What is Branding?
Branding or a company’s “brand” is often misused when referring to a company’s logo. While a company’s logo is a important part of branding, in truth branding is a global term that marketing professionals use to describe a company’s visual presence and voice.
The key to a successful brand is proper brand management. This entails constant yet flexible management of a company’s name, logo, fonts, colors, image style, tagline, copy style and most importantly message. A properly managed brand is seamless and should be instantly recognizable weather the consumer encounters your brand on a business card, billboard or on the web. Having a consistent message also allows you to maximize your advertising dollar.
The Branding Issue
So why is effective branding such a challenge for so many businesses? The answer, constancy. Many companies over the span of several years will have numerous people (newspaper & magazine designers, copy writers, printers, sign guys, salespeople, web designers) effect and often unintentionally tarnish a company’s brand over time.
A prime example of this is running an ad in the local newspaper. The process starts off with a salesperson selling you ad space. As a bonus the salesperson may offer you “free design” for buying the space. This sounds like a great way to save money but this is the point in time where your brand may take a costly hit. The salesperson works with you to come up with a promotion and hands it off to a designer. The designer finds a picture to match the promotion and chooses a “cool looking font” that makes the ad stand out on the page. They have you approve the ad and you sign the proof because it looks like what you had discussed with the salesperson. Seems like a harmless process and you may very well get a good return on your investment in the short term.
So what went wrong? That “cool looking font” and the image that matched the promotion were not constant with your brand. The colors & tagline used for the promotion may not have matched what your company has used in the past. If this same process is repeated with a magazine ad, the sign guy, and web designer, over time your brand has been represented by 20 different fonts, multiple styles of images, and 5 different color sets. Your company’s image and voice is now unfocused and inconstant. Clear, focused and consistent communication should always be the goal of any representation of your company.
Hire a reputable branding firm to effectively manage and maintain your brand. Dunckley Design has built and successfully managed brands for years. Our unique ability to manage and produce print materials as well as optimized websites allows us to provide consistency across a broad spectrum of media channels. Contact us today for a free brand evaluation. 941.716.0694 or click here to email us today.