What is most important to consider when it comes to branding development for your business? Whether you are a huge multinational organization, or a small home business, branding will be of crucial importance, and can make a very significant difference to the success of the company.
For new businesses starting up, the concept of branding can seem exciting – and indeed, it can be a lot of fun. However, this is also an aspect of your business which needs to be treated seriously, and it will be important to consider a range of aspects.
By considering a wide range of aspects of corporate branding, you will be able to ensure that your business retains a consistent image throughout the marketplace. There can be no doubt that confusing branding can be highly damaging, no matter how clever the concept was in the first place.
One of the starting places which it might be worth considering is to check out the branding ideas pursued by your competitors. To understand how they have arrived at the branding images they have developed provides you with an appreciation of how you might be able to market yourself differently. It will be important to ensure that your company is seen as being, not only distinct from your rivals, but also more professional. Copying ideas of branding styles from your rivals does not make you the market leader, and can often lead to confusion; confusion in turn often leads to loss of sales and customers.
Piggyback branding is where a company launches a product or corporate branding image which is deliberately designed to look very similar to a known, successful brand which has already reached a wide audience and established a name for itself. The idea being that by creating products or a brand image that is similar, people will either purchase your products in error, or assume that they are of similar quality. Orientals are masters at this type of branding.
This is dangerous territory. There are few success stories when it comes to piggyback branding. The only market that can safely achieve this is perhaps in supermarket own-brand items. Where supermarkets package their own brand to look very similar to the leading product, but at a much lower price, they are often able to achieve much greater profit margins. People are rarely confused into buying their product, but it does help to draw attention to the own-brand items. That is one of the major objectives of advertising: the ultimate being to make a recurring sale.
In other areas of the retail and service industries this can be very tricky, and is rarely advised. Ensuring your own distinct brand image allows you to establish yourself as distinct, unique and able to provide a service or quality of product which is good enough in itself not to need a branding development which relies on confusion or mimicry to succeed.
Having said that, there are certain markets where themed brandings have taken off rather well, and in these fields it will be helpful to understand the trends being used. If a branding trend has succeeded, customers will be aware of this and will frequently start scanning for particular colors, styles of themes.
Think of the colors used for gaming consoles for example. Silver and black are dominant themes used in many products and labels, with green and blue used often as secondary colors. This is no coincidence since the colors evoke impressions of sturdy space age metal, NASA technology and futuristic styles. Developing a brand quite distinct from this could work either for or against you. Creating a brand which ties in with a known theme, and with a successful visual style, can help you to be seen as a significant part of the market.
On the other hand, heading off in a new direction in terms of style and color could work in your favour, with the impression being implied that your technology is different, and is heading off in a new direction. Being able to support these claims will be important of course.
Frozen foods often use blue and white within the theme to evoke ideas of ice-cold environments, whereas hot salsa products will invariably be packaged in warm reds and oranges with a general sense of heat.
These are just small examples of how the market has often developed successful branding styles which will be important to cash in on for maximum success. It might be an interesting experiment to try selling frozen food packaged in red and salsa sauce in blue and white, but it could end up being a very expensive one!
In terms of successful branding development you will need to consider the name of the company, and there again the same ideas apply. In piggyback branding, the name, and even the font used in the advertising campaign, could mimic a known rival or established brand. However, there are also many well-established styles and themes which work well and are worth considering. To go with the flow or to break away – it’s a tough decision.