What is Branding? What does a branding agency do?

Everything Design is a Branding Agency in Bangalore and we would like to take you through everything about Branding. We build brands with purpose. We are a Brand Strategy Design Consultancy.

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Updated on
December 5, 2023

What does a branding agency do?

A branding agency focuses on developing a brand's identity and strategy. Their responsibilities include:

  1. Defining Brand Identity: Establishing a unique image and personality for a brand, which can involve creating logos, color palettes, typography, and other visual elements.
  2. Strategic Planning: Developing a brand strategy that aligns with the company's vision, mission, and values. This includes understanding the target audience, market positioning, and competitive landscape.
  3. Marketing and Communication: Crafting brand messaging and tone of voice to ensure consistency across all marketing materials and platforms.
  4. Brand Differentiation: Identifying and emphasizing the unique selling points of a brand to distinguish it from competitors.
  5. Customer Engagement: Creating strategies to build and maintain a strong, positive relationship with the brand's audience.
  6. Brand Evolution: Continuously updating and evolving the brand to keep up with market changes, consumer trends, and business growth.
  7. Internal Branding: Aligning the company culture with the brand identity to ensure cohesive internal and external messaging.

The role of a branding agency is thus comprehensive, extending beyond mere aesthetics to strategic thinking, market positioning, and long-term brand management.

What are the steps involved in branding?

Building a brand is a multifaceted process that involves several key steps, each contributing to the creation and establishment of a strong, recognizable brand identity.

The branding steps can be outlined as follows:

  1. Identify Your Audience: Understand who your brand is targeting. This involves creating buyer personas and recognizing the needs and preferences of your target market​​.
  2. Research Your Competitors: Analyze the competition to identify opportunities for differentiation and understand what works well in your market​​.
  3. Define Brand’s Purpose and Position: Establish why your brand exists (its purpose) and how it fits in the market (its position)​​.
  4. Develop Personality and Brand Voice: Create a unique personality and voice for your brand that resonates with your audience and reflects your brand values​​.
  5. Create Your Brand Story: Utilize storytelling to connect with customers on a personal level, portraying your brand as a guide that helps them overcome challenges​​.
  6. Pick a Brand Name: Choose a name that is memorable, relevant to your offerings, and resonates with your target audience​​.
  7. Write a Slogan: Develop a catchy, concise slogan that encapsulates your brand's essence and message​​.
  8. Design Brand Look and Logo: Create visual elements such as logos, color schemes, and typography that visually represent your brand identity​​.
  9. Integrate Your Brand Into Your Business: Ensure that your brand identity is consistently represented across all aspects of your business, from marketing materials to customer interactions​​.
  10. Don’t Be Afraid to Rebrand: Be open to evolving your brand to stay relevant and address changing market dynamics or consumer preferences​​.

These steps, when executed effectively, lead to the development of a strong brand identity that not only distinguishes a business from its competitors but also fosters a deep connection with its audience.

What is in a full branding package from a branding agency?

A full branding package typically includes a comprehensive set of tools and materials designed to establish and promote a brand's identity consistently across various platforms. This package can vary based on specific needs, but generally, it includes:

  1. Brand Strategy: Detailed planning that includes defining the brand's mission, vision, values, and unique selling proposition.
  2. Logo Design: The creation of a versatile and memorable logo that reflects the brand's identity and ethos​​.
  3. Brand Messaging: Development of a clear and cohesive message that encompasses the brand's mission statement, value proposition, taglines, and other key messaging elements​​.
  4. Color Palette: Selection of colors that align with the brand's identity and messaging, considering color psychology and the brand's desired emotional impact​​.
  5. Typography: Choosing and potentially customizing fonts that complement the brand's overall visual style and messaging​​.
  6. Graphic Elements: Development of additional visual elements like shapes, patterns, and lines that support the brand's themes and visual identity​​.
  7. Brand Style Guides: Comprehensive guidelines that ensure consistency in how the brand's elements are used across various mediums​​.
  8. Marketing Collaterals: Production of business cards, letterheads, brochures, and other printed or digital materials.
  9. Digital Assets: Development of a website design, social media graphics, email templates, and other digital marketing materials.
  10. Internal Branding Materials: Creation of internal communication tools, employee branding materials, and corporate culture guidelines.

This comprehensive approach helps establish uniformity for the brand, unites a style and ideology through consistency, and ensures the brand is memorable and engaging to customers​​.

How to measure branding success?

Measuring branding success involves assessing various aspects of a brand's impact and presence in the market. Key metrics include:

  1. Brand Awareness: Assess how well-known your brand is among your target audience. Surveys, social media mentions, and search volume data can be useful indicators.
  2. Brand Perception: Evaluate how the public perceives your brand. Customer feedback, reviews, and sentiment analysis can provide insights into brand perception.
  3. Customer Loyalty and Retention: Track repeat purchases and customer loyalty metrics. High retention rates often indicate successful branding.
  4. Market Share: Analyze your brand's position in the market relative to competitors.
  5. Revenue Growth: Monitor changes in sales and revenue, attributing growth to branding efforts where applicable.
  6. Social Media Engagement: Assess engagement metrics like shares, likes, and comments on branded content across social media platforms.
  7. Website Traffic: Track the number of visitors and their behavior on your brand's website.
  8. Brand Consistency: Evaluate how consistently the brand message and identity are communicated across various channels.

These metrics collectively provide a comprehensive view of a brand's strength, reach, and influence in the market.

What is brand equity?

Brand equity refers to the value and strength of a brand in the marketplace. It's a measure of the brand's ability to capture customer loyalty, influence purchase decisions, and command premium prices. Brand equity is built over time through consistent, positive experiences and perceptions of the brand by consumers. High brand equity implies that customers have a high level of trust and regard for the brand, often leading to sustained business success and market leadership. It encompasses various elements like brand awareness, brand associations, perceived quality, and brand loyalty, each contributing to the overall strength and value of the brand.

How to improve brand equity?

Improving brand equity involves a multifaceted approach that includes:

  1. Strengthening Brand Awareness: Increasing visibility and recognition through marketing campaigns, social media presence, and public relations.
  2. Building Brand Loyalty: Fostering strong relationships with customers through quality products/services, customer engagement, and loyalty programs.
  3. Enhancing Perceived Quality: Ensuring your products or services are perceived as high quality and reliable.
  4. Creating Positive Brand Associations: Developing and maintaining a positive brand image and reputation through corporate social responsibility, sponsorships, and endorsements.
  5. Consistent Brand Messaging: Maintaining consistency in brand communication across all channels to reinforce brand identity and values.

These strategies, collectively, contribute to a strong brand equity, enhancing the brand's market position and long-term profitability.

Why hire a brand agency?

They can help you develop a strong brand presence in the market and differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Increased Sales: By hiring a creative agency like Everything Design, your brand can benefit from their deep understanding of consumer behavior and effective marketing tactics. They can help close more sales and expand your market share through targeted marketing strategies.

How much does it cost to brand a logo?

A complete branding campaign typically costs between $11,000 and $70,000, depending on your required marketing collateral.

  • The cost of logo design varies widely, ranging from as low as $2 to over $2500. For small businesses or startups, using online logo makers or crowdsourcing websites can cost between $20 and $99. However, the price depends significantly on the type of logo needed, the platform used, and the service provider's preference.
  • Mid-range logo design costs vary based on design complexity, customization, and whether the client is an individual or a business. Costs can range from $100 per hour for offshore freelance designers to $30,000 for small design studios. Mid-sized agencies might charge between $5,000 to $50,000, depending on project complexity.
  • High-end logo design prioritizes quality and a deep understanding of the business and its customers. Costs for high-end designs from branding agencies can range from $50,000 to over $1,000,000. Renowned branding agencies and world-famous designers may charge a minimum of $100,000 per project, with the potential to exceed $1,000,000​​.

