How To Get Your Brand Ready For Public Consumption
As we have seen over and over again, the way a brand is put together can have an enormous impact on a business. Whilst the products and services on offer are clearly important, the branding will also make a big difference to success. The Holy Grail of branding is to find something that both accurately represents the business and also positions it in exactly the right spot in the market. Below are a few tips on how to get your branding ready for public consumption.
Don’t look at the logo and name as separate entities
Some of the most successful brands are those that have taken a holistic approach to logo and name. Perhaps the most obvious is Apple, which is instantly recognisable whether you see the name or the logo alone. Although the electronics giant has made a few minor alterations to its branding over the years it has never really strayed that far from the original – and why would you if it is has been such a phenomenal success. Whilst the logo and company name do both need to be memorable, tying them together in this way can make both twice as effective.
Capture the spirit of the business
There’s needs to be something in your branding that relates back to what the organisation actually does or it’s likely to be much more difficult to make the link stick in the minds of the Great British (and international) Public. Try to choose both an image and a name that are versatile enough to stand the test of time, whilst also appearing contemporary. Simplicity is the key to this – you can always add the detail into the tagline if change is required. If you’re struggling to think of names then ask those around you, brainstorm with anyone who knows anything about the business – you’ll be surprised where the best ideas can come from.
Don’t rush it
Once you make a decision about your branding then you really need to stick to it, so this isn’t a choice that should be rushed. When you feel like you have a strong name and logo then put this aside for a few days. Go back to it after that and see how it makes you feel – there should be a rush of excitement if you’re looking at something that feels right. You’ll probably find that you go through a number of different incarnations before something really sticks – don’t expect to come up with something that works straight away. If you think that this is exactly what has happened then at least sleep on it…
Don’t know where to start? Use a quiz
Quiz yourself that is…if you’re really struggling to come up with any ideas then answering a few key questions should help you get the process off to a good start. Start with the practical questions, such as whether or not you have chosen a name and logo that can be legally protected and registered and whether you’ll be able to buy a website domain for the company name without having to deviate too far from the original words (for example, if ‘Facebook.com’ had not been available and the site had instead been forced to buy the domain ‘abookoffaces.com’ who knows where the business would be now…). Next, think about what the name sounds like when you say it – does it sound like the right name for the business and what are people’s first impressions when you say it to someone else?
You might also want to think about whether it contains keywords that might come in useful, as well as the relevance of the name to what your business does and to the industry in which you’re functioning. Does it sound trustworthy and genuine or is it the kind of name, when said out loud, that sounds like it lacks credibility? Finally, look at practical considerations, such as whether it will be easy for people to pronounce – if you choose a name no one knows how to say then it won’t stick in people’s minds. Try using it in a few sentences and hear how it sounds in the context of the business.
Think about the practicalities of your choice
I.e. does the nature of what the business does, and the sector in which it is operating, call for a brand name that is highly conceptual or very literal? Think about how the name you’ve chosen will work as a logo and then how the logo and the name together will work in your marketing. If you can’t conceptualise this then try drawing up some mock marketing materials – if you’re easily coming up with concepts and ideas then you’ve probably hit on a great choice, but if you’re struggling then you might want to try something else.
Structure your approach
It can be very easy to get lost in the process of trying to choose your branding, particularly if you’re putting pressure on yourself to get it done. So, structure your approach into three processes:
1. Decide what your business is about, the vision you have for it and what you want it to achieve, and then condense this into what you need the name to communicate.
2. What’s your audience? Here, you need to consider the demographic that you’re aiming at, as well as the platform that you want your brand to work on – specifically, local, national or international. If you’re aiming for international then you need to make sure you’re not including anything culturally specific to one jurisdiction.
3. Go through the process. Start with some collaborative brainstorming, make a list of the results, test them out as mentioned above, brainstorm again and see if you come up with anything else, if not – wait. If you have a genius idea then it will still be genius in a week’s time and you’ll have the certainty of knowing it has longevity too.
Author: Steve Pailthorpe - Follow us on Google+