The Anatomy of a Brand
Like all organs in the human body working together in keeping us healthy and functioning successfully, the different parts of a brand must also complement each other, with the removal of any part affecting the ‘body’ of the brand.
At some point, everybody has dreamed of being the next Apple, Coca-Cola or Amazon. Aiming for the top is an admirable ambition, but there is a plethora of factors that need to be considered when creating a brand. But how do we conceive our own brands and design them so that they pave the way for success, recognition and sales?
Getting creative, thinking strategically, and overall, humanising your brand, so that it speaks to consumers on a personal level, is core to constructing your brand identity. In this article, we’ll dissect the anatomy of a brand into key elements, to give you a better idea of how Barking Bird goes about brand creation.
Who Is Your Brand?
Just as you would look inside yourself to find your true motivations, passions and ambitions, identifying your brand’s vision and mission are crucial to developing a brand identity.
Your brand’s vision is where you see your brand in the future – your goals, your expectations. Where do you want to end up?
A brand’s mission statement is not only a reflection of a business’ self-perception, it is also both a contextual affirmation of the brand’s place in making the world a better place with their products or services, as well as a tool to generate trust in consumers who feel they are being let in on an elusive piece of information about the brand’s aspirations.
For example, Google’s mission statement is all-encompassing (targeting everybody on the planet) and straight-forward:
Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Others, such as Starbucks, make it personal and uplifting:
To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.
However you write it, your mission needs to reflect your brand’s personality, its values, its way of being different from all the rest. After all, if you don’t know what your brand is about, how will your consumers?
What’s In A Name?
Everything has a name. Everyone has a name. From pets, right down to ships, vegetables and robots, naming things creates a sense of familiarity and appeal. Your brand name generates the first impression of your business, and it can make or break it.
Considering the associations that words can evoke for consumers is something to remember – so choosing words or sounds that generally make people feel happy, inspired or relaxed are always a safe bet. Of course, a lot of the struggle in this world is to find originality, where many domain URLs are already trademarked to other brands. It can be disheartening to think of a revolutionary name, only to find it has already been taken. That’s why beginning at the drawing board, and getting creative with names, is a good place to start. Plays on words, puns or misspellings are a popular trend in many brands, as long as they’re executed well, and are consistent with the overall personality of your brand. How many multicultural eateries have you seen with cheeky, creative names?
Another thing to think about is how your name is going to look with your logo. Will your logo be a separate entity, or will your brand name’s typography be your logo? Is there a creative way to mesh them together? Ultimately, you want your name to be memorable – something that can generate a loyal community and a lot of hype. After all - who could forget a Barking Bird?
What Does Your Brand Look Like? The Logo
When you think of brand logos, which ones stand out to you? Why? Is it the product surrounding the brand, the way the brand engages you, or is it the creative use of iconography?
In itself, your logo is not your brand. It is simply a visual depiction of your brand, which should make you recognisable and ideally, stand out. It can be fun coming up with a logo, or a complete nightmare – depending on how you approach the task, or how well you know your brand. Think of words, colours or images that come to mind when you envision your brand. Jot them down, try synonyms, sketch. Create rationales about what these images mean to you and for your brand. Your logo should be able to be applied to your marketing materials, signage, stationery, uniforms and collateral with consistency, so constructing a logo style guide is essential.
A style guide might specify:
- Logo size and placement on page
- Colour palette
- Examples of how not to use the logo
No matter who creates your brand collateral, they’ll be able to use your logo appropriately and professionally if they have a style guide.
Circle of Trust: Brand Community
Market research into your brand can give you the upper hand if you do it well. The same goes for your target market and their demographics. Knowing your consumers thoroughly will help you shape your communications to give them what they want and NEED.
- Where are your consumers and who are they?
- Why do they need your brand or product?
- What do they want out of your product?
- What is important to them in life?
- How will you court them with your brand?
Creating a sense of trust means letting your consumers know that you value them, and that what they think, feel or say matters to you. Read more about building brand community in our past blog, All In It Together: Building Brand Community.
Speaking As One: Language
The way you communicate with consumers directly affects how your brand is perceived. It reflects your brand’s personality, and has the potential to persuade consumers into doing what you want them to do.
First consider: what kind of language does your target market speak? Who are they? Are they young, carefree and colloquial – more influenced by streetwise language? Do they want to be told what to do or would they rather develop and communicate their own opinions on product or service choices? Create a tone of voice style guide for your brand – and apply it across collateral, social media, blogs, and your website. Your consumers will become familiarised with your brand if they can identify your personality through your language, and if you speak to them the right way. Include ways not to speak to your consumers in your style guide – so that your content writers can easily identify if they’re on the wrong track.
Lastly, use spell check! Basic spelling mistakes look cheap and nasty, so stay professional and employ a language expert (or read our past blog post: Word Crimes).
Getting Out There: Strategic Marketing
How you go about getting your brand to be visible and desirable all depends on the efficiency of your marketing strategy. Marketing in itself is a massive, multifaceted job, one that sometimes takes whole agencies to implement. Understanding your target market is one thing, but identifying your brand’s own weaknesses and threats are just as important as knowing your strengths and opportunities.
Create a marketing plan, or if you’re truly serious, employ an agency to do it for you. They’ll take care of the hard yards through market research, becoming experts on your brand, tailoring a plan to suit you, and implementing the ultimate marketing to make your brand extraordinary. The best kind of marketing solution is an integrated one that factors all the parts of a brand, including strategy, creativity, marketing, design, development and implementation.
Thinking of taking control of your brand’s success? Chat to Barking Bird.