This article is the first in a three part series on the importance of brand identity.
It has been said that the one constant in life is change. Trends change, fashions change, technology changes, and so should your business’ identity.
A business’ brand is its identity – it is who the public (and customers) perceives them as. Just like you wouldn’t wear bell-bottoms or plaid suits anymore or not adapt other aspects of your business to stay competitive, using the same visual branding from 30 years ago or even 10 years ago, can make your offering look behind the times or just not as appealing as the next guy.
The most important aspect of any piece of marketing comes down to knowing and reaching who your customers are. This is especially true for branding as it is often the first impression for potential customers. Many consumers pick a brand and stick with it based on nothing more than the visual branding and it is one of the best ways for businesses to differentiate themselves from their competition. Your brand may have been perfect for reaching your audience 10 years ago, but just as technology, people and trends change, your brand will need to as well – or you risk looking antiquated. Never forget…your brand is an important part of your marketing 24/7.
Consider some of the most notable brands worldwide. Many of them have been around for nearly a century, but they have undergone subtle changes to stay current along the way. Coca Cola is a great example. Their brand has existed in a recognizable fashion since the 1880’s, but has undergone slight changes every 10 years or so to follow what is current and look progressively at the future. General Electric is another great example. They have used the same two letters, “GE,” almost unchanged for over 100 years, but have changed the presentation and color along the way to relate better to consumers. Updated branding is important for companies that are relatively newer too. Apple, who has only been around since the mid 1970’s have updated their brand several times over the past 40 years – each time representing who they are as a company, but also where they want to go.
Branding says a lot about your business, and because of the effort and cost involved with updating it, it is important to make sure it is done well. Branding is more than just a logo, it should also be the controlling idea that is communicated through business’ website, print materials, products, and even the building. Keep in mind, your brand has six essential goals:
- Delivers your message clearly
- Connects with your target prospects emotionally
- Validates your credibility
- Conveys your quality
- Prompts the buyer
- Inspires user loyalty
Building a strong brand is even more critical for any new business. For a new business, their brand is who they will be known as to their investors, their competition, and, most importantly, their customers. It the brand looks unprofessional or unclear, people tend to assume the service or product is sub-par as well. Customers will often pay more for better service and quality, even in economic downturns, so it literally pays to have a strong brand.
The design and upkeep of corporate branding is a complex subject. Caliber Media Group has years of experience in corporate branding and brand design. For a free consultation on updating your company’s brand, go to our contact page or call 714.867.1600.