Branding is an essential component of any business, yet it's often steeped in mystery and confusion, with many firms failing to get their branding right because they don't really understand what it's about and how important it is. Branding done successfully can be a real asset to an organisation; it will stick in people's minds and become instantly recognisable, and gives you a platform to get your views and messages across. Here's all you need to know about successful branding.
Know what you're about
If you want to achieve successful branding then it's important to know who you are, what you stand for and what messages and values you want to put across. When you are clear about your branding, then you need to communicate this to all members of your organisation, so that there is a coherent understanding across the board.
Successful branding needs to be consistent across all platforms of communication (both online and offline) and by all members of staff. A lot of organisations fail in their branding because they take a more relaxed approach with it in online communications, especially when using social media sites, which tend to take a more informal approach. However, you may reach some of your biggest audiences by using social media, so it's important that you use the same level of consideration for your branding throughout. Consistency in branding also means not chopping and changing your branding on a regular basis. It takes a while for people to build up branding recognition, and you won't achieve this if you keep changing it.
Your branding should have the ability to be transferable to other markets, so that if you obtained a global presence, foreign countries wouldn't misinterpret anything about your branding, which in some cases may be detrimental. Your branding should also be suitable for use on a wide range of materials or scenarios, at different sizes. So, for instance, even if your branding looks great on a letterhead, how will it look if shrunken down to fit on a business card or names badge? If it looks all squashed up and you can't read the slogan or see the image, then you may have to have a branding re-think.
Successful branding should be unique, eye-catching and memorable. Whilst it's ok to take inspiration from great brands that already exist, you should never, ever copy any element, as you will only look unprofessional, and it could have a very negative effect on your business.
It can be hard coming up with unique ideas to create new branding, but you should always try to think of concepts that reflect who you are and what you want to achieve or get across, as a business. Make it meaningful to you, so that it is easier for your audience to understand you. It will need to link to what your audience expects of you, so don't go for something totally abstract as they will only become baffled.
Successful branding is simple yet effective. You don't need to go overboard on colours, slogans, wording and over-complicated designs to create a successful branding message - so in this case, less can definitely be more.