Your brand is your promise. Your promise to your customers, clients, or patrons – it implies what your company or organization is really about. It infers the experience people can expect to have with your product or services.
You can try, but you will never be successful imitating or emulating another brand. Why? Because each brand is as unique as the people creating it.
What exactly is a BRAND? Perhaps this common experience can make these ideas clearer.
Say your morning routine includes a swing by your favorite coffee shop. The staff there knows your face, maybe even your name. You seem to belong. They greet you, you recite your order (in some cases unnecessarily), and wait for your morning cup. In sequence, you wander over to that familiar spot where you routinely prepare your cup anticipating that first sip of the day. Maybe you don’t even realize it, but you’re gratified to be there.
Unless you run into that dreaded business associate or family member – it’s usually a good start to your Monday or Tuesday or whatever day. And this encounter is all happening because of the brand the owners of the coffee shop have created – be they a Goliath or a David.
What motivated you to choose and perhaps remain faithful to that coffee experience begins with their identity; i.e. their logo. The visibility of the store front signage helps you make your decision. Constant messaging from known brands like major competitors Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts have swayed you. Whereas, a boutique java shop could strike a different emotional cord or preference, thus, motivating your patronage there.
Let’s examine the two beverage leaders here to make the branding promise point.
In examining the differences between the Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks brands – it’s easy to distinguish the simple and average person’s coffee brand from the more upscale brand. You can see it in their comparative logos, their store environments, shop locations, menu options, services, and packaging. Think hard about the very different experiences they offer – most notably being coffee flavor.
Starbucks promise is that you’ll be transcended into a coastal retreat of pleasure thus the mermaid with flowing hair on their logo. You expect more drama and theatrics from that logo.
Dunkin Donuts on the other hand uses two happy warm colors and chubby rounded fonts or letter styles to communicate how comfortable you will be there. You can see the simplicity; you expect an unpretentious experience from that identity. They launched their brand with donuts – for goodness sake – not chocolate croissants.
The important thing to know first in developing your brand is exactly what you promise to deliver. If you sell cars – then you need to demonstrate in your identity and your showroom environment what distinguishes your dealership from the others. Do you want to promise friendly, comfortable, full-service or maybe more affordable cars? Sorting this out and understanding your goals and vision for your business can help you determine and build a stronger brand.
Often overlooked in developing a brand is the appearance of everything. To win over prospective clients, business owners tend to focus deeply on perfecting their product or service deliveries, which they should. However, they tend to discount the role of serious brand-related items like the messaging and professionalism of business matters such as websites, company policies, advertisements, social media activity (if used to market your business), and sponsorships. Also creating your tone and brand are necessities like signage, store or office layouts, furnishings, and décor. And most important to your brand are the people – your employees. When it comes to developing a brand – Looks Are Everything!
Our clients often tell us, they’re not sure how to market their business – or where to even begin. The contemplation and understanding of your brand is the absolute beginning. Every decision that comes after will be much easier – we promise.
Are you looking to build a brand or revamp one that already exists? Contact us and let our experts assist—from a new logo to consistent messaging, we can help.