“We want to rebrand. Can you upgrade our logo for us?” is the typical question we get when entrepreneurs come to us. It’s easy to understand why that line of thought exists. When you think of a global brand such as Nike, the first thing that pops up in your mind is probably its Swoosh. And you aren’t completely wrong: a brand does consist of visual elements; but those are just some of its puzzle pieces. What’s even more important, is the emotional gratification of completing the whole jigsaw, or, in marketing-related terms, the entire brand experience.
A brand is everything and everything is a brand
Although we could try to formulate a dictionary-style definition, in reality a brand comprises too many elements to list. You could say that brands are a lot like people: they do not only have a certain appearance or visual identity. Likewise, they also have a personality, values and yes, even a tone of voice. Is your brand playful, friendly and young? Or rather serious, button-up professional and mature? It’s those human character traits that attract others to engage with your brand.
In a broader sense, then, once potential customers come into contact with your company, you should think of a brand as a relationship that needs to be built: the more effort you put into it, the more meaningful the emotional bond becomes and the more likely it is that a strong, lasting friendship will result from it. Since it’s in point of fact the sum customer experience – the sentimental value your business holds in the hearts of clients – that defines your brand’s image, it’s imperative that enterprises continuously nurture that connection.
The best way to do that? By perceiving your brand as an alluringly wrapped-up all-in-one promise. A promise of trust and continuous commitment. The manner you present, fill in and fulfil that promise determines your brand’s success. Therefore, embellish your offer with a well-considered logo, colour palette, typeface and tagline, and fill the package up with qualitative products and memorable I-want-to-share-my-experience touchpoints.
My brand is better than yours
What is a great brand? And how do you achieve one? The following checklist lets you know if or when you’ve nailed it:
- Be one in a million. If there’s another brand with the same promise, it will be difficult for you to surpass that and to build an enduring brand. Besides, do not try to be all things to all people. Choose your target groups wisely, focus on one main objective, live up to it and differentiate yourself from the pack.
- Consistency is key. Especially if you want to occupy a clear space in the consumer’s mind. By staying true to your mission and values, and by sending out consistent messages, you train your target audiences to instantly recognise you, think of you or recall your design features whenever they think of the category you’re in.
- Take your time. Rome was not built in a day and the same goes for relationships. They require hard work and dedication: non-stop nurturing is vital to reach the advocacy level in the customer journey and to build a loyal community. Simply ticking off the elements a brand needs, will not do.
- And most importantly: Never. Stop. Improving. Because living brands are never fully complete. As the landscape is constantly evolving, it’s important that your brand also continues to grow, to cope with challenges and to show up in new ways. Your target groups never stop ideating and neither should you.
An exquisite yet empty emblem
A person, a relationship and a promise; formulating a univocal definition of what a brand represents, is quite a challenge. But one thing is certain: contrary to what many entrepreneurs think, a brand does certainly not begin and end with a logo. A brand is everything and everything is a brand. The whole shebang that surrounds your company. At the core, a brand equals the emotional customer experience, so make it a noteworthy one. If the founders of a start-up are invited to a positioning workshop and come out feeling confident about their business’ outlook, then that’s your brand. If your enterprise provides them with a new identity and they are eager to launch it, then that’s also your brand. Offering that experience is something a logo could never do.
Actions speak louder than words (or a logo). Wondering how we’ve translated the aforementioned tips into a client-centric brand? Check out our Winsol case.