Never judge a book by it’s cover… unless it’s a brand. This is your business’ identity, the first impression your customers or clients receive and is one of your company’s most valuable assets. Branding is about more than just having a logo to represent you. It is important for your visual identity to be of the highest quality it can be, and consistent over the various platforms you may engage with.
A strong brand identity is one of the most influential things a business or company can invest in. It can act as the tool that differentiates you from your competitors and as a result, can positively influence your client or customer’s purchasing decisions, your credibility, trust, loyalty and competitive advantage.
The term ‘branding’ comes from the Old Norse word ‘Brandr’ which means to burn. Possessions from cattle to timber were burnt (or branded) with the markings/symbols of their owner. The concept of branding was essentially to depict ownership. Particularly, things of high value. Into the 13th Century, watermarks were used on paper as a form of ‘branding’. However, the concept of mass-marketing originated in the 19th Century during the introduction of packaged goods.
Enough of the history lesson, back to judging a book by it’s cover. Ever landed on a webpage, or received a flimsy black and white business card, only to instantly have no interest to invest any more of your time into the company and what it might have to offer? ‘Homemade’ webpages are increasingly becoming a pet-hate amongst consumers today after having been spoilt by the wealth of digital design they have right at their fingertips. All as a result of the upsurge of mobile technology.
Coca-Cola, IKEA, Nike… even simply reading those three brand names immediately creates a strong visual of their brand identity in your mind. Whether it’s a flash of the Coca-Cola red, a familiar tune that you just need to whistle, the strong contrast of the blue and yellow of IKEA, or the trademarked Nike Swoosh (yes, a swoosh!) These are all examples of genius branding. Merely the mention of their brand name brings the whole visual identity to life.
This concept is reinforced by the ‘No Noise’ campaign, introduced by Selfridges in 2013. It bought together a number of world renowned brands, completely stripping them back of their branding, leaving a minimal packing design. However, because of the strength of their brand identity - the products remained clearly identifiable. Can you guess the brands from the image below?
Successful branding doesn’t happen overnight. It needs time invested into it, especially during its conception. It is essential that the visual is representative of your ethics. Shoe horning your business into a design template will be glaringly obvious, to both customers and competitors. Well considered branding shows that you have both pride and professionalism in your business. This ensures that any first impressions, and every interaction thereafter with the client or consumer, is always positive.
If you feel like your business could benefit from a pinch of branding magic, get in touch! Our branding wizard will have his wand at the ready.