This range in logo design costs reflects the varying levels of expertise, customization, and brand alignment that different designers and agencies offer. A higher price often correlates with a more personalized and tailored design process, potentially leading to a more distinctive and effective logo that aligns closely with the brand's identity and values. This aligns with earlier discussions on the importance of a well-crafted logo as part of a comprehensive branding strategy.

Branding agency look into various aspects of creating and maintaining a visual identity for a brand, including the importance of understanding a client’s business, their ambitions, and the key deliverables. It emphasizes the balance between the visual and verbal aspects of branding and the role of consistency and creativity in developing brand guidelines. It is critical to note the importance of client collaboration, strategic thinking, and the thoughtful integration of design and messaging in creating compelling brand identities.

What is the process of a branding agency to do a branding?

Introduction to Visual Branding

Visual branding in today's market is crucial for businesses as it represents the visual identity of a company and how it is perceived by its audience.

Discussing the significance of visual branding in today's market and its impact on businesses.

It goes beyond mere logo design, encompassing the overall aesthetic and visual presentation of a brand. This includes color schemes, typography, imagery, and the general visual approach used in all marketing materials. Effective visual branding creates a memorable image in the consumer's mind, differentiating the business in a crowded market. It's not just about visual appeal; it's about conveying a brand's values, ethos, and unique selling points through visual mediums. As such, visual branding has a significant impact on brand recognition, customer loyalty, and overall business success.

Understanding Client Needs: Exploring the process of understanding a client's business, goals, and audience for effective branding.

Understanding client needs in visual branding involves a deep dive into the client's business, goals, and target audience. It requires gathering comprehensive information about the client’s products or services, market positioning, and competition. Designers must understand the client's vision and objectives to ensure that the visual branding aligns with their business strategy. It's also crucial to research and understand the client's target audience, as this influences the visual style and messaging. This understanding helps in creating a brand identity that resonates with the intended audience and effectively communicates the brand's unique value proposition.

Strategic Thinking in Branding: How strategic planning forms the backbone of successful branding, focusing on long-term goals and brand positioning.

Strategic thinking in branding is fundamental for ensuring long-term success and effective brand positioning. It involves a forward-looking approach, where branding decisions are aligned with the business's long-term goals and market strategy. This strategic planning includes understanding the brand's core values, defining its unique selling proposition, and identifying the target audience. It's about creating a brand identity that not only reflects the current state of the business but is also adaptable for future growth and changes in the market. Strategic branding ensures that the brand remains relevant, competitive, and resonates with its audience over time.

A brief two-line description for each of the 100 principles from "Brand Identity Essentials"

