Apple. Coca-Cola. Toyota. What do these names have in common?
Aside from fame and fortune, these names are some of the top brands in the world. These are names that almost all people in all corners of the globe recognize.
How did it become this way? The answer is in successful branding.
From brand naming to congruent messaging, there are fundamental elements that contribute to a strong and widely acknowledged brand. Ready to discover what these elements are?
What’s in a Name?
Apple is no longer just a fruit, Amazon is not just a forest, and Nike does not simply refer to the goddess of victory. Today, these names are more recognized for the brands that they are. These names represent generational icons that have become part of the modern world.
This is how branding has changed the world. It has the power to shift consciousness and influence action. Through brands and branding, a dynamic relationship is formed between consumers and companies. It is an evolving phenomenon, with the landscape changing as consumers gain more and more control over how brands are able to sway the public. Through the power of digital communication, a revolution has started in terms of how brands can influence people’s way of life.
The words “brands” and branding” have been casually thrown around and applied in different contexts. To put it simply, a brand is a set of associations or perceptions that an individual or group makes about a certain individual, organization, product, or service. Branding is the ability to create, control, and channel these associations to produce a desired action or reaction and help the business achieve its desired goals.
It doesn’t matter if you are the head of a fledgling multinational corporation, a marketing executive for a private cinema, or a budding entrepreneur of a local coffee shop. If you you want to push for better recognition and loyalty (among others) among your customers, then it is ideal that you strengthen your brand.
For those who want to elevate their business through building a strong brand, it is essential to consider the following elements:
1. Sound Brand Strategy
You need to start with a sound brand strategy. This is where you ask yourself what you want to happen to your brand. What are your communication and business objectives? Who are your target customers? Who are your competitors?
It would be advantageous to you if you can secure the services of a full-service branding agency to help you grow your brand with a well-thought-out plan. Having a reputable group of brand specialists on board will make it easier for you to conduct market research and apply the culled insights into designing a bespoke strategy that will direct your brand towards the path you choose.
2. Clear Brand Guidelines
You also need to have a defined set of brand guidelines. This will be your guide from which you will base all your communications and brand messages. It is a manual that carries all the rules and regulations that will put your brand and all its elements in the best light possible while maintaining consistency across all mediums.
Clear-cut instructions on the use of the brand’s logo or name will ensure that the brand’s existence across all applications will be constant. This will help breed familiarity with the target market as well as promote stronger brand recognition and recall.
3. Good Brand Name
The brand name plays a major role in promoting the brand and its products or services. It must not only be catchy, but also memorable, ownable, and relevant. It must be created with consideration to your brand positioning and business objectives.
A good name is something that needs careful assessment and insightful analysis. It will be something that your business will be known for. That is why it is essential that you get the assistance of brand naming experts who can lend you their expertise in creating names that matter and will stand the test of time.
4. Strong Brand Logo
A successful logo will spell the difference between success and failure when it comes to brand recall. While it is not the be-all and end-all of branding, it plays a key role in establishing the brand in the minds of your intended audience.
When coming up with your own logo, you must remember to make it unique and enticing. It must be fresh in the eyes of your audience while still retaining a timeless element so you can use it for years and years. You should also look into color and shape psychology as it can help guide you in terms of what will work best for your target market and objectives. Simplicity is also beauty, along with consistency and adaptability.
5. Cohesive Brand Messaging and Tone
Another vital element that will help your brand identity become stronger is the messaging and tone of voice.
Your brand message must be relevant to your target market. It should be compelling enough to capture their attention, hook them in, and maintain their interest in your brand. Your brand’s tone of voice should be equally consistent with your brand look.
Do you want to project an authoritative voice or would you rather use a friendlier tone? Depending on your objectives, your messaging and tone of voice should work harmoniously with all the other elements that make up your brand identity.
A Bright Future
Your brand is something that you should put time, effort, and resources in. It requires a great deal of thoughtful planning and precise execution. Your branding efforts must all be coherent to come up with a brand identity that is clear, strong, and everlasting. It must trigger positive actions and reactions from your target market as well as encourage brand recall and loyalty.
Stuart Harris is the Creative Director at Yellow, a Dubai branding agency, digital partner and advertising company working with progressive businesses to build bold, meaningful brands.