The Core Elements of Strong Branding
A product is just a piece of inventory until companies integrate it with its brand. It is with good branding that a product or service comes to life. Think of big brand names such as Coca-Cola; more than just buying a soda, it is buying the experience.
Coca-Cola has developed its brand so well that the mere mention brings pictures, sound, and experiences to life. This is branding at its finest, and companies can take a cue or two from how these big companies implement their brand guidelines.
What is Branding?
The American Marketing Association defines branding as "A name, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's goods or services as distinct from those of other sellers." Branding is the identifying factor that sets apart a company's product. It communicates who a company is, what it brings to the market, and what experience it offers.
Here is what branding brings to the table:
The Core Elements in Brand Guidelines
A good logo is more than just a design printed on merchandise; it's what defines a company in one picture. The first core element of branding is a creative logo that speaks of a brand's personality in a nutshell; it speaks to a brand without having to say a word. A brand's logo should be visible on everything the product represents; business cards, websites, and products.
Effective branding makes use of fonts to create a specific brand image. Fonts should be used to strategically convey a message to consumers and, at the same time, emulate a brand's personality. Good font positioning helps to strengthen a product's brand image by visually conveying the message even before a consumer reads through the entire copy.
More than just aesthetically pleasing, a good color combination helps build a good brand. Brand colors should reflect a brand's identity and evoke feelings of connection in consumers. It's been shown that different colors affect people psychologically and can also influence consumer behavior.
A slogan is a company's message to its consumers, shortened. The tagline companies go by is an effective marketing strategy to promote brand recall. Effective slogans easily tie up words with the brand it emulates, such as Nike's "Just do it." or Apple's "Think different."
Determining how a company positions itself relative to the market is essential for branding. Some brands position themselves as an upscale, exclusive option, while other brands choose to go the opposite route, making their products and services readily available for the masses. A brand must determine how it positions itself so that its brand guidelines are guided to go in the same direction.
Tone of Voice
One of the ways to build a brand is through the way companies interact and communicate with their customers. The tone of voice and specific vocabulary a company uses to set it apart from its competitors in the same line of business. For branding to be effective, companies must guide employees on the specific brand guidelines to help them be mindful of the correct vocabulary that aligns with the branding strategy.
A company's brand should reflect on its day-to-day operations, not only with consumers but also with internal job functions. With good branding, a product will not only be an item on the shelf; it will be a way of life. Effective branding strategies will help a company be effective in marketing. In the long run, it will bring it closer to consumers by developing recognition and trust and will set a company apart from its competitors.
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