Often a term used interchangeably with a business’ name, personality, logo design, colour palette and even typography; a “brand” is in truth all of these things and a whole lot more. So let’s set the record straight and start with what a brand isn’t.
- A brand is not a logo. A logo is just a very useful, visual symbol that enables brand recognition.
- A brand is not just about how things look. Branding goes (way) beyond your visual identity to incorporate things like values, personality, communications, sounds…even smell!
- A brand is not advertising. Where advertising is usually singularly focused and short-term, branding is a comprehensive, long-term endeavour.
- A brand is not a product. A product may answer a need, but a brand helps distinguish it from the competition.
A brand is all encompassing and multifaceted. It is a customer’s perception of your business, products and services; the result of every communication and touch point, direct and indirect. It’s the story told in people’s heads and hearts. It’s your reputation.
When it comes to branding, perception is reality. How your audience perceives your brand (fact or fiction) will ultimately determine how quickly you’ll gain traction in the market, how much you can charge and how loyal your customers will be over time. The many components of your brand from the types of products or services you’re delivering to your visual identity, messaging and interactions with customers, all serve to either improve or damage your brand.
So how do we manage and shape these perceptions? Ekho & Co. lead with strategy. A good brand strategy will clearly define and position your brand within the market with a deep understanding of your customers and what they truly care about. With a roadmap firmly in place, you can bring your brand to life with carefully crafted visual and written communications. It’s all storytelling; every word and illustration designed to reveal a little more.
Like any good story, a “brand” is never finished. It’s constantly evolving. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your brand. It’s going to take work, smart thinking and consistency. Are you up for it?