I have been creating and developing brands for a long time. It’s a passion that started with sketching favourite band logos across school exercise books and diaries… UFO, Motorhead and Thin Lizzy all being particular favourites at the time. As a kid I also collected beer mats. These small graphic squares intrigued me in how each created a different emotional connection with something I knew little about…although that would change!
We all have our favourite brands and we all have a quiet smile when we see logos from our past that are no longer around. That’s what branding does… it creates lasting connections. We know that a brand is much more than just a name, a logo and strapline – and in fact is everything that encompasses your organisation including websites, uniforms, marketing materials, work place interiors and even how staff members answer the phone to mention a few.
Branding helps people identify with and recognise your business. It helps to set you apart from your competitors and provide consumers with reasons to choose your products or services.
The conduit to connection
In the b2b sector, which I largely work within, it’s your brand that delivers that initial customer confidence. Importantly, it’s that confidence that will help ensure potential customers make the effort to contact you… and that’s the crux – good branding facilitates business relationships.
As a builder of brands my job, in part, is removing barriers to sales. The first place we all look for products or services is online and we all make very quick, split second decisions based on what we see. Poor branding, inappropriate photography, out dated graphics, poorly written content, poor site navigation etc are some of the barriers to sales that we spend time removing. This is why strong brands are often perceived as “shortcuts” in the purchase decision process. A consistent offering, together with a positive brand experience, reassures customers, because they know exactly what to expect and once known they will return again and again.
Your brand will also help attract quality talent.
Employer branding is used to attract quality talent to your company and help retain your top employees. A great example of a brand that is good at attracting and retaining employees is Google. They make all their employee perks (nap pods, free meals, international careers) known over the web. Also, Google Career’s tagline alone, “Do cool things that matter,” could convince anyone to work for them.
Branding is more than just a design on a product, a logo or strapline. It is about all of these things and more; customer experience, company values and culture. It is all of the characteristics of what makes your business yours. Each business is different and it’s these differences that set us apart – how these differences are portrayed and marketed is what makes companies stand out. Understanding those differences and interpreting them is what I do.
You can see some of the brands we have created and developed at www.InnessDesign.co.uk