  1. Illustrative Logos: These logos use detailed graphics or drawings to represent a brand, often telling a story or symbolizing brand attributes.
  2. Visual Style: This refers to the unique aesthetic and artistic approach a brand adopts in its visual representations, influencing customer perception.
  3. An Aesthetic Niche: Identifying and occupying a unique visual niche helps a brand stand out and appeal to a specific target audience.
  4. Color Choices: The selection of colors for a brand's identity is crucial as they convey emotions and associations that resonate with consumers.
  5. Applied Color: This principle involves the strategic application of color across various brand elements to create a cohesive and impactful identity.
  6. Color Power: Colors have the power to evoke specific responses and feelings, making their thoughtful use essential in brand identity.
  7. 3-D Logos: Three-dimensional logos add depth and a sense of realism, making a brand appear more dynamic and modern.
  8. Physical Elements: Incorporating physical, tactile elements in branding (like textures or materials) enhances customer interaction and experience.
  9. A Sense of Place: A brand can evoke a sense of place through its identity elements, creating a connection with local culture or geography.
  10. Contrast in Composition: Using contrasting elements in logo design, such as colors, shapes, or textures, to create a visually striking and memorable identity.
  11. Contrasting Elements: This principle involves using differing or opposite elements in design to highlight key brand attributes and create visual interest.
  12. Being Different: Emphasizing a brand's unique qualities and differentiators in its identity to stand out in the market.
  13. Logo Shapes: The shape of a logo plays a crucial role in conveying the brand's message and personality.
  14. Shape Patterns: Using repetitive shapes or patterns in branding to create a recognizable and harmonious visual language.
  15. Shape and Meaning: The shapes used in logos and branding can carry meanings and associations that reinforce the brand's message.
  16. Cultural Symbols: Incorporating symbols with cultural significance can enhance brand identity by connecting with specific audiences and their values.
  17. Symbol Vocabularies: Developing a set of symbols that consistently represent the brand’s values and attributes across different mediums.
  18. Brands as Symbols: The brand itself becomes a symbol, representing certain values or ideas in the minds of consumers.
  19. Monograms and Word Marks: Using stylized initials or word-based logos to create a distinctive and easily recognizable brand mark.
  20. Type Choices: Selecting the right typeface is essential as it reflects the brand's personality and ensures legibility across various applications.
  21. Type and Meaning: The style and treatment of typography convey specific meanings and emotions, aligning with the brand’s message.
  22. Names and Taglines: Crafting a compelling name and tagline that encapsulate the essence of the brand and its promise to consumers.
  23. Editorial Style: Developing a consistent style of writing and messaging that aligns with the brand’s identity and resonates with its audience.
  24. Voice: The brand’s voice reflects its personality and values, and is consistent across all communication channels.
  25. Logos as Storytellers: Designing logos that narrate a brand's story or history, enhancing emotional connection with the audience.
  26. Narrative Applications: Integrating storytelling into various aspects of branding to create a deeper engagement with the audience.
  27. Brand Stories: Crafting stories that embody the brand's values and mission, helping to build a strong emotional bond with the audience.
  28. Logo Structure: The arrangement and balance of elements within a logo, contributing to its overall effectiveness and memorability.
  29. Program Consistency: Maintaining consistency in brand elements across all platforms and touchpoints to ensure a unified brand experience.
  30. What Is 'On Brand'?: Understanding and defining what aligns with the brand’s core values and identity, ensuring consistency in all expressions.
  31. Logo Flexibility: Designing logos that are adaptable to different contexts and mediums while maintaining their core identity.
  32. Flexible Systems: Creating branding systems that are versatile and can evolve with the brand while retaining key identity elements.
  33. Brands that Surprise: Incorporating unexpected elements in branding to capture attention and create memorable experiences.
  34. Personal Logos: Designing logos that reflect individual identity, often used by personal brands or freelancers.
  35. Inclusive Programs: Developing brand identities that are inclusive and resonate with a diverse audience.
  36. MyBrand: Encouraging personalization and user interaction with the brand, making customers feel a part of the brand’s story.
  37. Marks and Meaning: Each mark or symbol in a brand’s identity carries meaning and contributes to the overall narrative.
  38. Program Context: Considering the context in which the brand operates and how it influences perception and identity.
  39. Brand Psychology: Understanding the psychological impact of branding elements on consumer behavior and perception.
  40. Idea Generation: The process of brainstorming and developing innovative ideas that can be translated into effective brand identities.
  41. Prototyping: Creating preliminary models or versions of a brand identity to test and refine before finalization.
  42. Strategic Foundations: Building a brand identity on a strong strategic foundation that aligns with the brand's overall objectives.
  43. Production Methods: Considering the methods of production for brand materials, ensuring consistency and quality.
  44. 'Image' as a Verb: The active process of creating and maintaining a brand’s image in the public eye.
  45. New Sources of Meaning: Exploring and integrating new and unconventional sources to enrich brand identity.
  46. Pictures in Pixels: Adapting brand imagery for digital platforms, ensuring clarity and impact in pixel-based mediums.
  47. Building an Online Identity: Developing a brand identity that is optimized for the digital landscape and online interactions.
  48. Digital Brands: Brands that primarily exist and operate in the digital space, requiring unique branding strategies.
  49. Logo Trends: Keeping abreast of current trends in logo design to stay relevant, while avoiding short-lived fads.
  50. Popular Culture: Leveraging popular culture in branding to create relatable and timely brand identities.
  51. MacroTrends: Understanding broader societal and industry trends to inform brand strategy and identity.
  52. Do the Right Thing: Ethical considerations in branding, ensuring that brand identity aligns with moral and social values.
  53. Program Investments: Investing in the right branding elements and strategies to build a strong and sustainable brand identity.
  54. Walk the Talk: Ensuring that the brand’s actions and communications are consistent with its stated values and identity.
  55. New Interactions: Exploring new ways for brands to interact with their audience, especially in digital and social media spaces.
  56. Social Innovation: Leveraging social media and online platforms for innovative branding and audience engagement.
  57. Transparent Brands: Emphasizing transparency in brand practices and communication to build trust with the audience.
  58. Ingredient Brands: Brands that are part of a larger product but maintain their own identity, like Intel in computers.
  59. Standards of Hierarchy: Establishing a clear hierarchy in brand elements to guide audience perception and understanding.
  60. Managing Multiple Brands: Strategies for managing and differentiating between multiple brands under a single corporate umbrella.
  61. Trademarks: The legal aspects of protecting a brand’s identity elements, such as logos and names.
  62. Trade Dress: Protecting the unique visual appearance and packaging of a product that signifies its brand identity.
  63. Owning an Aesthetic: Developing a unique aesthetic style that becomes synonymous with the brand.
  64. Logo Specs: The technical specifications of a logo, ensuring it maintains its integrity across various applications.
  65. Application Rules: Guidelines for how a brand’s identity elements should be applied in different contexts.
  66. Brand Bibles: Comprehensive guides that outline all aspects of a brand’s identity and how it should be used.
  67. Logos Lifecycles: Understanding that logos may evolve over time, reflecting changes in the brand or market.
  68. Planning for Change: Preparing strategies for evolving the brand identity to stay relevant and effective.
  69. Change Strategy: Developing a plan for implementing changes in brand identity while maintaining brand recognition and loyalty.
  70. Dueling Logos: Navigating competitive landscapes where similar logos or brands compete for attention.
  71. Programs That Stand Out: Creating brand identity elements that are distinctive and set the brand apart from competitors.
  72. Competitive Landscape: Understanding the branding strategies of competitors to inform and differentiate one's own brand strategy.
  73. Timelessness: Designing brand elements that have a timeless quality, ensuring long-term relevance and appeal.
  74. Taking Chances: The willingness to take creative risks in branding to achieve a unique and memorable identity.
  75. The Human Element: Incorporating human aspects, such as emotion and personal connection, into branding.
  76. Logos with a Sense of Humor: Using humor in logos and branding to create a friendly and approachable brand image.
  77. Fun with Programs: Injecting fun and playfulness into branding to engage and entertain the audience.
  78. Funny Brands: Brands that use humor as a key part of their identity, resonating with audiences through lightheartedness.
  79. Standing for Something: Brands that have a clear stance or belief, which is reflected in their identity and messaging.
  80. Building toward Something: This principle emphasizes the importance of a brand identity that reflects a journey towards a significant goal or vision, inspiring both the internal team and the audience.
  81. Promising Something: It involves creating a brand promise that resonates with the target audience, offering a clear and compelling reason to engage with the brand.
  82. The Truth Comes Out: This stresses the inevitability of a brand's true character revealing itself over time, highlighting the need for authenticity in every aspect of branding.
  83. Authenticity Grows: This principle underscores the importance of nurturing genuine and transparent relationships with customers, as authenticity tends to strengthen and deepen over time.
  84. Honesty Is Sustainable: It argues that honesty in branding is not just ethical but also sustainable in the long term, as it builds trust and loyalty among consumers.
  85. Stick with a Good Idea: Emphasizes the value of commitment to a strong, original branding idea, even in the face of trends and market changes.
  86. Program Confidence: This is about having confidence in the brand's identity program, ensuring that every aspect of the brand aligns with its core values and message.
  87. Decisive Brands: Highlights the importance of decisiveness in branding, where clear, confident decisions can lead to a strong, recognizable brand identity.
  88. The Sign of a Promise: Refers to the logo or brand mark as a symbol of the brand's promise to its customers, embodying its values and commitments.
  89. Customer Immersion: Suggests immersing the brand in the customer's world to understand their needs and preferences, leading to a more relevant and engaging brand identity.
  90. Positioning: Involves strategically placing the brand in the market and in the minds of consumers, differentiating it from competitors and making it relevant to the target audience.
  91. Do Your Homework: Emphasizes the importance of thorough research and understanding of the market, competitors, and audience before developing a brand identity.
  92. Constraints and Opportunities: This principle involves recognizing and leveraging the constraints in a branding project as opportunities for creative and innovative solutions.
  93. Know Your Customer: Stresses the need for in-depth knowledge of the target audience, including their desires, habits, and preferences, to create a brand that truly resonates with them.
  94. Experiencing the Logo: Suggests that a logo should be designed not just as a visual symbol but as an experience, creating a memorable and meaningful interaction with the audience.
  95. Connecting the Dots: Refers to creating a coherent brand experience across all touchpoints, ensuring that every aspect of the brand is interconnected and consistent.
  96. Customer Experience Planning: Involves planning the entire customer journey with the brand, considering every interaction and touchpoint to enhance the overall brand experience.
  97. A Good Idea: This principle highlights the importance of a strong, original idea at the core of the brand identity, serving as the foundation for all branding efforts.
  98. Contextual Inspiration: Encourages drawing inspiration from a variety of contexts and environments, leading to a more diverse and rich brand identity.
  99. 99% Perspiration: Acknowledges that creating a successful brand identity requires a significant amount of hard work, dedication, and continuous effort.
  100. Keep It Simple: Emphasizes the power of simplicity in branding, suggesting that a clear, uncomplicated brand identity is often the most effective and memorable.

Michael Bierut is a renowned graphic designer and partner at the design firm Pentagram. His book, "How to Use Graphic Design to Sell Things, Explain Things, Make Things Look Better, Make People Laugh, Make People Cry, and (Every Once in a While) Change the World," encapsulates his vast experience and insights into the power of design. In contemporary society, graphic design is pivotal. It transcends mere aesthetics, becoming a critical tool for communication, branding, and emotional engagement. Bierut’s work showcases how thoughtful design can influence perceptions, convey messages, and even drive social change, highlighting the indispensable role of graphic design in our daily lives.

Graphic Design in Business: How graphic design helps sell products and services?

Graphic design plays a crucial role in business, particularly in marketing and branding strategies. Michael Bierut's work with Saks Fifth Avenue exemplifies this impact.

  • Creating a Brand Identity:

Bierut's work for Saks Fifth Avenue involved creating a distinctive brand identity. This was achieved by designing nearly 60 different bags and boxes, each unique due to a modular logo system​​. Such diversity in packaging ensures that the brand stands out and remains memorable to customers.

  • Linking Tradition with Modernity:

The redesign of Saks' logo involved deconstructing the vintage logo, signaling change while maintaining a connection with the store's history​​. This balance between tradition and modernity is key in appealing to a broad customer base, ensuring that loyal customers feel connected while also attracting new clientele.

