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Basics of Branding

Branding – Coca-Cola, Apple, and McDonalds know how to do it so well that consumers recognize colors and logos before they even see the product name. Branding is big business especially if you want clients to recognize your slogan, logo or color palette. Entrepreneur online states it best, “Your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors.” Here are some basics that you should consider when it comes to branding your company, service or product.

  • Define – As a company define your brand. Decide on what your mission and goals are. Include a description on what your target audience is and how you plan to reach them. Define the benefits of your product/service as well as how you want people to view your business.
  • Create a Voice, Logo, Tagline and Color Palette – Each of these items will make your product or service easily recognizable and create a link to consumers every time they hear, see or identify with your business.
  • Build Your Brand – Key areas to consider are: your business name, the names of your products or services, any slogan you use, your logo, the style and quality of your stationery, product pricing and packaging, your premises, where and how you advertise, how you and your employees dress, how you and your employees behave and your company website.
  • Do Your Research – Find out what the competition does and do something to make your company stand out from the rest. Where does your business succeed and beat the competition and where does it fall short.
  • Review – Plan a regular review of how your brand is doing. Consider how consumers view your brand and how easily your service and products are recognized.

Perils of Rebranding

How your clients and customers perceive your brand can mean a lot for your bottom line. If your color palette. logo, tagline and perception of your product or services is rebranded sloppily you may encounter trouble. While rebranding may be a fresh start it also have several perils that entrepreneurs need to be aware of and avoid at all costs.

 

  • Know Why – Knowing why you are setting out to rebrand your service or product is important. You need valid reasons of why you are changing your logo, tagline or color palette in order to do it successfully. Having valid reasons for scrapping your old brand awareness and building a new one will keep you focused.  
  • Consult the Public and Employees – If your employees are not on board and your customers are confused, you may encounter some resistance on your quest to rebrand your image. Be sure to consult both groups before you start a rebranding campaign.
  • Backlash – Avoid alienating your loyal customers if you are trying to rebrand. Backlash can mean customers miss the old way of doing things and how your company was perceived. Think about how customers revolted when Coca Cola reworked its slogan and cola formula to reach new customers. Epic failure.

 

Check out these companies that failed at rebranding their products from Coca Cola, tropicana orange juice or The Gap.

What is Rebranding?

 

For many of us in the business world, we understand what branding means and how it works to help consumers recognize and understand a product or service. Rebranding is something that many marketing agents are weary of and may be nervous to start fresh, so let’s look at what rebranding is and what the common steps are to do this.

Rebranding is the creation of a new look and feel for an established product or company. The usual goal of rebranding is to influence a customer’s perception about a product or service or the company overall by revitalizing the brand and making it seem more modern and relevant to the customer’s needs.

If your company is getting lost in the busy internet world of marketing, you may want to consider rebranding your company name or product. To do this you will want to consider the following suggestions.

  • Obtain Customer Feedback – Talk to your customers through questionnaires either online or in person, and ask what they would like to see from your company. Find out what your clients feel, think and want from your company. These suggestions can help you set a course to branding success. Be sure to find out what is NOT working for your customers as well.
  • Gather Employee Feedback – Your employees are a vital part of your company. They will have important feedback about how to improve your company and your overall brand name.
  • Start promoting your New Brand – Use any new channels whether social media or traditional methods to start getting the new branding out there. If you want to transition from an older branding strategy you may want to spend a little bit more on your advertising for a month or two.
  • Be Consistent – Keep branding your service or product consistently. According to Open Forum, “Once you have established who and what you want to be, do not change it except for tweaks and slight adjustments. It takes 10 to 12 ‘touches’ for a customer to even notice you.”

 

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Key Components of Logo Design

A logo is a memorable, eye-catching symbol of your company’s brand. A great logo is one that hooks your intended consumer within a few seconds of viewing. Sounds simple enough, right? The professionals sure do make it look easy but it is anything but. There are millions of logos out there every day bombarding consumers at every turn. The ability to create one that is iconic is no easy feat.  Here are a few suggestions from the design experts.

  • Keep it Simple – Logos need to be very adaptable to size, so the simpler the design the easier it is to identify no matter what size it is being viewed. We suggest you test your design on all sizes such from as large as billboard size to as small as a business card or ad on Facebook. If it has too many details it may not view well in smaller scales.
  • Make it Memorable – Some of the best logos have the ability to stay with the consumer and almost imprint on the brain. The goal should be to grab the attention of the viewer with a simple design that makes an impression and stays with them.  For example, the Nike symbol or the McDonald’s arches are simple and easy to remember.
  • Versatility – A good logo can be altered and still easily recognized. For example, the logo should have the capability of being viewed in color or black and white – yet still be easily identified as your brand’s logo. Versatile also means that your logo should be identifiable in small and large scales.
  • Timeless – If your logo is trendy, it might be perfectly fine for right now but a few years down the line it may seem dated and out-of-style. Stick with logos that are classic.
  • Color and Font Considerations – Be careful with color and font selection. University of Loyola, Maryland, published research that showed color can increase brand recognition by 80 percent. The underlying reason being there is a strong correlation between emotional responses and color, implying that the selected color will determine how your brand is viewed. In addition, select a font that translates well across different media and sizes.

Building your Brand

A brand is anything-a symbol, design, name, sound, reputation, emotion, employees, tone, and much more-that separates one product or service from another. For McDonald’s its the snappy slogans and “golden arches”. For Apple Corporation it is innovation and those adorable lowercase letter “i” added to each product. While not every company can be a McDonald’s or Apple, each every company should spend considerable time crafting and building their brand image. Every business does not need to be world famous in order to have a successful brand. Here are a few tips to consider when building your brand image.

  • Know who your target audience is. This may mean some careful research using analytics from your media campaigns both print and digital. Once you have this focus, it will be easier to zone on on your best consumers and start molding your brand image.
  • Clearly define who you are as a company: innovative, trustworthy, experienced.
  • Stand for something you believe in.
  • Differentiate yourself from the competition. Find out what makes you different and special. You must be aware of both your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Be extremely consistent with your visual image as well as written image.
  • Make sure all communications, individual or mass, are consistent and in line with brand positioning.
  • Be consistent with your color pallet across all marketing medias. Keeping the look the same will make it easy to identify your product or service.
  • Use customer service as a way to drive home your brand.
  • Train your employees to embody the brand and what it equals.
  • Reward loyal customers and fans with perks and special treatment to show your appreciation.
  • Do not mimic other companies that are in your field. Make your company stand out with service and look.
  • Make sure your logo/slogan and tagline is on everything your company touches from print media to social platforms.
  • Keep the dialogue ongoing with your customers. Treat them well and it will comeback to you in spades.
  • Make sure that every point of contact stays true to who you are as a company.

Building and maintaining your brand image is a major part of the success of your growing business.