The core meaning of brand design and branding create a lot of confusion in the marketplace.
A brand is not a logo. A brand is not a colour, and a brand is not a typeface. Mind you, these are components of branding. Essentially a brand is what exist in the consumers mind about a company or entity. Think of it like a cumulative standing of all aspects of the business. Much like you may judge a person by their overall values by their words, actions, appearance, etc.
Every bit of communication a company has with the market and clients makes or breaks a company brand. The quality of the product speaks volumes, the customer service, the language, the advertisements, the company colours, the ethical / unethical dealings it has in the market. All of this forms the brand in the customers mind. Brand Management is a long term job, not just a once-off set and forget component of marketing.
Brand design is the process of how this perception of a company is influenced strategically. Juuce makes sure that company brand design is synonymous with the core philosophy. To make sure that the visual brand design and visual communications look right to the right people.
Most businesses know their market well, and know their products and services inside out. They know what to say, and whom to say it to but not sure how to say it specifically. We’d liken this to know which party and people you’d like to go tonight but have no idea what to wear to make the right impression. We say “right impression” because making a bad impression is possible worse than none at all.
The wrong sort of brand design for your business can alienate exactly the people you are looking to attract. We’ve all seen examples of terrible marketing and advertising brand design. This is simply the results of spur of the moment ideas put into production without much thought of their relevance and appropriateness to the company brand.
Every company is in a different stage with their branding strategy. Startups generally don’t have one, so they have a clean slate. There are businesses that have been around for a long time and have unknowingly created brand direction that needs some attention.
Then there are companies that truly need a change of course in their brand design. Perhaps the company is under new ownership or are chasing a new market. Maybe the last brand design approach was a disaster and needs to be forgotten a.s.a.p. – (politicians love this one). Re-branding is a common activity
The typical branding design process involve a good deal of research before any brainstorming is needed. Fundamentally it is important to know where a company is and where they design to be. To know their desired brand personality is key. The following steps are typical in resolving a fragmented company brand:
Solidify the company core values
State the values and aims in a company manifesto
Develop a core Trademark or Logotype that embodies the core values as far as possible
extend the visual systems via colors, typeface, image selections and layouts that further communicate the corporate values
Document the chosen elements into a “style guide” or brand guide (standards manual)
Use the design communications materials and the manual to ensure consistency.
The visual branding only makes up a part of the overall brand, albeit and important one – especially first impressions. Making a good first impression and a consistent impression is what good visual branding is about. Saying the right thing to the relevant people, and following up with a consistent personality.
A professional brand design company or corporate identity designer will not only have a great portfolio but also a good understanding of the role and importance of relevant brand design through research and experience.