Branding is a marketing practice that helps to differentiate one business from the other. It associates a company with a specific message and image that people should see.
Largely, it involves visuals and language used in making it distinct from others and ensuring recognition.
Branding contains different elements that should be outlined in the brand style guide. The elements should reflect the brand identity the company intends to project to the world either through what people see or perceive.
Different elements make up a brand and the following should be considered:
A name is often the first thing a visitor encounters whenever they visit a website. It defines everything about the company or brand and describes the brand story using very few words.
It represents the brand’s product, service, values, and ethics and therefore determines the viewers’ first impression which should be the correct one.
The company’s name plays a huge role in shaping the brand in the future. When generating a name, consideration should be given towards portraying a great brand identity and a marketing tool too.
It should be unique and differentiate the company from the others in the market.
The name determines the making or breaking of the business and critical analysis is required when choosing one.
Choose an iconic name that communicates to the users they are esteemed and the value you are offering them.
A logo matters a lot and is arguably the second most important aspect of brand elements. It should be recognized easily and clearly.
Just like a name, the logo should be unique and distinguished among many logos. It should also communicate the brand’s personality and identity.
The logo is usually associated with the brand’s name and therefore, sending the right message is key.
As a visual element of branding, when one sees it they should immediately think of the brand’s name. A logo will appear on different assets of the brand i.e. website, social media platforms, marketing materials, social media, etc., and therefore, sending the right message is key.
Create a memorable logo that upholds the brand’s standards. Skillfully design a logo using different designs including wordmarks.
A wordmark is the brand’s name used in the place of a logo using different colors for instance Google and FedEx companies.
Color is a powerful and key component of any brand. It represents the brand’s identity through the communication it sends visually.
In choosing and combining colors for the brand, understand what the brand intends to portray and the audience you want to reach.
Colors communicate and trigger people’s emotions by creating a connection with them. Understanding how colors are used in branding helps choose the right colors and send, the correct emotions.
Colors should be recognized and differentiated by the audience accurately. For instance, one can clearly differentiate the color of Facebook currently Matta from Twitter’s. Colors can also be trademarked to specific companies for instance Tiffany & Co.
Tagline, Theme line or Slogan
This is a catchy phrase defining the brand’s position quickly. It should be memorable and easy to recite. The tagline should be appropriate for the brand’s industry to communicate the correct message.
For instance, a funny phrase cannot be used for a funeral company as it sends a message of mockery and not comfort as expected.
A good phrase positions the company differently in the industry. The slogan should be timely and prompt users into taking action.
For instance, Coca-Cola’s “Open Happiness” sends the message of satisfaction to be received when one quenches their thirst using the drink. Nike’s phrase “Just Do It” makes customers not think much about doing the purchase.
Shapes are important since they have the ability to symbolize ideas, express moods, and lead the users’ eye to what you want.
They influence the brand persona and just like other elements it should be distinct and clear. Shapes are incorporated in the brand’s resources like the logo, website, branding materials, social media, etc.
As such, designing shapes calls for innovativeness and uniqueness for people to recognize the company.
For instance, Coca-Cola’s bottle shape is unbeatable and can always be recognized even without the name. Health-Ade Kombucha, chooses the shape of ancient medicine bottles to signify the health aspect of their products.
Graphics complement the logo and strengthen the brand’s recognition to the audience. Graphics help publicize the wholeness of the brand assets through the artistic imagery they give.
They are key in marketing and advertising by enhancing the appearance of the brand without the monotonous and excessive use of the logo.
Graphic elements such as backgrounds, banners, shadows, aggregators, glass, separators, and handles help show the relationship of the different elements and visually emphasize the brand’s mandate.
Graphics should grab the customer’s attention for instance the Red ribbon in Coca-Cola. It is important to make use of good color palettes.
Tone of Voice
The tone of voice used in a brand shapes and reshapes the perception of the audience about the brand. It is what one reads on all the branded copies of the company such as emails and website content.
Tone use should be correct, clear, and consistent, and uniquely reflect the brand’s persona.
The vocabulary used should be appealing and distinctively describe the brand’s personality and communicate the right emotions.
Starbucks’ tone indicates that the smallest coffee cup is tall which makes the consumer feel worth buying altogether.
The font used should reflect the brand’s personality. It could match the logo style used or complement it to be catchy. The correct font should be embedded into and match the other elements like color to communicate the desired message.
Fonts communicate different emotions and therefore understanding the audience will influence the choice of fonts used.
People interpret images more quickly than texts. Images enhance the visual representation of the brand and are appealing to the audience. They communicate about the brand products/services instantly when appropriately used.
Images used should be consistent with the marketing and advertising style. When used on the brand’s assets, they showcase the brand’s aesthetics and create engaging content for the customers.
Branding is key and is not limited to the name and logo only as many assume. It involves multiple elements and the steps should be implemented for successful branding.