The Flavour vs The Frills: If you’re not leading with this you’ll be left in the dust.
So many people reach out asking for a logo, event collateral or graphic design request. Most designers would ask “what colours do you want to use?” but the response should really be “what brand experience do you want to create?” I want to share the important difference between Branding and Design, how both have evolved and how both will impact your marketing drastically.
A brand is something you can’t see – you feel it, you react to it, and you tell your friends about it. Design on the other hand is tangible; it enters through the senses and triggers an emotional or intellectual response in the viewer. Hopefully they are prompted to think about your brand, your product/service, their experiences with your company – but this really all depends on the strength of the brand.
Let’s dive in.. Branding is how you say who you are, what you do and why you are betterfrom everyone else offering the same thing as you. It is your elevator pitch, the feeling you elicit, the taste you leave in the mouths of your clients and it is what your design supports and reinforces.
Now, more than ever, businesses (and marketers) are seeing the value and potential of a total brand experience. But building a brand takes time and commitment. It doesn’t happen overnight and it isn’t something thrown together on a computer – it is so much more than that! “Branding is endowing products and services with the power of a brand” (Kotler and Keller, 2015). The power of your brand entails every experience your client has had with your company.
For instance, when you see (or hear) a Harley Davidson, your brain doesn’t immediately go, “Harley, niiicee, I want one”. Instead your conscious thought patterns are bypassed momentarily and without realising you subconsciously recall all your previous experiences with this brand. At the end of your mind’s rapid cataloguing, you come to a conclusion of whether you are going to interact, engage and essentially buy this brand or not.
Branding expert and author Jim Stengel says, “Businesses are now only as strong as their brands and nothing else offers business leaders so much potential leverage”. The creation of a strong brand experience is how you win clients, retain clients and get your clients talking about you. This includes your message, your values, the tone in your language, your company culture, your advertising/communications, the design look & feel, product/services, pricing, customer journey, team members and word-of-mouth – in essence, everything that you’re about!
So how do you ensure your brand is backing you? Well the question actually is, how are YOU ensuring you’re fulfilling what your brand promises? For those of you who are future oriented, YES..
- You need to tell better stories – I guarantee you there will be a benefit to your services which overlaps with your audience’s emotional need to solve a problem – take your audience on that journey. (Knowing your WHY is a massive help here too.)
- You need to leverage technology & data – data has so much value (or else there wouldn’t be so much of it being collected), the keys this information holds is priceless as it will enable you to make an individual the centre of your brand experience. Use technology (channels & data) to immerse your audience in your brand at their leisure by offering multiple touch-points go engage with; from there you can gauge what they’re feeling, what their values are and create a world for them to explore, wander, touch, smell, hear and investigate deeper.
- You need to create a multi-sensory experience – These days, most forms of marketing engage two senses – sight and sound. But a compelling brand experience is made by touching and triggering all senses. If you utilise branding with design correctly, you will create a richer, more textural experience that produces the authentic emotional responses you need to create your brand evangelists. AND with today’s tech innovations, it’s easier than ever to harness the power of all senses and create a multi-sensory brand experience that truly engages your audience. BTW, I don’t care what industry you are in, you can benefit from VR, AR, AI, as many brands are seen using now.
The future of marketing is here.. BUT, none of it will matter until you back yourself. If you’re not backing yourself, your brand most definitely isn’t and there is no time like the present to check your brand, i.e. check yourself.
Revitalising your brand means so much more than just designing a new logo. It means getting some outside expertise, to help you reposition yourself in your market and redefine your business goals and purpose. In the same way a new acquaintance can give you a better summary of who you are and what you’re about than you can for yourself, (if you don’t believe me, watch Alain De Botton’s, Why You’ll Marry The Wrong Person) businesses need to be able to clearly define themselves if they want brand success – and this is easier from an outside perspective.
Your brand is what you are willing to commit to the success of your business and the experience you provide. This could mean anything from managing your product/service, giving your sales a facelift, finding your voice and marketing strategy, or encompassing a full sensory experience. It’s not easy but it is sure as hell worth it as people are looking for deeper reasons to connect. Only you can provide that, so have some self-respect and make sure people know who you truly are too!
All in all it is the ultimate payoff for your business. Through refreshing and revitalising your brand, you will be primed and better positioned to enter new markets and have access to pools of customers you’ve never had before.
Hunt & Hawk are here to help you develop and manage your brand. Brand management requires strong presence, strategy, planning and leadership. It is very subjective and requires trust between the business and the brand expert to reach a union of understanding about the core purpose and goals of what you’re doing. We can help you engage your team in new creative ways, win over new customers and get that brand you’ll be so proud of.
but you only remember the ones you love.”
This was a long post as branding is dear to our hearts, and we know the impact it creates when it’s at the core of your business. Thanks for reading!