Why is it important to determine your Brand Values?

“Marketing is about values. It’s a complicated and noisy world, and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about us.”

– Steve Jobs


In this quote, Steve Jobs is trying to convey that for any brand to be successful, it is very important to define the brand values. People often get confused between Brand Value and the Brand Values. While Brand Value is the monetary worth of a brand, Brand Values are the moral principles a brand follows. These moral principles support the Brand Promise and are expressed through the Brand Identity.


Determining Brand Values

Brand values are the foundation of any business. They give your brand a purpose and a direction to be followed. Without Brand Values, your brand is like any other business operating with only one goal - to maximize profits. Brand Values are reflected in your employees and in your work culture. Unlike Vision or Mission, they are not mere statements hanging down the walls of your offices. They are a defined set of standards which represent your brand’s DNA and communicated through actions & employee behaviour. An authoritative brand looks and speaks differently compared to a fun brand. Just like the verbal tone and visual style of IBM is different from that of Disney’s. It is important to clearly determine who you brand is speaking to. And what values do they represent as a group. Customers flock to the brand that reflect their values.


How do you define your Brand Values?

Well firstly, you don’t define the Brand Values, you identify them. They are already part of your company. Brand Values are identified through branding exercises where you and the key employees of your organization take part and help in identifying the Values of your brand. Brand Values are expressed visually and verbally across touch points that customers can identify with. Identifying your brand values and expressing them clearly greatly enhances the ROI on your marketing spends, ultimately making your business more profitable.


Article contributed by Mansi Panchamia, Marketing Team, Yellow Fishes

Why is Tone of Voice important?


A German Philosopher (Friedrich Nietzsche) once said ‘We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us’. It is not only the ‘what is said’ but also ‘how it is said’ that matters to us. Tone of Voice for a ‘brand’ is no different. It is an expression which tries to appeal to the Benefit Group, which thereby helps in creating an emotional connect with them.

Tone of Voice is the purest Verbal Expression of a brand. It helps in portraying a Brand’s Personality. Though it is an integral part of Brand Identity, it is the one of the most underrated aspect of it. The Tone of Voice for a brand not only defines what and how a brand should speak but it also defines what things it should ‘not’ speak. The choice of words, sentence length, humour or sarcasm, witty or outright clever - all of these form part of Tone of Voice.

Consistency in the tone helps in creating right image of the brand that is aligned with the Brand’s Personality. Well, if you doubted, how important is consistency, why just one philosopher, there was another German who iterated the importance of it. 'If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.' An entire German (Nazi) empire was built on this. Coming back to brands, consistency can only be achieved if their tone sticks to their Personality. While most efforts go toward visually manifesting the Brand Values through design, the Verbal Expression is as important and must not be ignored. As Simon Sinek says, ‘Trust is not an instruction, it’s a feeling’; only a consistent Tone of Voice helps in creating this feeling of trust amongst the Benefit Group.

Thus, Tone of Voice helps in creating an association in the minds of the Benefit Group regarding the personality of the brand; An association which they can empathize towards. The one that can help in creating lasting emotional connect with the brand.

- Article contributed by Aditya Deole, Marketing Team, Yellow Fishes

Why brands should narrow their focus?


For ages, one question that has haunted entrepreneurs is ‘Should I improve my offerings (and not expand)?’ You must be thinking this is crazy or an invalid question. But it's not. It is quite an smart practice that most established brands have adopted. Yet it goes unnoticed. Let's take an example. We have at least one coffee shop in every neighborhood and it serves everything from coffees to buns to finger food to tempting desserts. But when we talk about great coffee experience why does a green circular logo pop into our head most often.

Merely following what successful brands are doing is not a good idea for an upcoming one. They have done something in the past to reach where they are now. So, we’ll have to look back in time - to their roots & their foundation. And when we do that, we’ll always find that all successful brands at have mastered their core offering.

