Now your brand has a new moment of truth, are you making the most of it? I’m addressing the second your potential customer types a search command into a smartphone. How you show up at that moment is your brand.

As smartphones become an extension of who we are, we operate more unconsciously on a search reflex. In a fundamental sense, your brand lives in the metadata that determines which products come up first when the customers ask, based on how relevant they are to the specific request. With a lot of powerful tools at our fingertips and a rapidly evolving internet, never in our history, we were able to launch a coordinated message as quickly and effectively as we can today. The question is, do you understand your brand and are you in control of it? Businesses that are in control have a significant advantage. It was never more critical to look at your brand identity and determine what it has to stand out in the digital crowd.

Over time, a well-designed identity that fully expresses your brand has the potential to build so much value that your company will be hard-pressed to operate without it. A good brand is timeless, communicates well and is ultimately memorable. There is no strict formula for creating a successful brand, but a consistent and thoughtfully executed plan of attack is paramount to success. From the logo to the way you use social media, a brand is a giant machine with many elements that make it up. But how to make sure that your brand will get a second look? Let’s discuss some of the features that make up a memorable and successful brand.

 

1. A logo that reflects your brand essence

When we think of brands, we firstly think of a logo. A logo is a graphic element that reflects the brand visually, which is a lot to ask of one graphic.  The logo is one of the foundation blocks of a brand. There’s no set formula to a good logo; the combinations are endless.

Your logo works 24 hours a day. It is your first visual exposure to potential clients which is responsible for establishing an emotional connection between you and them.

A strong logo uses type, symbols, illustration, color, and style to define the nature of your business and your corporate character. The logo sums up the characteristics of your brand and converts them into a unique visual representation of what your brand stands for. This is achieved by drawing on a complex mix of experience, emotion, and sound graphics training. A successfully implemented brand identity will eventually build its value.

 

2. Intentional use of color

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Color plays an undeniable part of branding – it can influence the tone of your brand, generate certain emotions or sentiments, color can make or break a brand. First port of call when discussing color is to make a note of color theory and which colors can have a specific effect.

Some brands use color so accurately and effectively that it is trademarked. So, how do you achieve a color palette so perfect for your brand that it warrants trademarking? Mainly through experimentation. Pay attention to color theory, but don’t feel constrained. Similarly, pay attention to trends within similar brands, but don’t think that you have to follow suit.

A handy tip is to find distinct colors from your brand’s product or history and sample tones right from there. Do you have a simple palette in your imagery? Build a color palette that would work the best for you. Look at your brand objectively and figure out what works best for your tone, objectives, audience and your brand.

 

3. An addictive brand name

We all instantly recognize what the lowercase ‘i’ in front of the words means –  iPhone, iMac, iPod. Apple is only one example of a company which used simple, memorable, flexible and catchy brand name. The success of Apple and its branding proves that a memorable brand name is a key to a successful brand.

One of the other hallmarks is when the brand name turns into a new word, a verb or a noun. For example, take the phrase “I will google it.” Google has moved from the point of being just a brand name and has entered the realm of being a verb, a synonym for “search.”

So, what kind of brand names are there? A lot. From made up words, through to the use of just initials, there is no strict formula for a successful brand name; this means you have a high degree of flexibility. While thinking of your brand name, be sure not to use all of these ideas at once. Choose one method, make it simple and reminiscent of your brand as a whole. As the general rule of branding, simple is the best.

Find what works for your brand, ask others’ objective opinions and take them seriously, be sure that it’s unique and not too alike a similar brand, be sure it’s easily pronounced and finally, be sure that it matches. The possibilities for brand names are just about endless, so think it out and come up with something fitting and memorable.

 

4. Clever taglines and slogans

Following the topic of language is the subject of taglines and slogans. These two are especially useful tools: the careful compilation of words helps to describe what your company does, what your values are and presents you space to show your creativity.

A good brand will create a tagline or slogan that stays with you and keeps you thinking beyond your encounter with the brand. A good tagline complements your brand and is memorable. While some expand beyond, the sweet spot concerning word count is about 3-5 words. The fewer words, the easier the tagline/slogan is to remember.

Let your taglines and slogans express the beliefs, functions, and tone of your brand in the fastest way possible. Never be afraid of getting creative with them, but also do not be scared of just keeping them simple.

