Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Branding 101

Many clients confuse advertising with the term "branding". I've also seen many cases where designers and clients get caught up with focusing merely on the logo as the main brand attribute. When a product category begins to get crowded, the components of a brand become more sacred. These components, or brand attributes make up the sum total of a brand's personality. They define every aspect of how that product or service is interpreted by the consumer.

Brand Attributes
The 5 pillars of branding:

1) The Logo
- for some companies, the logo is definately the rallying point. It is recognizable and stands for all of the things that the company does and more. It can have an emotional impact far beyond mere products and services.

2) Color - Choosing a color that represents a company is important. It can set the tone for how a business acts and how it is perceived. Blue seems very corporate. Red, very serious. Green, environmentally conscious? Orange, happy!

3) Visuals - the biggest problem in this every shifting brandscape is the lack of commitment to a "look". Many companies are schizophrenic when it comes to the "images" it presents to the public.

4) Voice - often overlooked as one of the most important assests a brand can utilize. The tone of voice is the key to revealing the personality of a brand. Is it funny? Authoratative? Sensual? Does it have swagger?

5) Shape - some brands have managed use the shape of their product as a branding device: the Coke bottle, the Volkswagon Beetle, the Eiffel Tower(Paris).

Essentially, these are the key equities of a brand and they need to work in unison with one another in order to tell the full story of a product or service.

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