A few days back, I visited a supermarket and was looking for my favourite brand of crisps. I walked around the dedicated aisle twice but couldn’t find them so I requested an assistant to help me with it…
Packaging is known to be the identity of a product. It is extremely important for your product to get noticed amongst the hundreds of other products available on the shelf. Packaging is an integral part of any Branding Strategy to glamorise a product in a way that would not only catch the consumer’s attention, but also would be a great source of advertising. Packaging plays an important role educating the customer about the product; it’s also like having a direct interaction with the brand. As said by Martin Neumier “A retail package is the last and best chance to make a sale.”
The four main elements of packaging are Colours, Visuals, Typography and Format. These elements help the consumers to relate to the brand easily and tend to have a high recall.
Colours have great psychological impact and can draw attention to your product. In order to stand out, brands often choose colours that do not belong to their brand colour palette. This disruptive behaviour is good, but may not always work in favour of the brands. Colours are known to be the most important part of packaging because they subconsciously reflect the personality of a brand; also it is the first thing to be noticed and can be visible at a distance as well.
Visuals & Mascots help in associating with the brand and create high recall value. Visuals are graphical representations of the product inside, where one can easily understand what the product is without having to read.Mascots on the other hand are an additional element that may in some cases strengthen the identity of the brand. A mascot is easily relatable by every age group. Brands like Amul still extensively use’s their mascot named Amul girl for all their communication and branding. This over the years has become a part of their identity and is now very relatable by the consumers. Another Indian brand using a mascot is Air India using their mascot named Maharaja, for their communications.
Typography is another powerful part of Brand Identity. Just like colours have meaning; typography represents the values of your brand. Every typeface has a different set of connotations and hence will create a unique representation of who you are and what you stand for, as a brand. Brands often use bold fonts and serifs to catch attention, as they’re clean, simple, and easily readable. As mentioned, fonts also have a different meaning. The font used for the IBM logo demonstrates power, while Coco-cola and Disney cue fun.
The format of Packaging is designed in such a way that it attracts the attention of the consumer and can be easily spotted on the shelf. Format of packages largely depend on the products, keeping in mind the requirements and convenience of a consumer. For instance, products like shampoos, oils, ketchup, etc come in various sizes as well as in sachets which encourage the consumer to try them.
Read more here: 5 Golden Rules of Packaging Design
Article contributed by:
Riya Wadhwa, Brand Artisan - Marketing
People often use Logo and Brand Identity loosely and interchangeably. Logo is not the same as Brand Identity, although they are very closely linked.
Let us first understand what do these terms mean:
A trademark-able symbol, graphic, visual representation of an organisation that reflects beliefs and values of the organisation whilst enabling public recognition.
Key identifiers of a brand that includes Word, Sign, Symbol, Colours, and Design Style that makes a rand recognisable. Logo is a subset of Brand Identity.
Building a Brand Identity is an exciting process. It’s a collection of tangibles like a logo, Brand Colours, Typography, Tone of Voice and Communication system. The more specific, distinct and cohesive these elements are, higher would be the likelihood of Brand Recall and Brand Association. And this would allow your customers to distinctly remember your brand differently from the crowd. A consumer is only able to do so when a brand is able to consistently communicate this through its service, packaging, use of media and quality of products.
Brand Identity is divided into Visual and Verbal identity. Visual elements make your brand stronger and have a positive recall. While elements like Tagline, Tone of Voice and the use of media form a brand’s Verbal Identity. For any brand to have an effective and robust Brand Identity, it is mandatory that both, Visual and Verbal Identity of the brand are in sync.
On the other hand, Logo is one of the key elements of Brand Identity. A logo is known to be the face of the brand, the first impression of your brand. A Logo creates a visual impact and consumers instantly connect with the brand with the sight of a Logo. For a brand to be successful it is essential to have a well designed, unique, memorable and aesthetically pleasing logo.
Logos can be classified in three types: Typographic logos, Symbolic logos and the Combination of the two. Typographic logos are stylised text of the Brand Name or its initials. For instance, brands like Google, Subway, Sony, Disney use it. Symbolic logos have a symbol representing their brand for instance Audi, Mercedes, Apple, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Most of the brands use a mix of both as their logo like Adidas, Pepsi, Doritos, Burger King. Read more about the types of logos here.
To conclude, a Strong Logo is the key to an effective Brand Identity. Though they are overlapping concepts and both are equally important for the success of a brand.
Article contributed by:
Riya Wadhwa, Brand Artisan - Marketing
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"I was the vice-president at PepsiCo. What reason would I have to leave a very sustained and highly paid job to join a company of nerds selling computer?...
‘Itna Suit pehenke college jana jaruri hai kya? (Is it compulsory to wear a suit to college?)’ In this torrid weather, that was the first question he asked. Here, I was trying to prepare for my presentation when he asked this ‘irrelevant’ question. I was about to lose it! ...
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. ...
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.
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.
1. Choosing your brand name the wrong way
A lot of new businesses are naming their companies based on the availability of domain names. No. No. No. You can’t choose your business name based on a .com domain. Select the best, most appropriate name for your business...
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.
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.
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...
"Everyone can be an entrepreneur. But very few truly are.”
To be an entrepreneur you need not have: - Money - Place to set up your office - A large team - Enough job experience Surprised? Don’t be.
If not these, then what do you need to be an entrepreneur?...
When you interact with products, be it your morning coffee to what phone are you using, how do you feel about it? You walk into a Starbucks for coffee or own an iPhone is because you want to be associated with these brands. They make you feel in a certain way. You trust them and its image appeals to you, it matches or exceeds your expectations and it doesn’t let you down...