  • Seasonal Campaigns and Thematic Consistency:

Bierut's approach included the use of thematic seasonal campaigns. For instance, the fall 2010 "I'm going to Saks" campaign used photography and varied themes while maintaining certain elements like a black-and-white color scheme and a square layout grid​​. This approach helps in keeping the brand fresh and dynamic, attracting attention across different seasons.

  • Innovative Design Techniques:

Innovative design techniques were employed, such as the intricate patterns designed by Jennifer Kinon for the spring 2010 campaign, where each of the ten letters in the theme was associated with one of the ten catalogs Saks publishes each year​​. Such techniques make the brand visually appealing and engaging.

  • Integration with Architecture:

The graphic design was also integrated with the architecture of the store. The new pattern complemented the filigree of the flagship store's classic architecture, linking the brand's visual identity with its physical presence​​.

Bierut's work for Saks Fifth Avenue illustrates how graphic design is not just about aesthetics but about creating a comprehensive visual language that resonates with customers and enhances the brand's identity. This approach is essential for businesses to differentiate themselves in a competitive market.

Graphic Design as a Communication Tool:The role of graphic design in explaining complex ideas?

Graphic design is a powerful tool for communicating complex ideas, as illustrated by the design for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. This case study exemplifies how graphic design can simplify and convey intricate concepts to a broad audience.

  • The Doomsday Clock as a Visual Analogy:

The Doomsday Clock was created as a simple yet impactful visual representation of the threat of global nuclear war. Artist Martyl Langsdorf designed the first cover of the Bulletin, featuring the Clock set at seven minutes to midnight, symbolizing the looming danger of nuclear proliferation​​.

  • Communicating Complexity through Simplicity:

The Clock's design eschews detailed imagery like mushroom clouds for a straightforward, easily understandable symbol. Its simplicity allows it to effectively communicate the severity of nuclear threats. Over the years, the minute hand of the Clock has been moved 20 times, reflecting changing global circumstances, which demonstrates the design's adaptability in conveying evolving threats​​.

  • Evolution of the Design to Include Broader Issues:

Originally a symbol for nuclear threats, the Doomsday Clock has evolved to incorporate other existential dangers such as bioterrorism and climate change. This expansion shows the versatility of graphic design in addressing a range of complex issues. The Clock's design remains straightforward yet effective in communicating the seriousness of these threats​​.

The design of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists showcases the power of graphic design in distilling complex ideas into clear, impactful visual messages. This approach makes intricate issues more accessible and understandable to a wider audience, emphasizing the significant role of graphic design in communication.

Aesthetic Value of Graphic Design:How graphic design enhances visual appeal and creates identity?

Graphic design significantly enhances visual appeal and creates identity, as seen in the case of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).

  • Creating Identity with Typography:

For BAM, a distinctive approach was taken by treating the bland sans serif News Gothic typeface in a unique way. This created a look that communicated "BAM" even without the explicit presence of a logo. The typeface used was designed in the same year BAM's Opera House opened, linking the design to the academy's rich history​​.

  • Idiosyncratic Design Elements:

BAM's design included idiosyncratic headline treatments, initially disorienting but later becoming synonymous with the academy's identity. This approach demonstrates how innovative and unconventional design choices can become integral to an organization's brand​​.

  • Visual Metaphors and Economy in Design:

The graphic design for BAM included a clever use of space and metaphor. By cutting off the type as if it couldn’t fit in the frame, the design suggested that BAM's influence crossed borders and couldn't be contained. This not only created a striking visual metaphor but also was an economical use of space, demonstrating the multifaceted benefits of thoughtful graphic design​​.

These examples highlight how graphic design goes beyond mere aesthetics, playing a crucial role in creating and reinforcing an organization's identity. It illustrates the potential of graphic design to communicate character and ethos visually, making it an indispensable tool in establishing a memorable and distinctive brand presence.

Emotional Impact of Graphic Design, design evokes emotions

The emotional impact of graphic design is vividly demonstrated in the campaigns for The Robin Hood Foundation, particularly their Library Initiative. This initiative exemplifies how design can evoke emotions and contribute to meaningful change.

  • Transforming Educational Spaces:

The Robin Hood Foundation, known for its charitable work in New York, focused on transforming the quality of education in public schools. One of their major challenges was redesigning school libraries. The design solution involved using oversized portraits in the libraries, which not only filled the unused space but also brought a sense of life and inspiration to the rooms​​.

  • Involvement of Renowned Artists and Designers:

To enhance the impact of their initiative, the Foundation involved some of New York's best illustrators and designers. This collaboration led to the creation of unique and memorable spaces. For example, illustrator Peter Arkle interviewed students and included their words in his black-and-white portraits at one of the schools, making the space more personal and emotionally resonant​​.

  • Design as a Tool for Emotional Connection:

The initiative underscored the idea that while design alone can't save the world, it can provide the tools and inspiration to make a difference. By transforming educational environments, the design choices made under this initiative helped foster a sense of belonging, inspiration, and motivation among the students. The designers and artists worked to create spaces that were not only functional but also emotionally engaging​​.

The Robin Hood Foundation’s Library Initiative showcases how graphic design can be used to create emotionally impactful environments, especially in educational settings. By integrating art and design into everyday spaces, the initiative helped foster a more inspiring and engaging learning environment, highlighting the power of design in touching human emotions and driving positive change.

Graphic Design and Social Change:How graphic design can be a powerful tool for social and political change?

Graphic design can be a potent tool for social and political change, as exemplified by projects like the Voting Booth Project.

  • The Voting Booth Project as a Response to Political Controversy:

The project was a direct response to the controversial 2000 presidential election in the United States, where the outcome was mired in confusion due to flawed ballot design in Palm Beach County. The symbol of this confusion, the Votomatic portable voting booths, became the centerpiece of the project. New York City hotelier André Balazs purchased decommissioned booths and distributed them to designers for creative alteration​​.

  • Engagement of Artists and Designers:

Fifty designers and artists, including notable names like David Byrne, Bonnie Siegler, Emily Oberman, Milton Glaser, and Maira Kalman, were invited to modify a voting booth each. This collective endeavor was not just about art; it was a powerful commentary on the democratic process and the importance of clear, functional design in voting​​.

  • Graphic Design as a Medium for Political Expression:

The designers transformed the booths in various ways, some delicately and others less subtly. For instance, Michael Bierut and his partner Jim Biber's approach involved driving over a booth with a steamroller, symbolizing the crushing impact of the voting issues. Such bold expressions brought attention to the critical role of design in the functioning of democracy and the potential consequences of its neglect.

The Voting Booth Project highlights how graphic design, when leveraged creatively and thoughtfully, can be a powerful medium for initiating conversations about social and political issues. It demonstrates that design is not just an aesthetic tool but can also be a catalyst for awareness, discussion, and potentially, change.

What are brand touch points?

brand touch point list

The transformative power of graphic design

In conclusion, Michael Bierut's work and insights reveal the transformative power of graphic design. This creative field extends far beyond the realm of aesthetics, proving to be a vital tool for communication, identity formation, emotional engagement, and social change.

