A brand is the proprietary visual, emotional, rational, and cultural image associated with a company or a product. It’s an organisation’s representation of what it stands for, often based on cumulative impressions and positive reinforcement.
A successful brand can be identified readily and is used for increased awareness of the business. Branding is used throughout the company, in its logo, stationery, business cards, on its website and in its tagline. One example of effective branding is the Nike “swoosh” logo because it’s instantly recognisable around the world. Another is MacDonald’s’ “golden arches” which are familiar to millions across the globe.
Branding allows a company to differentiate itself from the competition and bond with its customers, create loyalty and establish a position in the marketplace.
A great brand requires a great logo that is original, inspired and attractive. Once you have a logo, design templates and create brand standards for marketing materials. Use the same colour scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. Integrate your brand into how you answer your phones, what you wear on sales calls, your email signature, everything. Create a “voice” for your company that reflects your brand and apply it to all written communication and in the visual imagery on all materials, online and off. Develop a tagline that is memorable, meaningful and concise.
One message, many channels
In a multichannel environment, a consistent brand image is essential across radio, television, print, outdoor and the web. A recent study by US media and marketing research firm, Arbitron, concluded that consumers who are reached repeatedly with a message, across several different channels, show higher advertiser awareness, brand recall and purchase behaviour. Outdoor media plays a vital role in the media mix, because it reaches consumers missed by other media and enhances the exposure of the brand. Outdoor media also reaches consumers only lightly exposed to newspapers, radio and television, and is complementary to print and electronic media advertising. It also reaches the entire socio-economic spectrum of South Africans.
One exciting new way to get your brand image across to consumers is vehicle branding. Marketing budgets have been slashed in recent months, but vehicle wrapping practically sells itself to companies that are interested in reaching potentially hundreds of thousands of viewers over the short-term.
Vehicle wrapping offers advertisers an excellent opportunity to reach commuters on highways and city and suburban streets. Wrapped vehicles place messages in front of target consumers, reinforcing the brand message in away that is highly visible and cost-effective.
Did You Know?
Products with visible brand names are everywhere; many times we don’t even notice them. But how much do those unnoticed exposures affect brand choices? Quite a bit, according to a 2008 study in the Journal of Consumer Research. Researchers conducted a series of experiments using a brand of bottled water and found that participants who viewed pictures of ordinary people near bottles of the water were more likely to choose that brand over others. The study found that repeated exposure to a brand will lead to an increased likelihood of selecting that brand, particularly if consumers are exposed to it during their everyday activities such as reading a magazine or driving towork.