Making your mark
Your brand is your signature, your promise to the world. It’s what your customer sees first and will automatically make a judgement on – subconscious or not. It’s the oldest and one of the most fundamental elements of advertising and it’s the visual anchor of any company.
There are certain rules that govern branding, many seem obvious but it’s surprising how many companies break those rules and end up in what can be an expensive predicament.
Refreshing your brand
Logos do date – look in a magazine that’s 10 years old and you’ll know its 10 years old. But redesigning a logo is a skilful process, you want to appear current but you don’t want to alienate your loyal customer base. So keep them in the picture, include the redesign process in a newsletter or email, allow them to become familiar with the new logo before it’s launched to the world.
Less is more
If you use a tagline, keep it short and make sure you do what it says. Some of the best-known examples included ‘The listening bank’, ‘Your flexible friend’, ‘Snap Crackle Pop’ and ‘Vorsprung durch technik’ – instantly recognisable even if it’s German. Whether it’s a tagline for your company or your product, the same rules apply.
This is your company or product and it should always promote itself. The more your brand is seen, the more comfortable and receptive the audience. Ultimately, your logo should instil a sub-conscious confidence and then it will have done its job.
Only mend it if it needs mending
It may be necessary to refresh a brand, but a change of name is a much more daunting prospect. If the reasons are overwhelmingly valid then it should be done, but make sure it’s done correctly. In 2002, the Post Office decided to reflect its new services by changing its name to Consignia. BBC News online reporter Mike Verdin summed up the move in seven words: ‘A duffer. A howling waste of money.’ Consignia lasted less than a year and cost an estimated £2.5million.
Consistency, consistency, consistency
Keep your brand consistent, if you don’t, it won’t do its job. Building a concise and identifiable brand should be the number one goal of any business then make sure that all of your messaging is cohesive and to the point. Ultimately, consistency contributes to brand recognition which in turn fuels customer loyalty.
Companies have been known to rise or fall on the strength of their branding – remember the ‘world art’ tailfins that British Airways commissioned at great expense in 1997? They broke the golden rule of consistency and paid heavily for it. Get yourself a good, strong brand, keep it consistent and show it wherever your company is represented.
They say that first impressions last, and it’s true. The application of great design is what makes a difference to your company and its products. It’s a field where specialist skills are essential, so call in the experts, talk to House Marketing.
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