So any budding marketeers, design agencies and creatives worth their salt will know that branding matters. In fact, I would like to think anybody and everybody knows branding matters, even if they don’t fully realise it.
Branding, quite simply put, is the identity that distinguishes one product from the next, e.g. Coca-Cola to Pepsi. What goes into your brand is determined by a number of aspects; culture, company values, your value proposition, messaging, etc. I could go on but I’d be boring you then. There are some businesses that will go towards brandable apparel such as custom hoodies, t-shirts, jackets, etc. so they can get the word out, especially if they are a social media-based business.
Basically, your brand encompasses everything you do. You live and die by it.
From our creative marketing standpoint, you would do well then to regard branding as one of the most important parts to your marketing arsenal. It is a lot more than ‘just a logo’, as we have heard many a person describe it before (you wouldn’t believe how irritated we get when we hear that).
By all means your logo acts as the most tangible touch point to your consumers. It is what they see and come into contact with first. It is what builds trust, elicits confidence and resonates your brand values to your consumers. Your logo is a visual representation of what you are about.
BUT!!! Don’t be mistaken. Your logo is not the be all and end all to your branding.
Think Cadbury. What are one of the first things you call to mind? I’ll bet my bottom dollar that somewhere in those first thoughts was the iconic Cadbury purple. (Disclaimer: I have no dollars, hence I can make this bet safe in the knowledge I won’t be losing anything).
Cadbury is a great example of how they have taken purple and made it truly their own. Likewise Coca-Cola have so many parts that make up their brand, including their own distinctive red colour, the shape of their bottles and the iconic Christmas trucks.
In fact, Coca-Cola’s so recognisable to us now that they were able to do away with their logo completely for the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign in Summer 2013. This campaign, which was extremely effective, is a great example of personalized marketing. You can learn more about personalized marketing if you visit the SheerID website.
It’s these important factors that make up your brand. Why else do you think Cadbury and Nestlé have waged legal wars costing God knows how much over a simple shade of purple?
These facets are the building blocks to having an individual Graphic Identity.
Susan Gunelius hits the nail on the head in part 2 of her blog post on Developing Brand Identity Guidelines Your brand is made up of numerous aspects, including colour palette, typography, positioning, size and more. It is multifaceted in its nature, and it is these parts that make up your brand as a whole.
Possessing a distinctive graphic identity is even more important in today’s day and age with the multitude of mediums we can use to get messages across, including digital, apps, TV, print media, large format print media, promo items etc. These are what we call touchpoints, i.e. the place a customer might experience the brand.
Building trust, recognition and resonating your brand values from a graphical standpoint now stretches beyond simply dashing your logo across touchpoints and through adding consistent individual elements your brand recognition increases over time.
Being more than just a logo is what will add to your graphic identity, makes your brand recognisable from afar and serves to increase the awareness of your brand and its values.