Building Your Brand

May 17, 2014 Alchemist Studios

Building Your Brand

What brands are you loyal to? What are your go-to products on the shelf, the companies which inspire you and whose latest offering you can’t wait to try? We all have a handful—for a lot of people, companies like Apple, Coca-Cola, Samsung and Louis Vuitton inspire an almost cult-ish level of loyalty. Why? What have they done to achieve this sort of adoration? How to they maintain it?

The value of a popular brand

Although brand loyalty is an intangible, immeasurable asset, it does have a very real financial value. If your customers exhibit a deep-seated commitment to your brand, they are more likely to repeat purchase and recommend—and every marketer knows how precious those elusive word-of-mouth recommendations are to a brand. Never underestimate how important your customer following is. By building brand loyalty in your clients, you’ll not only increase your current sales, you’ll be also building a future sales stream which could last for years.

Building your brand

You have an ideal space in the market place, you know your target audience, but how do you go about presenting your brand in a way that will inspire brand loyalty? Consumers are quite literally battered and blasted with corporate messages all day long. There is simply too much information for the human mind to process and store, so the trick is to find a way of making your message stand out from the white noise of corporate spamming all around us.

People have selective memory function, so your corporate message needs a hook if it’s going to stick in the mind. And if you’re successful, the effect can last for years. Just look at how often people refer to the Hovis ad or the Yellow Pages fly fishing ad. Look at the way people respond to a brilliant logo – everyone recognises the Coca-Cola, McDonald’s or Nike logos.

People associate brands with certain things. For example, say McDonald’s and people will think of burgers, fast food, kids, Ronald McDonald, the Golden Arches and so on. These associations are known as brand molecules. It doesn’t take much research to uncover your own particular brand molecules; manipulating them to build the brand you want is another matter!

The sensory approach to branding

Giving your customers the stats – our batteries last 27.5% longer than the competition – won’t really excite them or inspire their loyalty. On the other hand, appeal to their senses and you’re more likely to draw an emotional response. Think of the way music can make an advertisement go viral or how a strong graphic can draw the eye to the rest of a message.

This has been identified as ‘sensory branding’ and when it’s successful it will cause your target audience to form an emotional bond with your brand. The more sensory points contained in your brand messages, the stronger your brand will become as your relationship with your customers deepens.

How does this relate to logo design?

We all know by now the importance of the corporate logo in terms of brand recognition. The best logo is a strong, simple visual device that is instantly recognisable and that on a subliminal level carries complex brand messages. If you can add a sensory emotional trigger into the mix, your logo will become powerful beyond measure – and corporate logos are one of the strongest vehicles for visual corporate branding.

The trick to incorporating an emotional bond into a graphic device such as logo is to have all the elements working in the same direction – backing up the one core message. Your choice of colour, shape and font each adds meaning. In the most powerful logos, these subliminal visual messages reinforce each other to create one strong communication that is instantly recognisable and easily recalled.

The so-called super brands have long understood the power of their logos and the emotional content they carry. A strong visual identity which carries a strong message about the brand is literally worth millions of words of printed statistics on why your product is better. Harnessing the power of sensory and emotional messaging in a device as simple as a corporate logo may not be easy but if you can do it successfully, you will create a super-charged branding tool that will bring a return on investment for years to come.

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