Domino’s used to sell pizzas, sub sandwiches and everything possible. But then Tom Monaghan dropped the subs, narrowed the focus of brand and concentrated on pizzas. Domino’s innovated the insulated pizza delivery boxes, that can be easily stacked up without crushing the pizza inside, to target campuses. Same focus-narrowing strategy has been followed by Absolut, Hermes, Colgate, and Coca Cola to name a few. Had these brands rapidly expanded to other categories, they wouldn’t be the benchmark of their own category today.

So how does this happen? Why do some brands narrow the focus to strengthen itself? We live in an over-communicated world. We are exposed to thousands of marketing messages each day. In such circumstances, having an astute marketing strategy is hardly going to fetch any Brand Loyalty. Although the following factors, achieved by narrowing the focus, will:


1.           Innovation and creativity

Only when you are focused, will you be able to put in maximum effort in understanding and serving your benefit groups. This will help you build innovative and creative solutions in form of your product or service and change lives. Best example would be Adidas. Even though today you enjoy a myriad of merchandise by Adidas it all started from only sport shoes meant for athletes.


2.           Association

A brand, most importantly, has to create an association in the consumer's mind. Associating one brand to multiple aspects create a lot of confusion. Dolce and Gabbana, the high fashion brand, shut the cheaper D&G fashion label in order to disassociate Dolce and Gabbana with cheap apparels and to concentrate on their main collection. Because of D&G label the brand faced a slowdown as their benefit groups lost perception of exclusive products. Narrowing the focus aids association.


3.           Experience

Any successful brand creates a pleasant experience for its benefit groups at every interaction - before, after or during the purchase. If the brand's focus is not narrowed down and is trying to be jack of all trades, it will hardly be able to create an experience and evoke any aspiration. The best representation of this is Apple. Apple takes immense care that their benefit group must love the brand for every experience it creates.


These factors directly affect the brand awareness and loyalty. The narrower the focus of a brand's offering, the stronger it will be.

For the world’s best coffee, that Green Circular logo of ‘Starbucks Coffee’ pops because the brand once narrowed its focus to master in Coffee – of course it also sells great savories and desserts but it has become synonymous to coffee. Their commitment and focus on coffee is evident from their name, even till today.


- Article contributed by Himali Jangam, Marketing Team, Yellow Fishes

Types of Brand Architecture

Yellow Fishes Premier Branding Agency Mumbai India Blogpost Types of Brand Architecture

Brand Architecture, is an important Brand Strategy tool that studies and defines the relationship of parent brand with its various child brands. It is a very deliberate exercise that defines how closely each child brand should be linked to the Masterbrand. Associations or Dissociations are visually & verbally depicted in brand communication – though its name, logo, packaging, sales collaterals etc. Let’s have a look at the 3 most popular types of Brand Architecture.



This Brand Architecture type has the parent brand, which is always closely associated with the child brand. The names of the sub-brands are attached to its parent brand. We can also see the relationship in the logo, packaging, and brand communication – all are aligned to the parent brand.

Virgin is an example of Branded House Architecture. Virgin airlines, Virgin café, Virgin digital etc.

Yellow Fishes Best Branding Agency in Mumbai India Blogpost Types of Brand Architecture - Branded House

Is this Strategy right for your brand? Branded House is built on fundamentals to gain great visibility for the Masterbrand. It broadens the perception of the organization's capabilities / business. It helps in leveraging brand investment most effectively.



House of Brands is a Brand Architecture Strategy where a parent brand owns and manages various sub-brands, each of those is a unique brand. Those sub-brands don’t closely relate themselves to its parent brand. Their distinctive personalities are seen through Brand names, logos and communication style.

Chevrolet, Hummer, Chrysler, Cadillac, Jeep, Mazda, Opel, Buick etc. You’d be surprised to know that the age old General Motors is their parent brand.

Yellow Fishes Best Branding Agency in Mumbai India Blogpost Types of Brand Architecture - House of Brands

Is this Strategy right for your brand? House of Brands Architecture is slightly more flexible Architecture. Under this Architecture, each brand can address distinct market segmentation needs, with unique marketing and communication strategies.



