First things first, let’s define the two. Branding is the visual representation that encompasses the core values such as the mission, the vision, and the emotive designation of a corporate entity. A brand is what will give the consumer a reason to prefer your product or service. Branding is what differentiates you from others. It is a full representation of you to the world.
Key Elements and Traits of a Brand
What is your brand? A brand needs a definitive answer to this question. It should announce its uniqueness and create likeability. This is where the brand communicates what the organization is, what it does and for whom. It should be able to tell the customers how your values differ from those of your competitors.
What is your brand assurance? As an organization, your word is your bond. The difference between efficiency and deficiency in business is delivery. What you assure the customers you will provide, MUST be adhered to and promptly delivered every single time. Reputations are built upon the ability to sustain a trust worthy client base. This will only be done by doing what you say you will do.
What is your brand color (colors)? The human eye is often stimulated by colors. A brand MUST be identified by a specific color or color combination for easy identification and also for the aesthetic value. More often than not, brand colors will determine everything from uniforms (if any), to paper color.
What is the story behind the brand? Tell your tale. Describe your history in regard to your competence and relevance in the market situation. This will help your customers to connect with your organization. This is where; the emotional connection between the organization and its customers begins.
What is your brand imagery? A brand MUST have signature visual representations used in communications items within or from an organization. Distinctive imagery has been and is still known to contain the telling identity of the brand.The images portrayed in a brand must be consistent in order to create and maintain a meaningful identity.Features of brand imagery include: font, logo, and name.
What is your brand tagline? A brand tagline is your tool for communicating the distinct nature of your proposition on value addition to your customers. A tagline’s key features include: economy of words, memorability, powerful, and objectivity.
Brand designing on the other hand, refers to the creation of visual art effects that project ideas, opinions and emotions using graphic punctuations, text and/or pattern. Brand design is meant to communicate ideas or an identity of an entity.
People tend to focus more on what they see. It is therefore very important that your design carries with it your goals, ideas and expectations. A good design is based on a consistent yet flexible system of the visual brand identity. The designer conceptualizes and brings to life the brand identity.
Brand designing constitutes a system of different key elements that combine to form an identity. They include:
- Create a flexible logo. When designing the logo, you should have in mind that it is going to be used in a variety of communication channels. Remember, the logo MUST be compatible and proportionate with such mediums as bill boards, banners, custom folders, TV commercials and other modes of communication applicable. The logo must also be fashionable as it is unique.
- Decide on a specific color or color combination. The color element is quite important and integral in the design system because, aside from aesthetics it also accentuates brand identity. When deciding on a color, it would be prudent to consider different color combination, shades and tints. Whether you use primary, secondary and/or tertiary colors is entirely up to you.
- Typographical identity. It is important to understand that the use of typography may or may not be complementary. Sometimes, it supplements the overall design. Consider using variations when choosing your fonts for different features e.g you might want to use italicized serifs on the tagline to show distinction, which in turn adds value to the overall design.
- Stick to a unique style. You should at all times choose to stand out. In this competitive world of business, you MUST stay relevant and what better way to do so, than embracing uniqueness in style. Your style must also be congruent to the brands standards, values and objectives.
- Make it beautiful. The brand design MUST be appealing enough to be looked at twice. Believe it or not, no one pays attention to less attractive designs, business or otherwise. Think of it as roasted chicken. What would you go for; roasted chicken with garnish or without?
Generally speaking, branding and designing are like a Ferrari and its price tag. Meaning, one without the other is virtually valueless.