  1. Graphic Design in Business and Branding:
  2. As seen in the work for Saks Fifth Avenue, graphic design is crucial in shaping a brand's identity and effectively communicating its values to the consumer. Innovative design strategies not only enhance visual appeal but also deeply embed a brand in the public consciousness.
  3. Design as a Communication Tool:
  4. Complex ideas, like those presented in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, are made accessible and understandable through clever design. This simplification and visualization of intricate concepts make graphic design an indispensable tool for education and awareness.
  5. Aesthetic Value and Identity Creation:
  6. Projects like the Brooklyn Academy of Music demonstrate how design can create a unique identity, transforming spaces and experiences. This aspect of design adds depth and character to organizations, making them visually distinct and memorable.
  7. Emotional Impact:
  8. The emotional resonance of design is powerfully displayed in projects like the Robin Hood Foundation’s Library Initiative, where design transforms educational environments, fostering a sense of inspiration and engagement.
  9. Social and Political Change:
  10. Perhaps most importantly, graphic design serves as a catalyst for social and political change. The Voting Booth Project is a prime example of how design can highlight critical issues, encourage discourse, and potentially drive change.

Bierut's belief in the potential of design to change the world is not just an optimistic view; it is a reality grounded in the impact seen across various sectors. From enhancing business strategies to shaping social discourse, graphic design proves time and again that it is a powerful force for change, capable of touching every aspect of our lives in meaningful ways.

When designing a logo, a branding agency consider the following key elements:

  1. Simplicity: A simple design ensures versatility and easy recognition.
  2. Relevance: The logo should be appropriate for the business and resonate with the target audience.
  3. Distinctiveness: A unique design helps stand out from competitors.
  4. Memorability: The logo should be easy to remember and make a lasting impression.
  5. Timelessness: Avoid trends to ensure the logo remains effective over time.
  6. Adaptability: The design should work across various media and scales.
  7. Cohesiveness: Ensure the logo aligns with the overall brand identity.

These guidelines help create a logo that effectively represents and promotes the brand it's designed for.

The Importance of Active Client Participation and Collaboration in the Creative Process

In the world of creative work, the role of clients is often overlooked. However, the best projects, the award-winning work that captures our attention, and the ideas we wish we had created all start with clients. They are the ones who inspire and contribute to the creative process, challenging and empowering us to create our finest work.

Active client participation and collaboration are crucial elements in the creative process. They bring diverse perspectives, generate new ideas, and strengthen existing ones. By working together, clients and creatives can create something unique and impactful.

Empowering Clients

Empowering clients means giving them the power to co-create new products and services. This approach fosters an environment where both clients and creatives are active participants in the creative process[1]. It allows clients to share their ideas, insights, and experiences, which can lead to innovative and impactful results.

Challenging Creatives

Clients who challenge creatives to be better push the boundaries of what is possible. They inspire new ideas and encourage creatives to think outside the box. This dynamic fosters a culture of continuous improvement and innovation, leading to work that is more than the sum of its parts.

Navigating Disagreements

True collaboration means navigating through disagreements and fostering an environment where both client and creative learn and grow. These debates can lead to a deeper understanding of the project's goals and objectives, ultimately resulting in better outcomes.

Building Strong Relationships

The strength of the relationship lies in the mutual belief that together, clients and creatives can create something unique. This belief fosters a strong bond between the two parties, leading to a successful and rewarding collaboration.

In conclusion, active client participation and collaboration are essential for achieving creative excellence. They bring diverse perspectives, generate new ideas, and strengthen existing ones. By working together, clients and creatives can create something unique and impactful. So, let's embrace the power of collaboration and create something extraordinary together.

What is Branding?

In the context of B2B branding, the debate about pursuing differentiation versus distinctiveness is crucial, especially in saturated markets. While meaningful differentiation in markets with a plethora of similar products (like CRM tools or email marketing platforms) can be challenging, it isn't necessarily unattainable. However, the emphasis by some experts on achieving 'meaningless distinctiveness' rather than differentiation is noteworthy. Distinctive brand assets are awesome!

They help customers recognise and remember you.

This approach, backed by researchers like Byron Sharp, argues that in saturated markets, being distinctively recognizable (through unique brand assets like logos, mascots, or slogans) can be more beneficial for long-term success than striving for product-based differentiation. Distinctiveness aids in ensuring that a brand stands out in the consumer's mind, reducing confusion with competitors.

However, this doesn't diminish the value of innovation or meaningful differentiation where possible. For example, OpenAI's early innovation in large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT provided a significant advantage in mental availability, despite many similar technologies emerging later.

In essence, for B2B companies in highly competitive or mature markets, focusing on building a distinct brand identity might be a more practical and effective strategy than seeking to differentiate on product features alone. Yet, if a company can achieve meaningful differentiation, it certainly adds to its competitive edge.

What are the key factors to consider during a rebranding process?

The success of a rebranding effort largely depends on how well the new design system aligns with the organization's goals and narrative, and how effectively it can be implemented across various assets and platforms. Let's break down the important points you've raised:

Usability of the New Design System:

The ability of the sales and marketing teams to create new assets from day one using the new design system is crucial. This includes applications across sales decks, digital interfaces, and in-person events. The design system should be intuitive and easy to use for these teams.

Key Qualities of the New Design System:

  1. Fits the Brand Narrative ("Discover and Unlock"): The design system should reflect and reinforce the brand's deeper story or message.
  2. Elevates What Matters (Impact): It should highlight key elements of the brand and its message without unnecessary embellishments.
  3. Practical and Scalable: The system should be straightforward to understand and flexible enough to be expanded or adapted as needed.

Balancing Creativity and Practicality:

While seeking the most creative output is tempting, it's important to remember that post-agency, the internal team will be responsible for the execution. This means there needs to be a balance between innovative, 'wild' ideas and what is realistically achievable by the organization's own team.

This approach emphasizes the importance of a design system that not only looks good but also works well within the operational capabilities of the organization. It's about finding that sweet spot where creativity meets practicality, ensuring the rebranding is not only visually appealing but also functional and sustainable in the long run.

Everything Design is a Branding Agency in India and we would like to take you through everything about Branding. We build brands with purpose. Before we jump right on to understanding what a ‘brand purpose’ means, let's start by setting the ground to understand what 'branding' means. We are a Brand Strategy Design Consultancy.

What is Branding in 2024?

Let's look at some literature first.

“Branding is endowing products and services with the power of a brand” Kotler & Keller, 2015

Branding is the process of giving a meaning to specific organization, company, products or services by creating and shaping a brand in consumers’ minds. It is a strategy designed by organizations to help people to quickly identify and experience their brand, and give them a reason to choose their products over the competition’s, by clarifying what this particular brand is and is not - The Branding Journal

Branding is the marketing practice of actively shaping your brand. That's the basic definition, but there is so much more that goes into it. When you design a logo, that’s branding. When you develop your brand voice, that’s branding. When you get together with your marketing team to brainstorm an ad campaign, that’s branding. Any action you take to shape your brand is, in a nutshell, branding - 99 Designs

“Brands are essentially patterns of familiarity, meaning, fondness, and reassurance that exist in the minds of people.” - Tom Goodwin

A brand is a customer's gut feeling about a product or a company - Marty Neumeier

Cambridge Dictionary defines branding as “the act of giving a company a particular design or symbol in order to advertise its products and services.”

Branding is the perpetual process of identifying, creating, and managing the cumulative assets and actions that shape the perception of a brand in stakeholders’ minds - Brandingmag

Well, sorry Cambridge Dictionary, we completely disagree with you. You make absolutely no sense. You are confused between brand identity (aka. logo) and actual branding.

And it's not only Cambridge Dictionary but most brands and individuals confuse and completely misunderstand Branding by limiting it to it's visual elements and aesthetic components; Visual identity including the brand logo, colors, and typography.

Branding is establishing the emotional connection.

Let me repeat - Branding is not limited to it's polished outlook. Branding goes way beyond just a logo or the graphic elements.