This type of Brand Architecture Strategy uses merits of both – Branded House and House of Brands. This is a combination model where all kinds of parent-child relationships can co-exist. Some of the sub-brands are associated closely with the parent brand while some other sub-brands dissociate or have a distant relationship with its parent. 

The classic example of this architecture is that of Volkswagen. VW owns brands like Bugatti, Seat, Audi and Skoda. But it also carries a brand on its own name. 

Yellow Fishes Best Branding Agency in Mumbai India Blogpost Types of Brand Architecture - Hybrid Architecture

Is this Strategy right for your brand? Hybrid Brand Architecture is a combination of Branded House and House of Brands. This architecture has the most flexibility for acquisitions; spin-offs, leveraging brand equity, different products / brands that suit different marketing segments etc.

 - Article contributed by Aditya Deole, Marketing Team, Yellow Fishes

Read more on Brand Architecture here.

Types of Emotional Benefits

Let’s start with an experiment. Melt a Toblerone and mould it into a slab. Ask a friend to taste it and observe their reaction. Most probably your friend will throw it at you and will be disgusted for having such a terrible taste in chocolate. And you would agree with him after you taste it yourself. That pops a question in my mind.

Why is Brand Personality important?

To understand the importance of Brand Personality, we have to first understand the meaning of Brand Personality. Imagine a Brand to be a Person. How would that Person behave? How would s/he speak? Whether that Person is well travelled or s/he seldom travels? What kind of car s/he would be driving? And clothes… how would s/he dress up? Brand Personality is the Human traits/Personality attached to a Brand.

4 Questions that will make you rethink your brand strategy

Your brand promise is the singular strong idea that your customers and employees can relate to. In the most ideal scenario, your established brand promise should connect meaningfully to all your stakeholders. Brand promise needn’t be articulated in words; it should be your way of business, delivered at every brand touchpoint. ...

Difference between Brand Strategy & Marketing Strategy


Many businesses often get confused about the difference between Brand Strategy & Marketing Strategy. And it is understandable because they are not mutually exclusive strategic concepts, but heavily intertwined. They are very interdependent, so much so that they define and inform the extent to which the other could go. Brand Strategy defines what the business stands for and how will it be relevant to its Customers. It takes care of Customer expectations and Brand Promise made to them. It also informs how the brand will communicate - its Tone of Voice. Marketing Strategy, on the other hand, defines how the Promise will be communicated and what mediums will the Brand use. It also determines how to make the business profitable by increasing Brand Awareness and Customer Conversions.

Brand Strategy pivots around Emotions of Customers. It defines softer attributes - like Brand Values that are fundamentally imperative to business success. Marketing Strategy is more tangible, quantifiable and measurable.

Brand Strategy is manifested for both - internal and external stakeholders. It helps Customers to create an Emotional Bond with the Brand while also giving employees a purpose and clear goal to work towards. It helps the business understand who they truly are, and adds sense of purpose within the organisation. Marketing Strategy is targeted for external audience, specifically to garner more Customers.


So what is the difference between Brand Strategy and Marketing Strategy?


Brand Strategy is the key to effective Marketing Strategy. They have always been, and will always be interdependent strategic concepts. They both go hand-in-hand. One cannot replace the other. Each strategy needs to be developed with utmost care and focus. There is no either / or between the two. But, a friendly shake-hand that multiplies the strength of your Brand.

Write to us and we'll be glad to help you with these specialised disciplines.

The 5 Golden Rules of Packaging Design


Packaging Design, also known as Package Design is very important element in your Brand Identity. A good Packaging can easily inspire trust and enable you to command premium for your products. Whether you're looking at creating a new Packaging Design or refreshing an existing one, here are 5 Golden Rules you should take into consideration.


Rule No. 1: Your Packaging Design should be true reflection of your brand/product

Neither over-promise, nor under-deliver. Packaging should be mirror image of your Brand/Product. It is quite human to form expectations looking at the package. Your Brand should not disappoint customers, or trick them into something they don't expect. Use the Front of Pack (customer facing side) to clearly express what the Brand stands for. Use both Visual + Verbal methods to do so.


