Countdown to Branding EminenceIntroduction
4 Essentials of the Perfect Brand
An all too often overlooked aspect of startup companies and organizations is branding. Sure, the foundations of your business are your products/services, your structure, your stability, your business plans, and so on, but if you step back and analyze the biggest corporations in the world, you find that a lot of effort and emphasis is put into branding.
To use an easy-to-visualize illustration, the fundamentals and business structure of a business or organization is like the structure of a house – the foundation, the structural design, the building materials, the quality, without which of course, there simply is no building. Well branding and corporate identity are like the architectural design, the interior design, or even the paint and landscaping.It has been said, you don’t buy a house because of its paint, but any real estate agent would have a really hard time selling a property that is a bare structure – no matter how stable and well-built it is. The fact is that many people do buy properties based on their visual attributes, and the care that is put into the aesthetics and outward appearance of houses.
Bringing the matter closer to home, why is it that top fashion brands can charge premium prices for what is simply apparel? Why are people willing to pay top dollar for luxury cars, fancy watches, prestigious pens? Why are we more wowed by an iPhone than alternatives? The answer is branding! People are willing to pay heaps of extra money for what is really totally superficial. That is the power of branding.
Now a no-nonsense businessperson may say that all that comes later on, and the core functions of the business come first. That is partly true, but why take the time, trouble and money to fix things later on instead of getting it right from the onset? It is always easier to start right than to go back and fix things later.
Leaning upon our experience in branding, particularly global branding, we would like to “share the wealth” of knowledge and experience that we have garnered through taking you through the “Countdown to Branding Eminence” video series which will provide you with a thorough overview of the core principles of branding. Mind you, this series is focused on startups. Established corporations have fat budgets to spend on marketing and would likely hire expensive advertising agencies to do most of their branding for you. Well with this series we aim to put top agency-standard branding principles right within your reach! So let’s begin.
In this introduction to the series we will simply spell out what are the essential elements of the perfect brand? And here they are:
1. The Brand Name.
This may seem self-evident, but it is surprising how many organizations and companies simply breeze through this without proper process and effort. Such careless branding are what bring us tired, blase, passe, overly simplistic, commonplace, and unimaginative brands of which there are plenty all over the world. We will delve in deeply into the dos and don’ts of brand names, and provide helpful tips and tricks on how to make your new brand truly stand out and have an impact, and in the process we will look at some great and not so great examples of brands.
2. The Logo.
Again, this is something which many startups fudge on. Perhaps it seems a bit out of reach since most of us are not skilled graphic designers, and looking at the bottom line, we don’t want to dump money into logo design, but a good logo is a truly essential aspect of branding, and all the more so in today’s connected and highly visual-driven world. Logo styling has changed much over the years, to the present day when minimal and simple logos are the strongest trend. There is the additional need for brand icons with the advent of social media and smartphones. This adds important layers to essential logo development. We will be delving into logo design principles in this series as well.
3. The Brand Identity or Corporate Identity.
This is the complete brand package – all of the brand elements, which as we will cover in greater detail later includes the brand name, the logo/icon, the color palette or scheme, the font family, and essential branding elements like namecards, letterheads etc. It is mind-blowing what a difference a proper, complete brand identity does to the image of your organization.
4. The Key Message.
This is not a visual element per se, but still an essential part of a good brand. You need to crystalize and articulate your message, your principles, your culture, your values. This helps to galvanize both your target publics, as well as the members of your organization and your staff. Better yet is if your key message can be encapsulated in a powerful tagline and/or slogan which we will cover later in the series as well.
OK, strap on your seatbelts! Let’s start the countdown, beginning at number 8….
The Presentation shown in the video above is available to download for free for your use and convenience.