Branding requires a lot of effort. Branding is designed. Again, when I say 'designed', I don't mean visual design here. When you hear a brand name, what comes to your mind is designed. It is carefully planned and strategically crafted and built. While some are designed well, some are designed poorly, and some just happen.

If you allow your customers to decide what the brand stands for, it can take a different route than what you intended. And trust me, no business owner should do that. By actively understanding and shaping your brand’s personality you can take your brand reputation in your own hands.

Branding vs Marketing

Branding establishes the why behind the brand, the look and feel, the positioning and differentiator in the market place. All of it combined is the beginning of the branding. And then it gets complicated. Branding is something that gets people to come back, and marketing is something that brings people to you in the first place - Fabian Geyrhalter

Branding done Visually - Visual Branding

We use symbols, language and marks to convey what a brand is, so that others can understand it and relate to it. People first see colour, then they see shape, then numbers and letters, then they may read - Debbie Millman

May be this is why branding is always misunderstood with visual elements, like logo.

Branding is the promise you make to your customers. More specifically, your brand is the set of emotions and perceptions that you intentionally cultivate around your business, which you constantly communicate to your customers through a series of visual and verbal cues.

Good aesthetics can make a brand easily identifiable and get your core message across.

The more attractive or appealing a website is perceived to be, the more likely web users will form a favourable behavioural intention toward the website - Barbara S Chaparro

Its true for almost everything in life. Visual appeal is an extremely important aspect of brand design – particularly when it comes to building a lasting relationship and brand affinity with your customers. Although, at the same time, it’s important not to neglect the basics. You can read more about the importance of visual appeal in web design here.

Elements of Branding

Let me not start with Logo/ Brand Identity Design. Its definitely not the first element a brand need.

Branding should start with Brand Strategy and then Brand Messaging. And its not a one time process. Even after you set your foundations you will need to constantly update your Brand Strategy. It doesn't mean you change everything. As time evolves, brands also need to evolve. Sometimes with a new brand strategy, companies change their identity/ logo and visual look as well to relate to the new avatar.

Calendly is ditching its conventional branding for a bold yet simple look, which reflects its role in keeping things neat and convenient. The rebrand coincides with a period of growth and innovation at the company, which wanted to modernize its visuals to reflect its current and future capabilities and ambition.

Now let's look at some typical brand elements.

  • Logo - A logo is a brand’s whole personality boiled down into an easy-to-recognize image. Well logo is a very important, but it's only one element of visual branding.
  • Color palette - Colors express key values and personality traits. The colors in your palette work together to express your brand while giving it a unique look.
  • Shapes/ Brand Patterns - Different shapes convey specific brand values and other aspects of your identity. Also its an identification element like the logo.
  • Tagline - It doesn’t necessarily tell people what you do, it tells them what to expect. “Just do it" - the most well-known tagline in the world. Nike’s message is clear: don’t hesitate, take action. Get up, exercise, do what you know is right for your body and your mind—no excuses, just do it.
  • Tone of voice and vocabulary - A brand’s tone of voice is the voice you read in all the copy produced by the brand, like the emails you receive from them, the content on their website and the language they use on social media.Starbucks developed their own unique branded vocabulary to differentiate their product offerings from other brands. Its not small, its short for them.
  • Fonts - Much like specific colors correlate to different emotions and traits, so do fonts’ components. Type is always communicative, even if it wasn't designed with that goal in mind, but there are some great ways to really make it shout, font matters.
  • Imagery - Brand imagery works closely with other elements of branding, like color and shape. Brand imagery is one visual story-telling component of branding.
  • Positioning - Positioning is simply creating a space in the minds of the customer. A brand’s positioning has a direct impact on its branding. Positioning is the niche in the market that a brand fills. When you determine your brand’s persona, you determine not just what it offers buyers, but how it fits among other brands in its space.

Taste, Smell, Interactions, UX, UI, Sound, Location, Iconography are other elements of branding.

As you can see, building a brand means way more than just designing a logo!

  • Branding isn’t a logo or identity design, it includes them because your logo and identity communicates a message to your users.
  • Branding isn’t marketing, it not only includes your attempts at promoting your company, but products or services communicates a message to your users.
  • Branding isn’t advertising, promotions, merchandise, taglines or messaging, it includes all of these things because that is how you reach out to new customers or acquire new customers.
Font Matters

Why is Branding important?

Branding is absolutely critical to a business because of the overall impact it makes on your company. Branding can change how people perceive your brand, it can drive new business, and increase brand value – but it can also do the opposite if done wrongly or not at all.

It's just like your reputation, you are going to be judged anyway by the people you meet. Its your responsibility to give the right signals to build the reputation you want. If you are not careful enough and behave recklessly, even if the reality is something else, perception will build in a different way. And it is going to affect you one way or the other.

So, we said we build brands with purpose.

What is a ‘Brand Purpose?’

Branding is driven by a brand purpose.

Purpose is the ‘Why’ : It answers why you exist. It is the higher-order reason for being a brand or a business that is driven by a reason than one that’s solely focused on ‘making profits’ or ‘maximizing shareholder value’.

Vision is the ‘Where’ : It tells you where you want to get to; It is futuristic. This is a destination you want your brand or business to reach in the future (e.g. ‘We want to be the world’s leading provider of X by 2020').

Mission(s) are the ‘What’ : Mission(s) lays down what needs to be done in order to get there. These could be specific initiatives or tactics centered around product development, operational excellence, go-to-market strategies or brand communications.

‘One Purpose: Many Missions’ is a phrase that brings it to life for me.

Values are the ‘How’ : It tells you how you would like to behave in order to get there. What are the qualities or behaviors that shape the organizational culture of the company or the brand? For instance, curiosity, inclusivity, diversity of thought etc. More about brand purpose.

Why is Purpose important to build a Brand?

Its very similar to human lives. You will be happy in life if you have a purpose. Why do you exist, if you don't have an answer, your life can be all over the place.

Modern consumers want brands who stand for something. One of the biggest problem why brands fail is the lack of alignment between a business, its employees and its customers. A brand’s purpose has to resonate enough and connect with its customers to get their buy-in. Only then the brand will be able to make an impact in the market.

Every contact your customer has with any aspect of your organisation is an experience they have with your brand.

Google: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Coca-Cola: “To refresh the world…To inspire moments of optimism and happiness.”

Walmart: “Saving people money so they can live better.”

Microsoft: "Empowering people and organizations to achieve more"

Amazon: "The most customer-centric company"

Apple: "Creating a better world through technology and design"

Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.”

Nike is all about inspiration. If you look at any of their ads they talk very little about their product. Its all about movement, action, inspiration, do something. When you own a product from nike you are becoming part of that community. You also want some of that action. That is exactly nike counting on.

Starbucks: “Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”

A perfect and little expensive coffee shop that will offer customers delicious and rich coffee. They have developed strategic partnerships with business houses to sell Starbucks coffee in big companies and organizations. But Starbucks is a lot more than coffee. They are the first to introduce internet facility in their shops. So, it can be said that Starbucks positioned itself as a technologically equipped coffee store where people can sit, relax, chat with people over a cup of coffee and also surf internet or do their important work by utilizing internet facility. They literally hear their customer suggestions and implement them.

Their motto is to serve best coffee, provide best place and offer best services.

Starbucks’ positioning strategy was ‘Authentic Coffee, Great Experience and Quicker Delivery’.

Zappos: “Delivering Happiness.”

PS: Key messages from "Delivering Happiness" by Tony Hsieh, the multimillionaire CEO of Zappos.

iD: "iD’s product positioning is 100 percent natural."

