Every single business, charity or entity has a ‘brand’ in the sense that they all have an identity rather like you or I have an identity as people. To work out the details so that what you say, how you operate and what you promise to reflect the way you want to be known as a business and brand takes time to think through.
It involves working out which values of the founder are to be paramount in establishing what the brand of the business or charity represents. What its personality is, and what it wants to stand for – it needs to be something that resonates with its customers or those they serve.
Working out what you want to uniquely provide to the market, and your marketing messages to evoke a desired response in the minds of your customers through your brand promise is the first step involved to brand your business. Until your business can consistently deliver that, you will not have a brand
Wally Olins, a thought leader in brands and branding says
‘A brand is simply an organisation, or a product, or a service with a personality ... Branding can encapsulate both big and important and apparently superficial and trivial issues simultaneously … Branding is not only a design and marketing tool, it should influence everybody in your company, it’s a coordinating resource because it makes the corporation’s activities coherent and above all it makes the strategy of the organisation visible and palpable for all audiences to see’.
While design helps support the overall impression and feelings a brand wants to evoke and convey, if you don’t first work out your brand strategy for creating a successful business that meets a market need, then no amount of ‘visual identity branding’ will make your business into a successful, coherent brand.
An important point to note is that the good associations that customers have with a brand are, for the most part, transferred to the brand’s name. Just as individuals are identified by their name, so we identify a business primarily by its name.
The name plays a very significant part in the way the law protects a brand. Even if a business has many other symbols, like Coca-Cola has with its distinctive logo or bottle shape, the name is still the most critical component of its identity. This is why you need to work with a trade mark lawyer who “gets” branding for the initial first phase of your branding exercise when you’re developing your brand strategy, and identifying suitable names.
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