In today's global market there are companies of all companies and stature, from large globe spanning companies like HSBC to small corner shop businesses ... it may not appear at first sight these have much in common (if anything!). However scratch the surface and you will see that no matter what the company size they are all fighting to market their company using both general marketing tools (adverts, seo etc) but also using the company brand to sell the company. Think of it as saying a small corner shop (eg. Bob's Shop) maybe well known in a small area but the larger multi-national companies (eg. Nike) are known the world over not just in one single area... the reason for that is the same reason shops like PoundWorld (in the UK) have grown from a single store to a nationwide chain with well over 200 shops! - they have focused on branding ... getting the brand right makes marketing a company much easier.
Before we go any further... What is a Brand?
A brand is the emotional and psychological relationship you have with your customers. Strong brands cause thoughts, emotions, and sometimes physiological responses from your customers (and possible future customers). Let's take Apple Computers as our example here. We've all seen the Apple logo (if not click here to see it, and if you have refresh your memory). So the Apple logo is used to elicit certain emotions within your mind, it makes you think "glossy", "high end" and possible "the best".
But a logo is not a brand, it is merely a representation of the brand. Take another look at the logo, but this time think about the emotions you would have if you have never heard of Apple Computers ... you are pretty much left with "glossy" - not saying much for a world leading brand. A logo is simply a gateway to a brand, something everyone can remember. Having a good logo is like placing a shortcut in the mind of a person to make them remember your company. Brands are not made from concrete or steel, they are the thoughts, emotions, and psychological relationships between a business and a customer. And your brand is the foundation of all your marketing activities (not your logo). However, equally there are not many brands without a nice logo ... its a combination of both that will bring success and ease of marketing. - If you need help designing or re-designing your brand identity then visit andykinsey.co.uk and get a free consultation today.
So you now understand what a brand is and isn't ... it's now time to build on this knowledge and begin to understand how to build your brand image and (possibly) more important what your brand image should say about your company.
Your brand is used to suggest your position within all markets (this is generally subconscious in a customers mind). Your brand also dictates your strength within the global marketing network. To build any brand for any company it must be based on the true emotional feelings you wish to evoke (for example if you are a health based company it would be a very bad idea to make your company feel dirty or untrustworthy, you would want to concentrate on the opposites of being clean and honest).
Creating a Brand
To create a brand you need the following four factors: a big idea (something like a mission statement), company values (your ethics and codes of conduct are a good starting place), a vision for the future (where you see your company in 1 month, 1 year and 10 years) and finally, personality (normally this is a group personality, aka being friendly, caring and creative). Once you have these in place you have your "brand" or at least a starting block for you to grow and expand.
This time using Microsoft as our example, they started by simply wanting to be part of the game... soon they realised they needed an office, they rented a motel room! ... not much of a brand here... they moved to an office where they we're seen in a little better light ... (they now went to see IBM and signed lisence contracts for DOS ... which they then bought from a guy for 50K ... they never wrote it ... they tweaked it!) ... at this point they move into larger offices and are seen as much more professional and a big player in the market - over time the logo changes from a hand drawn sign with not much effort to a pointed logo moving to today's logo sometime later. (see microsoft logos here) - as you can see the brand developed as the company grew and took off ... this is the same with 99% of businesses - the 1% left are generally companies spawned from another larger company.
Now we have a brand we need to market it, we need to market your company to make it memorable. This is all about one word...
If you can create a brand that is strong and a logo that evokes the feelings of your brand then you need your logo to be stamped all over the place, from adverts to websites to other marketing materials (see below how Andy Kinsey Designs can help). To make your brand grow in recognition you need to be your values and achieve your goals, you need to work with other companies and the community to really get known - and send everyone some free promo stuff ... it always helps.
Once you've got this sorted your home and dry (almost) you just need to get back to marketing both your products and brand ... oh and don't forget work on your websites SEO ;)
To help promote your company (and/or products and services) you may want to consider the following items (not a complete list): posters, flyers, personalised pens, personalised mugs, personalised mouse mats, business cards, a website (or it's redesign), press releases, search engine optimisation, social media optimisation and improve your customer care service and record (eg if you get an email, reply within a few hours at the latest - a quick response evoked professionalism).
To help improve your brand Andy Kinsey Designs have become partners with a special company which offers personalised gifts. We will design any type of "gift" including personalised mugs, pens & t-shirts - we then send it off to our partner who will send you the goods directly ... This is an exclusive insight into a future service from Andy Kinsey Designs (not yet announced on andykinsey.co.uk!) ... if you would like to know more about this service and our exclusive discounts on printing of these materials contact us today.