Branding is clearly prevalent in consumer marketing. Very well known brands spend millions maintaining probably the most valuable asset a business has. Understanding what a brand is, is the first step in understanding how brand value is created.
A brand is not just a logo. The logo is the device by which the business is recognised. The logo is part of a brand but there is much more to it. A brand is the reason a customer buys products and services from a business.
I have spent many a happy hour discussing what a brand is with Matt Mortimer of Mortimer Design. I feel the diagram we came up with sums up a brand quite well.
The three elements of a brand are:
1) The brand image which is made up of the colours, typography, photography, graphics, illustrations, messages and words a business uses to validate their brand.
2) The communication channels used by a business to communicate to their customers and other stakeholders, including websites, brochures, exhibition stands, social media and direct mail.
3) Business behaviours from how the business behaves towards its customers in answering the phone, delivery the product or service, dealing with complaints, making sales calls to how the business treats its employees.
All three elements are interlinked. To successfully build a brand, the image must be a distillation of the vision and values of the business. Once the design has been developed it must be consistently applied to all communication channels. All business behaviours must also reflect the vision and values consistently.