When you start a business, regardless of size or type, you’re essentially building a brand. This brand should represent everything about the values and personality of your business. A brand also needs to be a promise and an expectation, your business will depend on you fulfilling that promise. If you successfully build brand promise, you could become a name many consumers learn to trust. This promise also needs to be reflected through your website design and any rebranding.
So Logos Are Not the Brand?
Effective branding is what will make your business stand out from the crowd and gain a competitive edge. This is not only about creating an eye-catching logo design but also consistently using the right personality and tone of voice to reach out to your target niche. This is crucial in your website design, for example. Rebranding also goes much deeper than simply designing a new logo. Companies sometimes say ‘we’re rebranding’ but actually mean they have a new logo design. This is not necessarily ‘rebranding’. Rebranding is a complete marketing strategy that creates an entire new concept, message for an established brand. There are many more aspects to this than a logo alone.
“If Hyde Hotels came out with a line of sneakers, we would have no idea what they would look like. But if Nike were to build a chain of hotels we would know exactly what they would look like…”
Branding is about selling emotions. It’s essential to clearly outline these emotions and we can see this from the success of certain brands. For instance, both Macdonald’s and Coca Cola sell happiness and this is consistent throughout their marketing campaigns. These show how their products will effectively bring happiness to their consumer and you can see many relevant themes such as family or the holidays, for example. In order to understand what emotions your brand sells, consider what emotions your customers feel when they receive your product or services.
Branding also refers to creating a community. Large brands represent a certain lifestyle or particular habits. All those who participate are, therefore, part of a community that does these things or lives in a certain way. Many brands also create a sense of community by literally offering the chance to be a member of a club, such as sports-related brands, cars, or motorcycles. Harley Davidson is a good example of this. Nowadays brands also create online communities. Customers can find useful resources, share experiences and feedback, and even make friends through online forums, for example. The most successful brands offer members of their community a place to congregate creating both trust and loyalty.
It’s also worth pointing out that your logo is not the only representative of your brand. The way you communicate with your customers depends on the persona you create for your brand according to their preferences, demographic, lifestyle and needs. It’s crucial to be consistent in this. You need to use similar language and express the same values across all marketing channels, on your website, and at your brick-and-mortar location. Without brand consistency, you’ll find it much more challenging to connect with your customers and a snazzy new logo design won’t be able to save you. You need to offer a consistent promise and continue to fulfill expectations as a brand.
A Brand is a Promise, an Expectation
The best way to explain the concept of a brand as a promise and an expectation is to compare two brands, Hyatt Hotels and Nike. Hyatt Hotels do not have a brand, they have a logo. If Hyatt Hotels came out with a line of sneakers, we would have no idea what they would look like. But Nike, Nike has a brand, if Nike were to build a chain of hotels we would know exactly what they would look like, because Nike has expectation. The brand Nike represents clear ideas relating to lifestyle and personality. For this reason, it is easier to imagine what Nike hotels would be like based on these characteristics that are consistently represented.
We can also use the example of Coca Cola again. Coca Cola also has a clear promise and this isn’t to provide the world with a delicious soft drink. It’s to “refresh the world and make a difference”. This is how Coca Cola have successfully used their branding to incorporate an entire mindset and this is evident across their marketing campaigns. Coca Cola is probably most famous for being associated with the holidays and special events and this is just one example of how this concept of selling happiness works. Successful brands such as Coca Cola are consistent in fulfilling the expectations of consumers and this is how they create brand promise.
Brands can also offer a more literal promise as well as promoting a positive mindset or lifestyle. FedEx started out promising deliveries by 10:30am for example, and Geico Car Insurance offered 15% discounts in 15mins. These types of measurable promises are often extremely effective, as long as the brand fulfils them. They are also completely relevant to the needs of the customer in regards to the type of product or service offered. People need deliveries to be quick and discounts on costly auto insurance policies will always be appreciated. If brands offer the same consistent promises relating directly to their customers’ needs they are the ones that stand out above the rest.
Another way brands create promise is with innovative ideas for loyalty programs. The brand Glow Recipe, for instance, has created a special rewards program aptly named “Glow Miles”. Loyal customers receive points in exchange for redeeming coupons. As they accumulate points they are given free products, access to tester panels for new products, and even invites to exclusive events. This is another example of a brand that has successfully created a sense of community. They also offer a wide range of resources, forums, and educational material as part of their online community. These are very effective ways to appeal to today’s consumers.
Build a Promise and Expectation Into Your Brand
If you would like to build promise and expectation into your brand you need to be consistent throughout your website design, logo design, communications, touch points and all other marketing material. First, it’s important to create a brand identity. This has to be something your target market will be attracted to. Your brand’s personality should represent the lifestyle and values of your target customers and this will help you appeal to them. Build your brand identity by creating buyer personas of your most profitable customers and use these to draw information and develop values. You can figure out how you can deliver them a promise based on these and the types of products and services you provide.
The key to brand promise is simplicity. This will make it easier to remember and hopefully easier to achieve. It’s not a good idea to make complex promises to your customers if there’s a risk you won’t be able to fulfill their expectations. You should also aim for something measurable. This way it’ll be clear when you meet your customers’ expectations whether it’s related to delivery time or price. These types of promises will also be much easier to include in your website design with a clear call-to-action.
Your brand promise needs to be consistent and reflected in not just your logo design, but all aspects of your branding. For example, if you’re trying to appeal to eco-conscious consumers a green logo isn’t quite enough. You need to reflect your values in your website design and the actions you take as a brand, for example working with a non-profit. Many businesses have undertaken successful “green” rebranding by promising to reduce packaging, minimize emissions, and to take part in environmental or humanitarian initiatives.
It’s also important to appeal to your customers’ emotions and you can do this in a number of ways. You can include engaging video content on your website with an important message or your brand’s story. You should also aim to base your website design and logo design on the emotions that you’re selling. Another way to appeal to customers on a deeper level is by using your brand to create a sense of community. Many businesses successfully use social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter to do so, for example.
We hope you can see now why “no one cares about your logo” It’s the brand that makes the logo, logos on their own say nothing.
Further reading… the Brand Perception… Why can Starbucks get away with charging higher prices for a product that you can essentially find in many other places for free or for much less? Learn how they do it here.