 

5. A compelling mission statement

A brand without any mission is like a car with no fuel – it has the right equipment but isn’t going to get anywhere fast. Brands with a clear message, intention and driving force behind them are usually more successful than brands without them.

All mission statements don’t have to be about changing the world, but instead, it should be tailored to your brand and a reasonable mission for it to take on. A good mission statement is evident and apparent; it gives your brand direction, keeps everything consistent and strengthens your brand’s values and effectiveness. Purpose, mission, and values are critical to a bright and logical mission statement.

 

6. Genuine connection and emotion

Try to remember any Coke ad. Do you picture young people drinking Coke at a party, surrounded by friends, dancing and having fun? This is Coke’s brand; this is what people buy when they reach for the red bottle – not just the taste or the price, but subconsciously they set out to buy the experience that they expect to get. So, where do these expectations of experience originate from? Yep, you guessed it: branding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A good brand should establish an emotional connection with its consumers that often actually exceeds the product itself. Giving your brand a distinct and authentic ‘personality’ helps to set it apart from the rest. This is a vital reason why we often prefer the products with a rand name although the generic products are often just as good and even more cost-effective. We do this because these name-brand products have established some form of a connection with us through careful branding.

A study from Germany reported that while the average consumer can`t taste the difference in a blindfolded taste test, peoples’ brains often register more enjoyment and pleasure if they think they are drinking Coke or Pepsi. There we have it, scientific proof of the effect that quality branding and a strong emotional connection can have on consumers.

So, rather than treating your brand as an emotionless object, a good brand should give it personality, use emotions to create a long-lasting connection with consumers. So when they see your brand out in the wild, they should feel a certain way about it emotionally, rather than feeling distant and seeing it merely as a product on the shelf.

 

7. Appeal to the everyday consumer

Reflect on the most successful world brands, they all cross countries and continents, recognized and experienced by people of all cultures and ages. And how do they achieve this? They appeal to the everyday person.

There are some emotions and life experiences that are common to the humanity, whether we experience them ourselves every day or see them experienced by others, there are certain traits we can identify and relate to in some way. Successful brands use these experiences to build universally accessible brands.

To keep your brand appealing to as many people as possible, consider what emotions or sentiments you can play up. Family, love, happiness, trust, humor, are commonly relatable emotions. Research your audience, consider what people like and need and think universally.

 

8. Dare to be different

The essence of standing out from a crowd is being creative. However, the thing about creativity is that everybody can do it. Anyone could come up with a brand with a unique sales point or an incredible design – the trick is finding a spot of uniqueness that works.

While taking risks with your brand can be unsafe, a well-calculated and informed risk can pay off in the long run. Whether you want to stand out with a not typical product, a different design, or unique brand objectives, make sure not to ruin the effectiveness of your brand in the name of being different. A unique brand will attract attention, so make an effort to ensure it is the right kind of attention.

 

9. Consistency

To put it simply, you can have the most well-crafted brand in the world and ruin it all with poor consistency. There are many reasons why inconsistency happens, but one of the leading ones is lack of communication. At this stage brand identity manual comes handy: set rules, show examples, plan for the worst and hope for the best. Make sure to communicate with every channel of your brand, from the designers to the social media managers to ensure that everybody is on the same page.

Whatever your branding is, from its tone right down to its aesthetic look, always keep it consistent. Even though brands have ‘makeovers’ every few years and develop new styles as the times change, be intentional about any changes you make with your brand. Have solid reasoning for any drastic changes you may make. A good brand doesn’t have to change that often, so when you set the foundation, make sure that you are happy to build upon that specific branding for time to come.

 

Conclusion

Brand identities continually develop – trends change, companies change, and people change. Even successful brands constantly assess their messaging. View refreshing your brand image if your logo has become dated, if your marketing goals have shifted or if there have been changes in management, and your target audience has changed.

A brand should work like a well-oiled machine. Maintaining your brand should only look smooth when in reality there should be constant communication, guidance, and evaluation.

Rome was not built in a day, and nor were the top brands. It takes time, effort, communication across the board and main purpose. Plan it out, seek advice, get feedback, ask opinions, discover solutions that make sense and that feel right and go from there. Your brand has a new moment of truth. So are you making the most of it, will your brand deserve a second look?

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