It amazes me how or why you would add ‘Pepsi’ to your shopping list for the next birthday party instead of just writing soda or cold drinks. That’s brand power. To make you be able to relate to a certain product or service through the name of a business. To identify a certain business based on its name.
Great brands do not happen. They are made. They are ideated, conceptualised, created and strewn all over the place like confetti to drive positive feelings into the minds of people. The branding game, however, doesn’t have one straight rule. And, certainly, one size doesn’t fit all. So, what does it take for a business to become a brand? And, if you answer is a great logo – You have arrived at the start line of the branding journey.
Beyond A Great Logo – Brand Recall
Let’s start a few steps backward, actually. Does every logo have to convey what a business does? Yes. And, no. Let’s go back to Pepsi for a moment. Examine how the logo has evolved with time (we’re not discussing what it means here. That is for another day. Though apparently they have said to have spent copious amount of money over it and even received a 27 page document explaining the meaning.
Apparently, the most recognized logo on the face of this planet, Pepsi has ensured a couple things all through the ages. A keen look at the 1973 logo onwards shows how the design has moved from classic, retro to more cleaner, crisper, modern design elements. Lesson learnt. Always keep in mind these pointers when you make your logo.
EASY TO REMEMBER AND RESONATE WITH – Keeping it simple and relevant with the generation/times they are in
EASY TO IDENTIFY – Playing with just two colours that strike you as ‘Pepsi’ at all times
STICKING TO THE PRODUCT ATTRIBUTE – Keeping the “swirly" element, probably to depict liquid
Creating A Connection – Find Your Voice
This is where most people are lost. It is a constant battle between saying what you do versus saying what you give. Get the subtle difference? We’re going to have to move on from Pepsi now. Clear your mind of all things ‘logo’ and let’s talk about retail giant, Target. For a business that sells everything from chips and soda to cameras and televisions, they can just sit back and expect people to buy. But they choose to market with a voice that resonated with their buyers. That is what differentiates them from your next door retailer to a brand that you identify.
These guys have been in existence since pre-digital days. We’re talking 1902, friends – when Target was called Goodfellow Dry Goods. (Yes, look them up for some interesting history!) You have to give it to them for being able to strike right on target, pun intended, when it comes to consumer connection. Even with a multitude of changes in the company name over decades, they always connected with their audience. They have always stood for the one thing that they started with as a core value- To offer high-quality merchandise at low margins and help people cut expenses.
Over the years, they have done this through communicating their core value as their tagline. Today their brand slogan is ‘Expect More. Pay Less.’ They portray this through every channel that they use to sell their products – right from their web-store, tv commercials and in-store customer service. Take a look at some of their flyers here:
Going back to the start of this topic – the difference between saying what you do versus saying what you give. See how Target conveys ease, affordability, convenience, great deals, comfy-feeling-words to woo everyday buyers into buying everyday things. That gives them the edge against a next-door store trying to sell by saying “We Sell Best Products" or something to that effect. Always go from what you make, to consistently harping on the value you offer in all of your marketing and communications and your business will be well on your way to brand nirvana.
The Brand Aura – Nurturing It Inside Out
Your brand is your identity. Every person in your organization needs to carry it with pride no matter how small or large your business. Building a persona for your business starts at its very inception and radiates through every person that joins on-board. Choose a persona that you feel your company needs to carry. A tone that you can carry at every touch-point.
Let us step away from B2C and Retail to a B2B example for a change. Look at IBM, for instance. From their logo to their communications, to their website and their people – they carry a formal, business-like aura. They are all about solving business problems for their customers.
Another example would be FedEx. With a tagline like ‘The World On Time’, even their smallest kiosks radiate this core value. You know you can rely on that representative to have your goods delivered on time. They are all about safely and reliably reaching things to people, on time.
In a nutshell, branding is about the whole package that you are as a company, both inside and out.
Aside of this, there are several other elements in marketing and your overall business strategies that define whether your business will scale up to a popular brand. But taking a good first step would be, a partnership with a good marketing agency that can give you all of the above and help you rock your marketing game.
Ready to put the fizz in that can?