Whether you are actively involved with your branding or not, the fact of the matter is that your target market, and far beyond that, is already well aware of who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer; without you even having to say a word, or hand out a brochure. This idea, of how people perceive your brand, is what branding is all about. Although logo designs are the most ubiquitous example of branding, every form of interaction your clients have with your brand can be considered part of your branding. This explains the importance of realizing that an all-encompassing philosophy lies at the core of a successful brand; from your letterhead design, the music callers hear while on hold, to the way you and your employees address your clients.
Because branding represents all the aspects of your brand, e.g. your business or product, it is of the highest importance that the expectations of the client are in sync with what you or the product will be delivering. When designing a brand philosophy, we very much aim to create a style that perfectly reflects the brand in question. To make sure expectations are met and that there is still plenty of room for growth, in the years to come. As companies and products evolve over time, it is good to regularly consider if the brand values that once were devised, are still properly representing the actual company or product. Should that not be the case, a re-alignment of the brand can take the base elements of your brand, and update them to make sure that the perceived qualities of your business match up with your business’ core values. Re-alignment is usually your best option, especially if your product or business has experienced organic growth, not deviating too far from your starting brand.
Revolutionary change however demands a different approach altogether: rebranding. For instance, in the matter of two businesses merging, you want to consider where the power balance will be. Is it equally shared, or will the smallest of the two lose its identity all together? These are important questions to consider. Also in cases not involving a merger, when a business or product fundamentally has changed, a rebranding would be the better option. In either approach, what lies at the core is the same: making sure your values match up with your brand’s values.
Whether times are good or bad, it is always wise to take a step back, and take a good look at how you are perceived by your customers, and more importantly, how you want to be perceived. By utilizing the power of branding, you can effectively, for instance, increase your market share, attract a different type of customer, or make sure you stay true to your most loyal clients. By good use of branding, you can make sure your unique selling points are well known for your clients, and far beyond that. As the branding strategist at Eighty8Four, my goal is to create brands that fully embody all that your business is about.