Integrating your brand identity
Before we tackle such a vast subject it’s perhaps best to take a step back and consider what a brand is, perhaps challenge what we thought brand meant.
So you look at a brand, yes, I said ‘look’ because that what we all instantly think of as a brand - the logo. But that really is such a small piece of the brand jigsaw. Your brand isn’t just a logo or a name, brand is less tangible than that. Brand is the message, tone of voice and personality of your company, its products, its service and its communications and ultimately it’s the feeling that your customers and other key stakeholders have when they interact with your company.
What’s a brand? (It means more than you think it does, so read on…)
Any good dictionary will tell you that a ‘brand’ is a name, term, design, symbol or other feature that distinguishes one seller’s product from those of others.
But in reality it is much wider and broader than that. Think of it this way; your company could have the best logo, brochure or website in the world. But what if your customer service department handled a complaint badly - what feeling would your customer be left with and would that damage your brand?
In today’s extremely brand conscious society getting the correct tone and messages out there with consistency is vital to achieve success, but that message isn’t something that can be pulled together in a couple of hours. A brand message takes time to distill, to understand and to push out to all the key stakeholders in your business.
The message your organisation puts out there should capture the essence of your company’s personality as you want it to be. You may want to demonstrate heritage, portray forward looking vibrancy or family values. Whatever those key traits are take time to decide and don’t forget they can change and develop as your company does.
Everyone needs to be on board
No matter how large or small your company it is important to ensure that your employees, agents and other key stakeholders understand your brand and emit the brand essence when they communicate with customers.
Often they’ll be the first contact point with your brand and what they do and say or how they look (i.e. their uniform) and the actions they take will be the thing that is likely to leave a lasting impression.
When your team isn’t the point of customer contact there are so many other tools at your disposal to help you communicate your brand’s ideals and ethos. Whether that’s a website, email campaign, print advertising, brochure or exhibition it important that the tools you choose form part of a wider brand communication strategy.
It’s also necessary to make sure each tool displays the same style, tone and brand message. This will help build a consistent, undiluted, coherent appearance throughout your communications toolkit.
To help maintain this consistency I’d always advise the creation of a brand guideline document. A document which demonstrates how to use your logo and how to communicate your values will mean that no matter which design or digital agency you employ, your communication tools will always be consistent.
With 16 million twitter users and over 31 million Facebook users in the UK alone, social media is at the top of the list of customer engagement tools. Often considered as an afterthought by many businesses, social media can no longer be sidelined.
We’ve looked at the impact of social media on your brand identity in a recent blog post.
How we do it
At Design Workshop we create brand identities and push them out through multi-channel strategies all the time, two pieces of recent work which demonstrate this are Ebac, which is predominantly a digital campaign and Heron Foods through a combination of digital, traditional and in-store marketing initiatives.