Adam Snape
Brand Strategy & Identity Design

Journal

Thoughts on Design, Branding and Business.

Branding 101: Understanding your Brand

In today’s highly competitive market where choice appears infinite, trying to connect with your target audience without a brand strategy, is like attempting to gain the attention of a crowded room with a whisper. People fall in love with brands, they trust them, believe in them and over time people develop a deep rooted connection with them.

I’ve got a logo isn’t that my brand?

Almost, your logo and brand identity system (if you have one) certainly make up an important part of your brand however a brand is much more than that. Your brand is all encompassing, it touches every part of your business. A website is part of your brand, as is your tagline. A brand is your colour scheme and your font choices. It’s your store fronts, your employees. It’s what you do and how you do it . A brand, your brand, is all of these things and more!

In its simplest form the brand can be defined as the personality of your business, it is the perception left behind with clients when they have an interaction with your business.

Compete on value not on price.

Let’s think about it this way, when you are in the market to make a purchase how do you choose where to spend your hard earned money? I’m not going to pretend that price is not a factor but it’s rarely the main driving force behind a purchase. We want the best value for our budget — well, maybe the best value just over budget if you’re anything like me!

When we are planning a purchase we start our search with the companies we know, businesses we hold with a positive perception in our minds. But how did these businesses carve a space in our memory? Successful branding, that’s how.

If you don’t show people why your valuable, They will only compare you on price.

Let’s look at apple as an example, they’ve successfully used great strategic branding to consistently rank as one of the highest valued companies in the world. It’s well known that apple products aren’t the cheapest on the market, yet people still queue up for days to be the first to have their hands on the latest ‘iProduct’. People are willing to pay above and beyond because of their perceptions of the brand. When you buy an apple product - or any product for that matter, you’re not just buying the goods you take home with you but your also buying into a community, a culture, a promise.

Branding seems intangible, why should I invest?

Although brands are intangible assets they account for, on average 75% of the full value of a company.

The best brand programs will embody your brands values within a strong visual brand identity and support the desired perceptions to advance your businesses value and growth. Expressing the identity through every touchpoint a brand can create a visceral connection between the imagery and experience and your companies culture, values and heritage. this creates the opportunity to;

1. Influence perceptions

Make it easier for your customers to buy. A great brand will make use of a compelling visual identity to present itself. Doing so will make your business instantly recognisable, easier to find and position you for success. A clever brand program will also make it simple for your customers to understand the features and benefits of shopping with you. Combining this with better environments and interactions can delight your customers, almost ensuring customer loyalty every time.

2. Change Behaviour

Make it easier for you to sell. Selling happens at every tier throughout an organisation, whether your the CEO pitching to the board, a sales assistant on the end of a telephone or even a non-profit raising funds. Strategic brand identity is effective at unifying the workforce and engaging any audience while highlighting your businesses key strengths. The coherence of your communication at every interaction sends a strong underlying message to your customers about the core values and focus of your company.

3. Increase Performance

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Increase your brand equity. A brand and a companies reputation are considered to be some of the most valuable assets a company can hold. Even for small or medium sized businesses building brand awareness and protecting your reputation are essential for future growth and success. A strong visual identity and consistent brand voice will help build your brand equity through public recognition, awareness and loyalty.

Strategic branding gives your business a voice.

A unifying and manageable brand strategy is a necessity for any business, it affects every area of your business and can be the difference between winning a client or loosing them forever.

Still confused about your brand? Don’t worry, drop me a line, we got this!

 
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About the Author

Adam Snape is a designer, brand strategist and landscape photographer based in the beautiful Peak District National Park. Find him sharing landscapes on instagram and say hello.