Congratulations! You survived 2020.
Huge brands have faced losses, small businesses have shut down, and landscape of entire industries have changed forever. Some companies are the exception to the rule and have come into 2021, better than before. What’s their secret?
Hear us out! The simplest marketing strategies are often the most powerful. If you want to be successful, profitable and well-known in 2021, you will need to learn four things:
- What is branding?
- What are brand guidelines? Why should you care?
- What is brand architecture? How can you use it to get results?
- How can you maximise profits using your visual assets?
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Branding has contributed to the success of the biggest brands in the world– Nike, Apple, Johnson& Johnson, you name it. If you want similar success, then buckle up. It’s time for a brand check-up!
What is branding?
Branding consists of more than designing a logo or picking out your company colours. Your brand is the social, physical and emotional representation of your company.
Think. How do you want your brand to be perceived in the world? Do you want people to see you as a friendly, energetic company? A serious, premium product? A caring, charitable organisation?
Now pick three words to describe your brand. Those will be the pillars of your branding strategy. Ensure that this brand personality is reflected in everything you do, and you will see that:
- Your company stands out from the faceless (and dare we say, personality-less) competition.
- You build a trust-based reputation, which facilitates your advertising efforts.
- Your product becomes more memorable and recognisable to everyone.
And you make more MOOLAH!
What are brand guidelines? Why should you care?
Hold up! There is a LOT of work to be done first. It all starts with brand guidelines. You see, branding isn’t static. It needs to stay current with your customers, their social context and the ever-changing market.
If you’re not careful, you will lose your core identity while trying to sync with everything we just mentioned. That’s why it is important to have a set of guidelines anchoring your brand personality. These brand guidelines don’t have to be in a super-complicated, they just need to have five things:
What is your goal for the company? How do you see it interacting with the world in the future?
What is the purpose of your company’s existence? How does it benefit the world at large?
3. Values and Ethos
What are the guiding beliefs and principles of your company?
4. Core Promises
What unique value do you offer to your customers?
Who are your customers? What are their new goals, values, and priorities? Just answer these questions and BOOM! You have a clear understanding how to shape your brands’:
- Tone, Language, and Messaging
- Visual Design Elements (colours, photo styles, typography, iconography etc.)
And that folks, is how it’s done at Viabrand!
What is brand architecture? How do I use it to get results?
“You can’t build a great building on a weak foundation.” – Gordon B. Hinckley
Mr Hinckley as a world-renowned leader, knew a thing or two about success.
Throughout 2021, your branch architecture will change– you may develop new products/services, merge with another company or acquire one. If your company’s brand identity is to survive these changes, you need to build it a strong foundation.
There are two types of foundations for you to choose from:
1. The Branded House
- Comprises of one main brand, with smaller associated products and services held under the same name.
- Helps concentrate brand awareness and recognition, thereby lowering marketing and advertising costs.
- Makes it easier to roll out new offers under the same name.
- For example: Google, Coca-Cola, etc.
2. House of Brands
- Comprises of a less prominent parent brand with multiple individually branded products/services.
- Beneficial for large conglomerations.
- Easier to take risks on new products without damaging other brand identities.
- For example: Proctor & Gamble, The Kraft Heinz Company, etc.
Here comes the best part! We’re going to give you a great excuse to procrastinate. Next time you don’t feel like completing a boring task, sit down and analyse your brand architecture.
Chart it out on a piece of paper– intra-company hierarchy, how your products relate/complement each other, the levels of branding, and anything else you can think of.
Thank us later.
How can you make the most of your visual assets?
What are visual assets?
Visual assets are visual content created by your company. It is usually digital in format and can include photos, videos, logo, fonts, memes, GIFs, diagrams– the list goes on.
Your main visual assets are:
Your logo is the most powerful asset. It is the visual core of your brand’s identity. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to switch it up now and then to respond to current events.
2. Social Profile Assets
With over 3 billion social media users all over the world, this is one of the largest assets a brand has. It encourages engagement, spreads brand messages and generates leads. Your social media marketing should reflect the three Cs– community-oriented, content-rich and current.
Why are visual assets so important?
There are three main reasons:
- They make your brand more recognisable and memorable.
- Customers are more likely to interact and engage with your brand’s content if it’s visual.
- Visual assets will help your brand stand out from the competition.
How can I use visual assets?
First, check that each social channel, product, and service has its own visual assets instead of cutting-and-pasting content across channels. Different channels have different content needs.
Then make sure your visual assets align with the personality, values, tone, and vision laid out in the brand guidelines. Remember to respond to current events and update your assets regularly.
Now all you have to do is hone your branding strategy with the information and advice we provided here. Good luck!
If you skipped to the end of this article, then we have a proposition. We understand you’re an extremely busy person with little time for marketing, brand-building or brand architecture. Consider hiring a brand expert from Viabrand! We are a results-oriented marketing agency with a track record of winning brand strategies.