Branding: How to make your mark.
When orchestrating your brand there are many things to consider. Your brand is, in essence, your organisation’s identity in the world, so great care at all steps of the branding process must be taken. Your brand must convey positive connotations in whichever field you are breaking into, and must be memorable for the right reasons, above all.
The Rules of Four
The Four Easies
Your brand must be:
- 1) Easy to say – Customers and clients won’t order something they can’t pronounce, and the easier it is to say, the better.
- 2) Easy to spell – Stockists of your products need to be able to spell your product properly if they’re going to order it on a regular basis.
- 3) Easy to read – If your brand’s naming image looks like a Rorschach test, no-one will be able to see what it says and your brand name will be lost.
- 4) Easy to remember – If a customer can’t remember your brand name, then your brand will fail.
Consider Coke, for example. Starting its life as Coca-Cola in 1886, it added the shortened version “Coke” as a part of its registered trademark in 1944, and has shifted its image from the original non-alcoholic nerve tonic to cure morphine addiction and dyspepsia to a refreshing drink sold in soda fountains and enjoyed by people of all ages. The symbolic cursive handwritten “Coca-Cola” has remained unchanged since the late 19th century, along with its iconic red and white labelling. The brand’s image is beautifully uncomplicated – only two colours are used, and while the cursive Coca-Cola name may be difficult to read at very small resolution, there are no cases of a tiny size being used for Coca-Cola labels in the market.
The Four Fits
Your brand must also “fit” in four ways:
- 1) It must fit the target market – If your target market is women aged 18-30, then establishing a brand that appeals to men aged 50-70 is not going to work. Establishing your target market and tailoring your brand around them is vital if you want your brand to succeed.
- 2) It must fit the customer’s culture – If you have a product that you want to introduce to a market of “weekend warriors” who spend time engaging in extreme adventure sports, you should create a brand of fast-paced excitement, rather than one of peace and tranquillity.
- 3) It must fit the product’s benefits – If your product’s benefits are speed and sexiness, creating a brand to emphasise these attributes in the form of high-status symbolism would be an appropriate branding tactic.
- 4) It must fit legal requirements – That is to say your brand cannot infringe on any pre-existing brands or make false claims, especially in regard to health and safety products.
When companies like Ferrari, Porsche, and Lamborghini were fighting for the 1930s European car market with their sleek, high-speed sports cars, Volvo’s remarkably non-sleek and non-high-speed cars were incredibly unpopular. So Volvo changed their marketing approach. While their competitors flaunted gorgeous cars that could go at incredible speed, Volvo placed its emphasis on safety, and pitched it at families. Suddenly “Driving a Volvo won’t get you from point A to point B at breakneck speed” became “In a Volvo you’re guaranteed not to break your neck”. This branding approach was a stroke of genius – Volvo’s sales skyrocketed, and now, almost 90 years later, Volvo’s name is still synonymous with a trustworthy, safe family vehicle.
Final word on branding success
Creating the right image and brand in the market place to stand out is vital to the success of your website and your business. Customers and clients make their relationships with your organisation through your brand. Branding creates a recognition factor that sticks in the mind of the public and will make your organisation’s name known, so creating the best brand for your organisation while not easy or instantaneous, will most definitely pay off in the long run.