Vision - To become a fresh food brand, admired and trusted the world over. To grow into a 1000 crore market leader. To become one of the best and most sought-after companies to work for.

Mission - To make the preparation of home-made meals a pleasure

Values - Speed, Simplicity, Authenticity, Integrity

Now customers do believe that any product that comes from iD will have a certain standard. That certainty is what helps customers to stay loyal to a brand. People don't like surprises, where consistency is expected.

Can you build a brand without having a purpose?

In certain categories and in certain countries based on many factors, many brands will be financially successful even if they don't follow a good purpose. But I would say its a matter of time. Either they will need to fix things moving forward, or the competition is going to use it against them.

“Companies with purpose last, brands with purpose grow, people with purpose thrive” - Kris Michiels, Marketing Director, Unilever

A quick glance at the world’s most successful companies reveals they’ve all got one thing in common: they lead with their principles. Whether it’s Apple and their commitment to disruptive innovation and change, summed up by ‘Think different’, or Amazon who are well on the way to achieving their aim of being ‘Earth’s Most Customer-centric Company’ – brands that define, articulate and live a purpose simply do better.

“People don’t trust brands, they trust what people they like say about them” - Ann Maes, FLRISH

Brands should carefully design that narrative people say about them.

A lot of this will not make sense to you immediately, because branding is not logical and so are people.

The expression that “People buy on emotion and justify with logic” has always made intuitively sense to me, but rationally it sounded nonsense.

When to Sell with Facts and Figures, and When to Appeal to Emotions

If you want to influence how a customer feels about your product, provide an experience that creates the desired emotion. One of the best ways for a customer to experience your complex product is by sharing a vivid customer story. And it's all part of the branding.

Infographic about career goals of millennials what they care about Brands

Now you know your Brand's Purpose - How do you position it!

What is Brand Positioning?

Once we have identified the brand purpose, vision, mission and values, we can build on the brand positioning. It is how we differentiate ourselves from our competition.

Now don't mistake the brand positioning with a fancy line or set of phrases that you can throw around. Your positioning line is crucial for everyone to be on the same page, but as a brand you need to live upto it and constantly communicate it, internally and externally.

A brand's positioning is the internal expression of its purpose. It is the guiding light of the brand. Your brand positioning is the heart and soul of your business - part of your business DNA.

PS : There are two types of branding - internal branding and external branding.

What is External Branding and what is Internal Branding?

An external brand communicates your company’s promise to customers. An internal brand should align with and support the external brand, but it has a separate mission: to build a culture that engages employees and motivates them to deliver on that promise.

Communicating to two separate audiences requires two separate messages, and one shouldn’t do the work of the other - RSW Creative

What makes a good Brand Positioning?

Built on factors that are important to the consumers, especially your target audience.

Unique enough that it sets you apart from your competition.

Consistently deliver on the brand promise, it builds trust.

Positioning that focus on unique selling propositions that your competitor cannot easily replicate.

Have a brand promise - what is the most compelling (emotional/rational) benefit to your target customers that your brand can own relative to your competition?

A successful brand position is all about the follow through

What is a Brand Promise?

A brand promise tells your customer, either explicitly or implicitly, what they can expect from your product or service. It sets their expectations on the quality of your products or services. According to Gallup, only about 50 per cent of customers expect a brand to actually deliver on what it says it will.

Advantages of having a clear Brand Positioning

A clear brand positioning can be instrumental in many ways. Let's look at some of the advantages and benefits you can reap.

Brand recall

Volvo is known for its safety first approach. Their core target audience is parents, they build products for families, and their unique point of difference is safety. Even though they do other things well, they want to own and claim the market position of safety. A brand positioning statement outlines exactly what your company does, for whom, and what makes you different.

Branding campaign of Volvo

"If you want to build a brand, you must focus your efforts on owning a word in the prospects’ mind. A word nobody else owns" - Al Ries

Brand loyalty

Loyal customers are important strategic assets which gives the firm a sustainable competitive advantage over competitors. Apple is a brand with one of the highest levels of customer loyalty and this has catapulted them to the dominant position they enjoy today.

Apple is the world's most valuable brand and lego is the most powerful brand.

Brand Value

Market differentiation

Brand does not automatically differentiates a company from its competitors. The brand has to stand for something, be recognized by the target audience, and communicate something unique and different from the competition.

Compete on factors other than price

Successful brands like Apple and Starbucks are selling you much more than just computers and coffee-they're selling you the entire experience of interacting with their brand. Enables your brand to charge and sustain a price premium.

Emotional appeal marketing

Emotional marketing is marketing to the consumer's specific feelings to incite an emotional response. It works because your customers get a reason to attach themselves with your brand and with that comes brand loyalty.

Helmet Campaign Poster by AIP Foundation

This Helmet Campaign Poster by AIP Foundation (Southeast Asia) is one of the best marketing campaigns that induces an emotional response; fear. And this is one amongst many out in the market.

Cadbury India encapsulates the emotion of happiness and celebration in all of their marketing efforts. Cadbury dairy milk takes an integral part as a perfect gift for any kind of occasion, be it Diwali or Valentine’s day. Consumers feel that they share love and affection when they gift the chocolate.

Even strategies such as limited-time offer/sale, free shipping, etc. play with the customers emotions; greed. Customers believe that they are getting more for what they are paying.

Value-based marketing

Value-based marketing is when brands appeal to customers on shared values and beliefs.

Let's take Dove for example. Dove uses values surrounding their mission statement. It amplifies the importance of 'real beauty' and stands for the idea that beauty can be found within, as opposed to other brands in the market. This factor alone makes Dove stand out and not look like a mere business-driven brand but as a group of individuals who care for the good of the society.

Consistent brand message and identity

Brand consistency can increase sales by 23% on average

Your brand message and identity needs to be consistent across all channels-If you are streamlining your look, feel and essence, you are doing it right. It is as much about the customer experience as the visual elements. Consistent, strategic branding leads to a strong brand equity, which means the added value brought to your company's products or services that allows you to charge more for your brand than what identical, unbranded products command.

Take Coca Cola for example, every bottle of coca cola retains consistent taste, every social media channel uses the same brand colors, voice and tone. Their primary messaging revolves around sharing happiness. When you see the white typography on red, you know it is Coca Cola without any doubt.

Direction for your marketing strategy

Having a clear brand positioning can give your marketing strategy a sense of direction. In today's age, integrated marketing communication and being omnichannel is vital. What's more important is to have a clear line of thought to align and unify the ultimate brand message. Take, Volvo, their marketing strategy is focused on primarily one thing: safety.

Attracts and retains the best employee talent

Today, employees are in search for a meaningful work. Take TATA for example. People desire to work for TATA because of the brand's values and positioning. Company culture also plays a vital role. Brands like Apple, who thrive on innovation, encourage out of the box thinking and hence attracts talents that believes and wants to be a part of the culture.

Word of Mouth Marketing

How do you know about the smartphone app Truecaller? I’m sure you heard your friends talk about it and use it and that’s how you ended up using the service.

Word of mouth is still the most organic and powerful marketing tool as customers trust the words bespoken by another customer.

At the end of the day, a clear brand positioning will help you understand who you are targeting and what your brand stands for. This will enable you to be true to your values and consistent in your messaging. This creates a clear, concise and consistent picture of your company which means that your customer will have no difficulty in representing your company accurately. Your best salesforce is your current customers.

How to integrate your Brand Positioning in your customer’s mind?

You should have brand positioning strategy to achieve this. Its really hard and it needs a lot of critical thinking.

List all your brand’s touch points—every point of interaction with your customer.  With a critical, yet intuitive eye, ask:

How can I more fluidly communicate my brand’s desired position?

