What does “branding” mean these days? In years past, it seemed to be focused around slapping one’s logo on anything and everything possible, so that people can’t go five feet without seeing a Coca-Cola bottle or a Nike “Swoosh.” Today, branding has become far more subtle, and more attuned to the audience. A brand should be used for positioning a company, and establishing not just its existence, but also its attitude and character.
Today, people want to do business with companies that stand for something, whose goals and values in some way align with their own beyond simple purchasing needs. You can establish this, not just with your logo itself, but with all the various things it ends up attached to. Below are some ideas to keep in mind when branding your character into your business.
Depending on estimates, people see either hundreds or thousands of brands and other marketing messages every day. There’s simply no human way to remember all of them. Most brand images (by themselves) have become so subliminal people simply don’t even notice. Unless your brand is attached to something else, and that something else is itself of interest to people, they’re unlikely to notice it. So, effective branding today is more a case of “Branding with Something-Else.”
We’re living in a very polarized and arguably “niche” world, with many smaller sub-groups in existence who all want to feel like a brand is catering to the individual. Trying to be everything to everybody is nearly impossible today, due to the different niches and groups present today. Aside from perhaps the biggest of brands, it’s going to be better to take stands on a few issues and look for customers who legitimately agree with your company’s outlook. Don’t cast a wide net. Cast a well-baited hook for people who are honestly a “good fit” for your company.
In society today, consumers want the cold hard truth. Since they have access to huge amounts of information online, they rarely outright believe what a company says without verification. Their attitude is “Trust, but verify.” As such, your branding needs to legitimately match your own corporate efforts. A company that calls itself “green”, but never seems to engage is environmental friendly activates, it is only going to be seen as a hypocrite. Regardless of the stance your business takes, you have to stick with it.
GTECH Designs is a Baltimore-based web marketing firm that is committed to helping impact-makers spend more time doing good. For more information, contact us at 410-775-4100, email us at [email protected], or get in touch with us via Facebook or Twitter.