Branding is an important aspect of a company’s image. Branding is the process of giving your company a face, a name and a personality to match.
If you have a successful branding strategy it will help give your product or service a very distinct presence in the market, and in your customer’s mind.
Effective branding will serve as a powerful tool in a brilliant marketer’s hands to project the desired vision and convey the right message to his audience.
In today’s scenario graphic design is an integral element in a good branding strategy. And for designers to leverage the full potential of design, they need to have a good understanding of what branding is.
What Is Branding?
Branding is the perceived image that a particular product or service has in a customer’s mind. The image very often has a strong emotional significance as well.
For example, Apple is perceived as an innovative company, Mercedes Benz spells class, Range Rover stands for ‘rough luxury’, FedEx for reliability and Coca-Cola for world-conquering American enterprise.
The tricky part is that companies cannot fully control the brand image that is created in a person’s mind. It grows and slowly attains an independent existence of its own.
If your brand is perceived in a positive light and stands for a quality or a value that is agreeable with what you sell, you can be sure you have attained the right purpose with your branding.
Why Is Design Important in Branding?
Design has a very important role to play in the process of branding.
Branding is not just about creating a logo. In fact a logo is just a part of the branding of a company.
Successful branding incorporates clever designing to the best of its advantage. It includes an apt color scheme, logo (if you have one) and the overall feel that you want your product or service to create in the customer’s minds.
If you are a law firm, you would want your image as a serious, reliable and knowledgeable business to be reflected in your branding. If you want to be associated with quality then you cannot afford to have cheap-looking advertising material, brochures, business cards or stationery.
The image needs to bleed into your branding endeavor as well.
So what color scheme do you think would suit a legal service provider?
A mish-mash of bright colors, or something more solid and staid like black/blue and white?
A designer has the ability to incorporate solid aesthetics into a corporate identity.
What Constitutes Good Design?
As a designer you need to ensure that the website, stationery, all promotional material and all in-house branding efforts including t-shirts and other giveaways have a consistent design.
If your client company is not very old, but is still not very new, you already would have an image or perception among your customers. Try to find out what feeling or idea your customers best relate with you.
If your product exudes youthfulness, then work towards a design that captures that quality in the best manner possible.
If you are planning on a repositioning or trying to change a negative perception, then it will be a different ball game altogether. You have to dissociate the brand with the negative image, and work to associate the new branding efforts with the product or service.
This will normally take some time because you are not reinforcing the existing perception.
Designers should know what their client tries to sell, whether it’s a lifestyle, trust or plain utility. If you can nail that right you will have an exact brief to work on.
The Importance of Design
When you have a beautifully designed branding platform it becomes easier for you to market and sell your products. A colorful logo and packaging will help you stand out in a crowded marketplace. You can direct all your marketing efforts towards focusing your prospective customer’s attention to your brand.
A company’s branding should be built around its most standout features. As your customer base grows, your brand acquires a distinct recognition, and you can savor the fact that now you can afford smaller budgets for advertising.
Apple worked its way towards success because it is perceived as a leader in innovation and design. There are smartphones and there is iPhone.
Xiaomi peddles Apple’s innovation and design with clever dexterity in Asian markets, and is going global with vengeance.
What a successful branding does is give you recognition. If you are consistent enough with your branding efforts your customer will recognize you among the sea of products he or she sees on the store shelf.
Branding can succeed only if it’s backed by a great design. If you can be specific about how you want to be seen and perceived by your customer, then you have got the basics of brand design right.
March 30, 2015