Does every touch point look, say, and feel like the brand I want my customers to perceive?

People buy from who they know, who they like and who they trust. People buy from people. And people have personality. So when you design you brand's personality you also actually defining your branding. Goal of marketing is to make it easier to find you than your competitor, it's that simple. And branding helps to build the right story.

What is Brand Personality?

Brand personality is a set of characteristics attributed to a brand in the eyes of a customer. And these set of characteristics are the elements of branding. See how they are all coming together.

A brand’s personality is what shapes the public perception of a brand based on how it acts, what is says and what it looks like.

How to develop the best Brand Personality for you?

The top priority in your brand personality is meeting your target customer’s preferences.

Make a list of adjectives to describe your ideal brand personality, again keeping your target customer’s preferences in mind.

If your brand were a person, how would he/she behave? What kind of dressing? How does that person act? What topics he/she is interested in and talk about?

Calm has pledged to pay fines for any player who chooses to skip media appearances in the 2021 Grand Slam for mental health reasons. This is the kind of thing a person would do, and here calm is doing it like a person.

In times of crisis, be a Host - AirBnB. Airbnb is waiving host and guest fees for refugee stays.

What happens when you get your Brand Positioning wrong?

Products fail. Let's take Tata Nano as a case.

According to Ramanujam Sridhar, Founder CEO, Brand-comm, their very positioning as the “people’s car” went against them - Ramanuj Sridhar

“In India, a car is a status symbol. People here don’t want to buy a cheap car, no matter how well it has been engineered or how wonderful the features are. The brand basically came out with a corporate statement saying that this is a car that anyone can afford. They, of course, tried to rectify this positioning through ad campaigns later but the damage was already done,” said Sridhar.

What is Brand Differentiation?

Brand differentiation is the means by which your brand is set apart from the competition, by associating a superior performing aspect of your brand with multiple customer benefits.

There are three qualities every prospective differentiator must have to meet what you might call the differentiation test. They must be:

  1. True – Your differentiators have to be grounded in reality.
  2. Relevant – If it doesn’t matter to your clients, it doesn’t matter.
  3. Provable – Anyone can claim a quality. You have to be able to prove it.

When everyone claims that they provide great customer service, the best people, and a proprietary process, those things become a lot less relevant to your buyers. And you should ask yourself if you can truly prove any of them. What does it mean, anyway, to “strive for excellence”?

Forget, for a moment, your product or service features and benefits. Instead, try and imagine what you can say about your product or service that puts in different category to the rest of the competition!

How To Create A New Category?

The new category should be based on the value offerings a brand can offer to the customer. For that, the company has to observe customers’ needs, desires, and pains and choose value propositions that will solve customers' pains and match the business’s core strengths and values.

A great example is Marlboro cigarette brand which was relaunched in 1953 as a “masculine cigarette” brand and had great success. They did not say it was a new category. However they created a visual anchor – the Marlboro Cowboy – to firmly establish themselves as the cigarette for men.

Michael Porter writes, “A company can outperform rivals only if it can establish a difference that it can preserve. It must offer greater value to customers or create comparable value at a lower cost, or do both”

What is Brand Storytelling or Brand Messaging?

Brand storytelling is using a narrative to connect your brand to customers, with a focus on linking what you stand for to the values you share with your customers.

Brand messaging refers to the underlying value proposition conveyed and language used in your content. It’s what makes buyers relate to your brand because it’s inspirational, persuasive, motivational, and well, sticky.  Ultimately, it makes customers want to buy your product.

“By narrative, we mean storytelling elements. A story includes characters, setting, conflict, rising action, climax, and dénouement. By what you stand for, we mean the essence of your brand. It’s not the product you sell, and it’s not to make money. It’s the driving force behind your business, and it differentiates you from the competition. Values are the character traits of your company that define it … A company’s values are the best behaviors of your best employees on their best days.” Scribwise

A brand story is made up of all that you are and all that you do. From the company’s history, mission, inspiration, goals, audience, and raison d’être, it’s why you exist.

Storytelling in Marketing: 3 Successful Examples - Content Marketing Institute

Here you can read what four marketing and business leaders from three national and global brands do to create and support powerful purpose-driven strategies.

If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.

Here are few videos which tells what the brand stands for

This is Branding.

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Allied Universal

Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care - Cleveland Clinic

Branding is endless work

But you have to start with something solid. It requires a lot of research and understanding about you and your target audience.

Employee Branding vs Employer Branding

Employee branding is the process by which employees internalize the desired brand image and are motivated to project the image to customers and other organizational constituents.

Employer branding is the process of managing and influencing your reputation as an employer among job seekers, employees and key stakeholders.  It encompasses everything you do to position your organization as an employer of choice.

Additional read on Employer Branding

What is a Branding Strategy?

A branding strategy revolves around all the intangible elements that over time drive brand awareness, brand equity, and brand sentiment. The main goal of a successful branding strategy is to let the world know that your brand exists, what purpose it has, and what defines it. A branding strategy is a fluid, long-term strategy that often requires being revisited over time based on its success. All of what we discussed so far is a result of Brand Strategy.

To wrap it up

A business is only as strong as branding. And the branding, as strong as the purpose - a purpose that the organization stands by and commits to. Branding goes way beyond the visual elements and only when you hit all the nails right will you be able to attain success in the ultimate branding game. Brand authority drives business growth. Brand authority is a big part of helping consumers trust a company, and trust is absolutely critical to acquiring and keeping customers.

Your brand should spread throughout your organization, across every touchpoint. And when your brand is purpose-driven, you’ll see tremendous growth and brand loyalty from your customers.

We are a Branding agency in Bangalore, and we believe in building brands with purpose. From creating your initial brand strategy to the visual elements, our approach to branding sprouts from answering the ‘why’.

If your brand needs branding assistance, reach out to us and we would love to help you identify and share your brand story, the right way.

PS - The simple rule of branding and marketing anything is to keep your promises. If you say your product is excellent, make it so. And communicate it damn well. Want a bigger brand? Make bigger promises. And keep them. A product is what you sell, a brand is the perceived image of the product you sell, and branding is the strategy to create that image.

Branding is not Brand. A brand is an emotional connection that influences our behaviour and actions.

Branding is not Brand Strategy. Brand Strategy influences the process of Branding, not the other way around.

Branding is not identity. A brand identity is who we are at the core. Changing our clothes doesn't change our identity.

Branding is not a creative asset. Creative assists are specifically made up of distinctive marks, logos, colours, illustrations etc.

Branding is not marketing. Marketing is the set of activities that help you promote your services and products.

Branding is not the overuse of brand assets. More use of assets is not more visibility.

Branding is not design. Design alone creates visual appeal without substance.

Branding is the consistent management of emotional connection through various touchpoints.

There parts of a Branding Project is Diagnosis, Strategy and Tactics - all there are equally important.

Design without Strategy is Lifeless, Strategy without Design is Mute.

A successful company is an overall goal for your team. And with a well-executed rebrand or brand refresh, you can position your brand to stand the test of time. Change is good, and while it may take time to see the results, your brand’s adaptability will be rewarded.

What are the pitfalls in Rebranding?

Rebranding efforts often fall short due to several pitfalls: superficial strategies lacking depth, overlooking the value of existing brand equity, failing to assess risks properly, absence of clear, measurable goals for success, and challenges in implementing and utilizing new brand assets effectively. Furthermore, even with outstanding creative work, if it doesn't address the client's core problems, the rebrand won't benefit the business as intended. These issues underscore the importance of a strategic, well-planned approach to rebranding that focuses on solving the right problems and achieving tangible, commercial objectives.

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