We won’t be the first branding agency to tell you that a brand is more than just a logo. More than a colour palette and more than your carefully crafted marketing messages. Your brand runs deep into the bones of your business, and as we’ve blogged about before, a good brand manager or branding agency will integrate your brand into every customer touchpoint.
That’s not to say that the bits most people associate with brand – logo, colours, strapline – should be an afterthought in the brand building process. Your visual brand, or image, is vitally important. McDonald’s didn’t get where it is today without the unforgettable golden arches, neither did Apple without its famous fruity icon.
What’s the secret?
Be memorable, be meaningful. Or rather, be memorable through being meaningful. Your visual brand doesn’t have to be the biggest, brightest or loudest to stand out from the crowd. A good branding agency will help you to tell your story through your image, adding depth and meaning to your visual attributes. The bitten apple used by Apple, for example, is rumoured to represent the biblical forbidden fruit eaten by Eve. What does this tell us about Apple? This is a company that takes risk, has knowledge and transforms the future.
Working with a branding agency or consultant is helpful in establishing the ‘story behind the brand’. Having that outside perspective can help to identify what you take as a given – such as a commitment to great customer service – as a brand value. Armed with this knowledge, it is much easier to translate your brand into colours, words, shapes and photos.
Branding in practice: bringing meaning to manufacturing
We have worked with some of the world’s finest manufacturing companies in our hometown of Sheffield. As their branding agency, we’ve designed brand images focussed on the heritage and quality that being ‘Made in Sheffield’ stands for. We have rebranded long-established companies now operating in innovative international markets, ensuring their images have kept up with the pace of technological change.
Getting to the core of your brand
Whether you go it alone, or work with a branding agency, get to the core of your brand first. What do you offer your customers? What makes you the best in your field? Consider your approach to customer service, value for money, understanding market needs, and any specific skills, qualifications or equipment that you have. Once you know what you want to say, you can start making your visual brand do the talking.