It is an argument that is played out across the breakfast table in possibly every household across the UK; there is no substitute for Kellogg’s Cornflakes.
You have tried the ‘sneaky’ bit – emptying the cheaper brand into the tub – but somehow, they know; within seconds, the breakfast table, never peaceful or organised on a work day morning, is a fraught tense place.
And so, as you shop, despite the £3 price difference, you buy the branded flakes, as opposed to the cheaper alternatives. It pains you, grates against you and ruins the budget but you must do it for the sake of peace and harmony.
I bet there are other items you do it with; shampoo, maybe? No doubt toothpaste (who would buy an unrecognised brand of that?!) and you certainly don’t get the same taste from cheap-er mayonnaise.
Some of this, you could argue, is personal preference but when you know, like I do, that some of the cheaper, unbranded biscuits ARE made on the same line as the brands are (I know someone who works there! Really I do!), then you know that it is clever marketing in many, many cases.
The recognition of a logo, backed by the adverts and the celebrity endorsement in many cases, the sight of the colours and the position on the shelf are all psychologically tweaked to make you go ‘yes please!’
It is called Brand Identity… and it’s coming to YOUR online, local business
Brand Identity – what is it and why do you need it?
You may (or may not) have a logo; you may (or may not) have engaged the services of a professional graphic designer to create your logo and you may assumed that that is it.
Your brand is the image and emotional response your company/produce/service creates; it is the conversation between you and your customer, as well as how this spreads from one person to another.
It is the sum of expectations that people have when they see your logo, brand, company from such things as emails (including email addresses!), and the response they get. This brand identity can be so strong that it means some people will buy from you – even if your product or service is more expensive than your competitors – because they ‘like you’.
Your identity is something that people see from the visual cues your business has, from signage to stationery, as well as marketing activities.
And your logo is the central element of this branding; it is the ‘thing’ that should be instantly recognisable, elements of which should flow through your identity, from using the same colour and font, to all your visual cues tying in with your logo.
So, what comes first? The chicken or the egg?
Logo, in most cases, as is it the visual aid that most people opt for and create before they do anything else and not surprising, when it is the clue that will on everything that tells people about your company.
It should be simple, memorable, timeless, versatile and appropriate to your business – easy peasy then?!
Developing a brand identity takes times, perseverance and strategy – and suggestions are that this process should start before you go headlong in to designing a logo as what you decide in this research phase of your business.
Strategy, strategy, strategy!
Yes, like everything else in your business you need to be able to look ahead, beyond next week and strategize your brand identity.
Consistency is the name of the game and so, if nothing else, walk your way through these steps and see where it gets your brand…
Step 1 – explain your brand
This is not just a mission statement so to speak, but HOW you express what you are. So, you are looking at
For example, your brand may be sharp, simple and consistent, with simplicity being at the core of everything you do; you want customers to see you as approachable and friendly, yet authoritative and confident within your field pf expertise.
Step 2 – set your colours
Every time a major brand writes to you, emails you, advertises etc., they will use the same set of colours. A graphic designer will help you with this, but usually, it is three colours – 2 major players, and a third accent colour.
Step 3 – Brand elements
These are the different components you may see on communications and the like that a company will produce; again, the key is consistency. It may be you decide to have a corporate email ‘signature’; this may include a variation of your logo, but using the colours you set in step 2.
Step 4 – typography
Again, you may have noticed that the font used by a brand throughout its emails and the like is the same font. Take advice from a graphic designer but what normally happens is you choose one font and use two or three variations of this e.g. Calibri, Calibri bold, Calibri italic etc.
Step 5 – your style
This is where some brands falter and it is really important you get this to ‘fit’ your brand. You know the emails that are ‘[email protected]’? They don’t fit everyone. Really take some time to think about it. If you are a free school, you want prospective parents and potential students to get the impression you are serious, but approachable, so [email protected] etc etc.co is just fine for a general email address… don’t over complicate it!
It would be ludicrous to suggest that this short post of just short of a 1,000 words contains everything you need to know and do to make your brand an instant hit… it takes work, perseverance and hard work.