Rule No. 2: Your Packaging Design should be consistent

Your product may have multiple variants, Packaging formats, or may be sold in varied sizes. It is important to have all of them look consistent. Own a Visual and Verbal style and know that your customers will recognise you with it. Consistency always inspires trust.


Rule No. 3: Your Packaging Design should be clear and precise

Use your Packaging as vehicle of your Advertisement. You can communicate a lot on your Packaging if you use the Real Estate smartly. Include the reasons to believe in your Brand.


Rule No. 4: Your Packaging Design should be different and own-able

A unique Packaging pops out on the shelf. Differentiate your Packaging by means of format, shape or Colour Palette. Today, we have great ease in recognising Tide with orange colour, or Cadbury Dairy Milk with purple. We instantly know it, without even reading Brand names. Pringles box and coke bottle does the same magic. That's the power of differentiation.


Rule No. 5: Your Packaging Design should be functional

Think about the environmental footprint of your Packaging. In international transits, cost of transportation is by cubic metres of space occupied, so keep the package moderately small. Deliberate over Packaging materials and shelf life of your products. Make it recyclable, if possible. And of course, adhere to all legal compliances.



Try to raise the bar. Break at least one norm in the category you operate in. And delight your customers.

Typography: Classification & Uses

Typography is the study of typefaces, and the manner in which the type is laid out, to best achieve the desired visual effect and to convey the meaning most effectively. Typography is a lot more than selecting a few fonts and using them in design. It is important to understand the meaning behind each category of typeface and which typeface is right for the brand. Think of a famous logo. Okay, ready?...

Design needs Attention to Detail

The other day we stepped out for office lunch and went to our favourite pizza restaurant nearby. While devouring our pizzas and coke, we started casual conversation about this interesting wall backdrop (pictured above). We were completely baffled to notice numerous design mistakes coming from an international pizza brand. There are 9 things wrong with this backdrop and we'll list them all below...

Brand Architecture


Brand Architecture is an important strategic process in Brand Development. Brand Architecture, simply put, is the relationship between various Brands in an Organisation. It defines how should two Brands be related or be completely unrelated. Brand Architecture informs how should each Brand behave, how should they talk, what should they believe in and how do they Visually Express themselves. It maximises Visibility of every Brand in the Portfolio.


Whether you are establishing your first Brand, or you’re big enough to Merge/Acquire another company or have grown to be Multi-Million Dollar Business with several Brands, Brand Architecture is important to you.

Scenario 1: You are starting your first business

Consider you are a budding Entrepreneur and have plans to start a new fine-dine Restaurant in the coming months. Subsequently, you also have plans to start a Sports Bar and a Themed Cafe.

A. You decide that all these 3 businesses should run as ONE Brand. They should all be built on same Values, have same Brand Name, Logo and Visual Style. Great. You will save on Marketing Expenditure and can leverage the Equity of already existing Brand Name. But, if you deliberate a little more, you’ll realise that all the three businesses will cater to different set of customers.

B. Hence, you may want to consider option B, where you’ll give each business its own unique Identity, unique Brand Name, Logo and Visual Style. Well, there are demerits of doing so as well. You’ll have to establish each of the Brands from the beginning. Investing so much of time and money may not be worth it. Here is where a Branding Agency comes in. By systematically analysing multiple parameters, you’ll be recommended if all or none of the future businesses should carry existing legacy.


Scenario 2: Your existing business is successful. Now, time for a new business. Or perhaps, a merger or an acquisition.

In such situations, Brand Architecture Strategy can help you in three ways:

1. Avoids Cannibalisation:

BMW 3 series doesn’t cannibalise sales of 5 Series because they are meant for different Customer Profiles. If you’re sporty and young, you’d go for the 3; and if you’re more of an Executive Class who is mostly chauffeured around, you know the 5 Series is your choice. This takes us to our second point.

2. Clarifies offerings:

Brand Architecture bring order and clarity to the portfolio. It can help Customers differentiate between two products of the same company (House of Brands) or it can help them identify two Brands of the same company (Branded House). This also helps Customers choose what they want. It is easier to decide between MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, as compared to two windows computers from HP.

