When it comes to branding, it’s natural to feel lost or overwhelmed by the sheer number of things that need to be done. Without proper strategy, planning and vision, it becomes harder to execute the steps of branding successfully. Let’s not get all serious over here. The best part about branding and marketing is: if you’re not having fun doing it, you’re not doing it right.
Even though you’re having fun, you also need to know what you’re doing. That’s where professionals come into play. Now, what is the role of a creative agency or a branding professional? Let’s take a look at what is a branding agency and what they do.
A branding agency helps you build a vivid picture of what you want your brand to be as well as what your brand demands to be. It guides you to identify the personality of your brand, maintains the consistency of the brand, assists you to develop strategies for the marketing campaigns for your brand. Most importantly, a branding agency can help you discover and establish the potential of your brand. You might have an idea about the branding of your company, but an agency helps make that idea into reality. They have real-time information about brands, trends, insights into the customer behaviour, recent technologies and most importantly, they have the experience. The prior experience and practical knowledge help them map out the essentials of branding for you.
Today, we will show you how hiring an agency really helps you out in the 8 major parts of Branding.
- Naming– It is not an easy feat to choose the name that’s effective and impactful for your brand. Names are quite powerful and finding the perfect one requires meeting a lot of terms and conditions. You may use the founder’s name like Guccio Gucci (Gucci), a completely out of context word (Apple/Razorfish), or even create a new word (Google from Googol or Kodak). But, there are crucial things that need to be considered like:
– Pronounceability: Using a word like pronounceability, which almost breaks half of your teeth, is mostly not a good idea while naming your brand. If your customers cannot pronounce your name, how will they remember you or talk about how great you are?
– Using common/ overused words: A common name doesn’t stand out in a crowd. Branding is all about standing out and that is why being unique is absolutely essential.
– Using confusing acronyms or spellings: It might seem a bit cool to use ‘u’ instead of ‘you,’ or ‘4’ instead of ‘for’ but it confuses people. You do not want them to be typing in the wrong name in the search engine which may result in not finding you at all, or even worse, finding your competitor instead of you!
Besides, there are things to research and consider like securing a unique domain name (because almost everything seems to be taken!) which require a lot of time and resources. This is where an agency can help you out. They are here to test out all the criterion for your brand name, as well as do the market analysis and even help you find the perfect name for your brand. The key is to explain to them all the crucial details and together you can figure out the name that best suits your brand!
- Logo– Designing a logo is no walk in the park. A logo has to be simple, scalable, memorable and impactful, versatile, relevant, and timeless. Agencies use professional designers to design logos for them. Designers professionally study and understand the concept of colors, shapes and designs. Not just design, a lot of scaling and measurements are considered which requires some level of technical knowledge. A logo will be used in all shapes and sizes in all kinds of media, so it has to be designed considering all of these factors. A lot of steps are required to design a logo. Starting from understanding the brand, the perceptions of its customers, research about trends, brainstorming, conceptualizing, coming up with rough drafts, incorporating feedback, deciding the colors, shapes and structure; all these and more are an integral part of logo designing.
- Typography– Typography gives another identity to your brand. It is a crucial part of the brand design, unfortunately, it is generally not well thought out. Did you know something as simple as the font type of your brand can bring out a certain emotional response from your customers? Think about this, you are a very trendy teenage lifestyle brand but you are using a very serious looking Serif font. Your brand will be unlikely to catch your target group’s attention or your target market will not be able to relate to it. When you are designing a brand identity, a consistent set of fonts—each with a specific purpose must be used. Typography lets you create a certain personality. You can choose to be modern, vintage, romantic, sleek, shy or bold just by your choice of typeface and it’s arrangement. Select your type so that you can express your own unique identity. Of course, it’s definitely recommended that you take the help of an expert. They can help you to identify the appropriate fonts from the thousands of fonts available for every imaginable purpose, for all your visual elements.
- Color palette– Color is the visual component people remember most about a brand. Brands and color are inseparably linked because of the instant effect color offers for conveying message without using words. Colors evoke emotions within consumers from expressing a calm demeanor to a color palette that induces excitement or gives off a vibe that the brand is premium. Being able to recognize brands just through their colors is very common. Like the Facebook blue, or the Coca-cola red, and the use of red, green, yellow and blue for Google, there is a lot that goes into deciding on a color palette for a brand. An interesting fact is that Microsoft and Google use the same four colors for their brand logo yet manages to be distinguishable. An agency can help you to identify the most effective color palette which will represent what your brand is- to what your customers might feel when they see your brand’s colors. Fun fact, researchers found that up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone (depending on the product).
- Iconography– People retain images and shapes in their mind more than words. The proper use of icons and symbols can help make your brand truly iconic (pun intended). Logos can function as a symbol, but most logos are not designed to fit that purpose. Iconography is not just designing the right symbols and icons for your brand, it also includes the brand guidelines, where to use the icons, how to use them, the color schemes and all relevant directions. Without these, there will be no consistency in your brand.
- Brand Strategy- Brand strategy is the long-term development plan for a brand to sustain after reaching its short-term goals. A well-defined and executed brand strategy considers all aspects of the business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments. Considering all current and potential competitors, and designing a plan on how to stay on top of all the possible challenges, everything is a part of brand strategy.
- Brand identifiers- Brand identifiers are logos, visual elements, stylized texts or features that help to distinguish one brand from the other. A great example of an identifier is the swoosh logo of Nike, which is easily identifiable amongst all other brands. Brands use identifiers to ensure there is no confusion about the identity of the brand when it is in front of the customers. Coming up with unique identifiers that are memorable enough to leave an imprint but not too complicated so that people overlook it, is a real challenge.
- Slogan/Tagline- Slogans and brand taglines can be of many kinds. There may be one constant slogan for your overall brand along with multiple taglines of individual campaigns. The main goal here is to come up with something catchy so that it catches people’s attention and leaves a mark.
A professional agency works around all the branding elements constantly. Taking the opinion of experts would yield better results as they will be able to identify your requirements and happily guide you through the branding process. If you ultimately decide to hire an agency, all the branding decisions can be taken after a collaborative and elaborate discussion on what you want the outcome of your branding to be, along with expert opinions. Keep in mind, you should have a clear idea about their work before hiring an agency. Check out their portfolio and get a perception about the nature of their work. If you like their work, contact them and they’d be happy to help!
Also published on Medium.