Does your brand identity suck? - HERETIC

Does your brand identity suck?

Maybe... here's why you should give a shit.

“45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it.” – Lulu Raghavan, Landor Mumbai

You might have the perfect idea of how you’d like your receptionist to answer the phone, but if her tone is wrong, your brand is misrepresented.  Same goes for having the wrong the packaging on your product, or the wrong look for your website. Consumers are constantly processing brand information, whether you hit the mark or not can mean the difference between the life or death of your company.

Do You Have a Brand Identity?

Brand identity is how you want to represent yourself, your product, service, or company to potential and/or existing customers. It is an all-encompassing consistent message that your company broadcasts across all channels. Your brand identity includes your company’s mission, your promise to consumers, and your competitive advantage over the competition.

More specifically your brand identity is tangible and intangible things that you use to market, sell, and attract attention. Your brand identity can include your company name, logo, logo design, look and design of the product, signature colors and palette, tagline, and copywriting tone. Intangible brand identity items are reputation, culture, personality, and relationships.

Choose Better Colors

Companies use color to portray their image and narrative. Most marketing color schemes consider their brand traits and come up with colors that fit based on the psychology behind them. Marketers use this as a way to gain influence with consumers emotionally and to influence their decisions to purchase goods or services.

According to Satyendra Singh, people make up their minds about products within 90 seconds of their interaction, and about 62-90% is based on color alone. Colors can factor in a customer’s attitude and mood, both positively and negatively, towards products and services.

Even if you are a corporation with a service, your marketing materials, logo, website, business cards and offices will all portray your identity and need a color scheme. You will most likely be advertising, even if it is only business to business or bidding on contracts. You want to have that instant recognition that goes with your logo and its colors on your proposals.

Designers often use the 60-30-10 rule. This rule states that your main color is used 60% of the time while using your secondary color 30% of the time. The remaining color is used 10% and is more of an accent color to offset against the other two who are often similar in tone, value, or shade for corporate clients.

Credit: The Logo Company

 

What Is Your Logo Saying?

Modern logos should not be too busy. They need to be easily scalable for use in different media such as web pages, email, signage, and apparel. Making a busy design makes it harder to use and scale for different colors and usability.

There are three different types of logos: logotype, Icon, and slogan. A logotype is basically your company name spelled out in a font. An icon is some sort of picture, or it even could be letters, whereas a slogan is a short descript sentence. Nike’s ‘Just Do It.’ is an example of a slogan.

There are a few things that make a great logo applying a few of these concepts from Management Study Guide will ensure that your logo is a strong logo. Your logo should be simple, distinguishable and unique, functional so it can be used widely. It must be effective, memorable and easily identifiable in color and black and white. It should be a representation of the organization and help customers develop trust in the organization. It should be easily represented on fabric and other materials. It should portray the brand’s mission, values, and objectives.

Whatever you chose, make sure that the image carries through to all of your marketing materials, signage, stationery, business cards, websites, product packaging, and social media platforms.

Did You Commit to Your Brand?

Once you have selected colors, logos, and tone, it’s essential that you carry them over throughout the entire brand. Everything from stationary, email templates, signage, forms, apparel and customer gifts must contain the new branding. Your collateral such as marketing materials, presentations, tradeshow materials, advertisements, business cards and direct marketing must also adhere to the brand.

It’s absolutely imperative that your website is designed with the look, tone, and feel of the brand. It is the digital face of your brand. Social media is crucial as well. You cannot have a very formal website then have a fun, playful Facebook page. Your tone, voice, and consistency need to remain, and there has to be continuity between the look and feel of one site to the next.

Brand Awareness and Brand Recognition

Market research and consumer insights are going to help you measure in a calculable way brand awareness and recognition. Brand awareness is the extent to which potential customers can correctly recognize your brand and associate it with a particular product. It can be expressed as a percentage of the target market.

Unaided brand awareness can be tested using open-ended questions, where you prompt users to come up with answers on their own. This is called brand recall. An example of this would be to ask a consumer to name all the iced tea companies that they are familiar with to see if your name comes up.

Brand recognition is when a consumer can identify a product or service by seeing its logo, slogan, or tagline, or ad campaign. Testing this would be easy as showing them a tagline or logo and asking them to identify its brand.

What’s Your Problem?

The biggest issues that arise with brand identity are lack of consistency, lack of internal training, and failure to update marketing materials. When you are updating or applying a new branding, it has to be across the board. Many companies fall short and forgo new business cards or use old stationery. They will do some of the brandings very well but forget to do others.

Forgetting to train your ground soldiers—your employees—on how to present your brand often results in mixed messages being sent out. You need to communicate what the brand stands for and make sure you have their buy-in to have everyone doing their part to present a clear and concise brand strategy.

Not updating marketing materials and collateral is another big issue. You are handing these items out to prospective clients, giving them a mixed message about your brand because they see your old strategy and newer brand work through media and the web page.

Conclusion

You need to care about your brand and stop sucking at delivering a cohesive message or your customers, and potential customers will stop listening. When they stop listening they stop buying into your advertising and lose trust in your company. That leads to lost revenue and sales.

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