3. Optimises expenses:

A clear and easy to understand Brand Portfolio helps Brand Owners to optimise Marketing spends on each Brand and control Management expenses that otherwise would have been out of proportions.


About The Brand Meridian Model:

The Brand Meridian Model is our Proprietary Tool that solves most complex Portfolio issues to help maximise business resources. It irons our any anomalies in the Portfolio whilst also optimising and leveraging Brand Equity. You can learn more about The Brand Meridian Model by writing to us.

Types of Logos & their Uses

Broadly there are 3 types of logos. Before getting into that, let us take you through the fundamentals first.

Importance of Logo in your brand identity: A logo is the most important element of a brand's visual identity. It defines who you are and builds image of your brand. Believe it or not, human brains can sub-consciously determine whether to trust a company or not, just by looking at its logo...

Convergence vs Divergence

Is technology bringing us together or drifting us apart?

When was the last time you checked your phone? And when was the last time you hugged your sibling? We are living in the information era, that is proliferating with new technologies more than ever. We now know what is happening in the lives of our friend-of-friend more than the lives of our cousin. Isn't that bizarre?...

Brand Expansion - How to make a local brand global?


If you're reading this, our best guess is that your brand is doing well. Congratulations! And probably you're ready to grow outside the Geographical Limits - moving to another city, state, country or continent. This goes without saying that before finalising your next business location, you should have enough Customer and Market Understanding. And once you've finalised the location, you should be taking the following steps to make your brand a success in new markets.


1. Standardisation and Consistency

When you're expanding to new geographies, the most important thing is standardisation of Brand Experience. It doesn't matter whether you're a Retail Champion, a Restauranteur, a Fashion Label Owner, or a Service Provider. You stand for something today and you've spent time and energy in getting there. When you expand to new location, your Brand should continue to stand for the same Promise. Have the same taste in your Restaurant, same fragrance, lighting and ambience in your retail store, and same Business Values, Ethics and Principles. This is critically important and hence it is Numero Uno on our list.


2. Localisation Strategy

While expanding, staying consistent and bringing in Brand's own legacy is important. But, Brands should also adapt themselves to the local markets. This is best implemented in the Food Industry. Mc Donalds remodels and alters its menu for each country. Starbucks couldn't sell lot of coffee in China (because it is a tea-loving country). This led them to create a menu specific for that country - with loads of tea on offer. This applies to you too - no matter what your business.

This may appear dichotomous. Hire a Branding Expert to strike the right balance between "what to continue" and "what to change". In India, "Bata" - the Footwear Retail Brand is perceived so Indian, that now we have hard time believing it is an international brand, that too from Europe. Hyper-Localisation can ruin the Brand Imagery. And so does Franchise Model without strict Guidelines. Here, an outsider's POV is paramount. Branding agencies have best understanding of market and customers. Write to us if you're looking at entering Asian markets.


3. Distribution and Reach

Distribution is important for Product Brands. For a Product Brand to be successful, it needs to have significant reach in the new Geography. Customers should be aware of the Brand, what it offers and how it is different. So, in addition to the robust Supply Chain Management, you should also have good Communication Budget to announce your entry into the Market. You could do this with extensive Social Media Engagements also.


4. Research and Penetration

Once you're in the new market, you should continue to Research on the Trends, Beliefs, Aspirations of the new Market. The impulses & triggers to purchase a Product or buy into a Brand differs every 250 miles. When you introduce a Product specifically for new Markets, the Consumers are pleased. We often see this in car Market when country-specific Models are launched. They are very often successful, and are based on their Research and understanding of the Market needs. But, you could do it in any Category. Leverage your Brand, capitalise on your strengths and live upto your Brand Promise. 

Recession and Brand Building: Put the pedal to the metal, when everyone else slows down

In a car race championship, if you're trailing behind and want to win the race, what do you think you can do? Nope, accelerating won't help, because you're already pushing your car to its limits and so are all others. So, how will you win? Well, you can. Read on to find out how...