A Brand is More Than a Logo
There are so many companies making the same common product in the market. For instance trousers are available in a large number of shapes and forms in the market, so how do you choose which pair you want to buy? It is the brand that allows you to distinguish between them. Branding helps to create an association of a product with a exclusive name and image, known as a logo, in the mind of the potential customer. This is achieved by running advertising campaigns in different media formats to help cement the identity of the product in the customer’s head. So when you hear the phrase “Just Do It,” or you see the tick mark symbol it leads you to instantly think of Nike shoes.
Where did branding originate?
The term “brand” has its origin in the cattle rearing industry in the Wild West in America. Here the skin of the animal was scorched with a distinct symbol to identify the ranch it belonged to. The livestock branding enabled the owners to mark and identify their animals easily. This concept was transferred to other goods and the brands of Fast Moving Consumer Goods were born. Since the brands originally were a symbol akin to the logo of today many people believe that the brand is merely a logo, but it is much more than that. A logo is an important part of your branding strategy, but it’s not everything.
What is a brand?
A brand is defined by Wikipedia as the “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's product distinct from those of other sellers”. The company’s brand is one of its most valuable assets as it enables its customers to differentiate the company’s products from others. Slogans, mascots, jingles and themed advertisements have all been utilized by companies to build and maintain their brands. The idea is to provide the customer with instant brand recognition which is so powerful that a simple logo seen or a jingle heard can powerfully bring the company’s name to the customer.
What is a logo?
The easiest way to showcase a brand is through the logo. A logo is essentially a visually representation of an established brand. This trademark picture can be associated with other elements of the brand such as the name, the catch phrase or a musical rhyme. Think about it when you see the graphic logo of a particular program like BBC News flash on the screen you can all but hear the unique set of musical notes associated with it. As you spot the logo you register almost unconsciously that you can watch the latest in current affairs on this channel.
What does the brand portray?
It would then be obvious that a brand is a whole lot more than just the name of the company. It involves portraying the values and goals of the company. Ideally these should reflect professionalism, trust, growth and quality. Strong branding allows you to have a clear message which is instantly recognized and appreciated by the customer. The different elements that contribute to a successful brand include the company name, product name, logo, catch phrase, graphics, associated sounds and colors. A lot of thought goes in to choosing each element of a successful brand.
How successful brands are formed
Different branding styles can include having a person as a brand ambassador, or using the name of the founder of the company such as Disney. The initials of the company may be clubbed together to make a brand name such as IBM. Some brand names may evoke a certain image such as Amazon. Others may just describe the company service like Airbus. A bit of fun with alliteration can come up with brand names like Dunkin’ Donuts. There are a number of ways to position your brand name and the one you choose should be what best reflects the message that the company is trying to put out to its customer.
The success of a brand is measured by how recognizable each element of the brand is. The better a brand is positioned the better the recall of the company name in the memory of the customer. Essentially the success of a brand must translate to customers buying the product based on brand recognition. This is the ultimate purpose of the branding process.