“People buy products and services from businesses with brands they know and trust.”
A marketable brand is the foundation of an organization, creating continuity and generating recognition and loyalty. It is the public image of an organization or company; therefore it is imperative to market a positive, appropriate and memorable image.
A marketable brand incorporates:
• Overarching Concept
• Identifiable Characteristics
Brand positioning repeatedly integrates your brand throughout all marketing materials, creating the ability for each market segment to identify and trust in your brand through the power of perception. A consistent positive image will generate brand equity, and provide your brand with distinction from the competition.
Often referred to as a logo, a successful Identity should eventually be capable of representing your business without the assistance of copy. Your competition and customers (local and national), long term goals, industry standards and trends, and overarching concept must be considered when designing an Identity.
For instance, the Nike logo can be recognized merely by their trademark swoosh. Although ultimately this is accomplished via strategic brand positioning, there is a great deal of science, art and theory employed in the creation of an Identity.
Overarching Concept (theme)
Geographic, demographic and psychographic research, previously obtained in the creation of the marketing plan, will be the catalyst for the development of a concept or theme. A solid understanding of how your target market perceives your advertising efforts, and the art of communicating a precise belief or emotion, is imperative to a successful campaign.
Apple Computer, Inc. is an excellent illustration of utilizing research to develop a highly successful concept. Research revealed their young, independent and technologically savvy market preferred a no-nonsense delivery style. Capitalizing on this information, Apple developed a humorous, stripped-down, low-key play on the benefits of their high-tech capabilities minus all of the embellishments of their competition.
Identifiable Characters, Colors, Scenes or Graphics
The development of a brand identity requires the use of identifiable characteristics. This may be employed with photographs, specific colors, characters or graphics.
Identifiable characters or icons can transcend generations such as in the case of Tony the Tiger, which dates back to 1951 and the Michelin Man, which dates back to the 1800’s. Photographs, graphics or colors, such as National Geographic’s signature yellow or Target’s signature red, can become the framework for all other branding initiatives.
Headlines and Taglines
Headlines and taglines are the ten second statements that drive the message home. Clever examples of extremely successful taglines are Nike’s “just do it,” DeBeers’ “a diamond is forever,” and Maxwell House’s “good to the last drop.” Each of these statements can stand alone, successfully marketing the product with a mere three to four words.
As previously mentioned, brand positioning strategically integrates theses four key elements throughout all marketing materials to create a marketable perception of your business. This perception is the driving force behind sales and service opportunities.
It is imperative to create a dynamic, practical and promotional business and/or product name. Based on local and industry research, a name should be consistent with your target market preferences and trends. Naming must occur before the brand identity can be generated.
Create specific identities, packaging and labeling for your products. Product brands may be known simultaneously with your business or may be marketed separately to form an independently recognized brand.
Standards manuals are particularly important for use in multifaceted or complex business structures to maintain quality and consistency of Identity usage, acceptable variations, color specifications, proper use of accompanying graphic elements and product brands and their acceptable usage.
Corporate Identity Systems
A complex structure of identities for a multifaceted business or organization typically includes a main identity and sub identities with an over arching brand message and implementation guidelines.