Brand Proposition

Difference between Logo & Brand Identity

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:

LOGO
A trademark-able symbol, graphic, visual representation of an organisation that reflects beliefs and values of the organisation whilst enabling public recognition.

BRAND IDENTITY
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

Evolution of Colours and their role in Brand Identity

Evolution of Colours and their role in Brand Identity

Colours are known to have effects on a person’s psychological, physiological and sociological behaviour. Thus, colour is an important aspect while considering the brand identity system.

Why brands should narrow their focus?

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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

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. ...

Brand Architecture

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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.

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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.

Brand Expansion - How to make a local brand global?

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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. 

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