your brand is, there are some definite actions which one can take as an owner of a business to put himself in the commanding position.
This is known as branding. The active and continuous process of perception shaping which consumers have in their minds about your brand. All those steps which you plan to take and spread awareness and build a reputation around the company and its services or products, dwell in the kingdom of branding. Your efforts towards branding many times may not fully be injected into the minds of the customers, but more cohesiveness and deliberation in the efforts, more chances are there of success.
Before making mind to take decisions regarding branding, the first thing to consider is: what is the real perception you wish to make a lasting impression onto your customers? What is your brand goal? Just dig in and be authentic just to find the real “Why” related to your company. This strategy of high level can tremendously help to provide you the guidance towards branding decisions.
BRAND IDENTITY: WHAT IS THIS?
The process related to branding which you are able to build your brand identity: a collection related to your company’s tangible expression. For example, your logo (logo company), voice, typography, and colors. The more cohesive, distinct and specific the above-named elements are, the more chances are there that they would be enabled to differentiate your brand which is admired and recognized.
The logo of IKEA, for instance, changed quite a few times in the past, but maintained its consistency since 1967: changes were made for only font, colors and preserving shape. The current color combination of blue and yellow translates reliability and trust, yet affordability and friendliness. Together with oval framed naming, round lettering, and boldness, this builds and shows strong established inclusive and impressive brand. But still, the logo is one among many elements which serve to build the brand identity. Taking IKEA’s example, its website provides easy navigation which greets every visitor with the “Hej!” voice popping out that organically embodies the Swedish roots of the company. Furthermore, the fact of IKEA that their stores (physical) are self-service needing purchasers to pick up themselves their desired items from the store’s warehouse.
A brand and any living entity are synonymous to each other. A brand can be undermined or enrich cumulatively over some period of time, the product related to hundreds of small gestures.
It is not just a decision of operational and financial nature: it fits well too with the brand’s economic ethos. Similarly, their open floors maximize the store spaces’ utility in all spheres. The yellow and blue, large IKEA’s bags represent the identity of the company too: they are highly durable, practical and most importantly, simple. Obviously, the ultimate personification of the brand identity of IKEA is their actual products which they sell. All their products seamlessly combine affordability, style, and efficiency.
All these elements, in together, give IKEA’s brand recognition or identity strength and craft the image which is user-centric, friendly and economical.
The image or identity of any company is being developed by using several visual devices:
-A logo (a sign of the whole brand and identity)
-Stationery (envelopes, letterheads, business cards, etc.)
-Marketing collateral (brochures, websites, books, flyers, etc.)
-Packaging and products (the packaging with the products that are sold)
-Apparel Design (tangible items that the employees wear)
-Other communication (touch, audio, smell, etc.)
So, as someone of you kicks off to build the brand identity of your company, be conscious and satisfied that every element is fairly contributing towards the achievement of overall perception which you desire to engrave in your consumers. Simply keep in mind the separation between the terms which are often confusing – brand identity, branding, and brand. This differentiation is also a step towards the right path in the creation of a cult brand.