In the first instance, what do we mean by a “brand” ? The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CiM) defines a “brand” as:
“The set of physical attributes of a product or service, together with the beliefs and expectations surrounding it – a unique combination which the name or logo of the product or service should evoke in the mind of the audience.”
In short, a brand is a personal identity which in business, sets one company apart from another. Businesses should create a strong, unique brand so that customers can identify and recognise them. The best brands enable customers to choose one reputable company amidst a sea of others who may be offering the exact same products and services.
Developing a company brand takes a lot of thought and planning. A brand is an overall “look” which should be designed so that it can be used across a variety of media to publicise a business. A logo is often the first stage in creating a brand for business but should also encompass a strong company ethos and mission statement. Customers need to recognise that a business will deliver the best product or service and a solid brand enhances this. Branding is essential in ensuring that customers will support and endorse a business and that fellow industry professionals will recognise and understand it.
Examples of strong brands include Coca Cola, Nike, Disney and Apple. These companies are recognised globally because their brands have a high impact and their logos are seen in every city, every day. A logo needs to be designed so that it is eye-catching, clever, flexible and thought-provoking but simple. Consumers should become familiar with a robust brand so that they remember and trust the business or organisation that it represents. It goes without saying that frequent re-designing of a logo would be counter-productive!
Although a company brand isn’t just about a logo. It also applies to products and services, treatment and training of employees, advertising, packaging, stationery, customer services and the overall business culture. These are known as “touchpoints” whereby the general public comes into contact with a specific brand which can then affect their perceptions of a business or organisation.
Designing a brand is essential when creating the public “face” of a business. It should reflect the whole company identity as well as communicate to consumers and other businesses using a clear and accessible approach. A business can stall and even fail if not enough time is spent on planning and creating a company brand with an automatic promise of high standards and an unbeatable customer experience.