Branding is not necessarily white of black but has got some logic in with you can create a set of laws to follow that can help you the growth of success. Branding every aspect of a business. Branding is everything.
Law 1 of branding: The law of simplicity
How many times have you heard the motto: Less is more?
The scientific reason behind this is our reptilian brain, the one that works mainly subconsciously, is the one that keeps us alive (is in charge of breathing and all those things). And it is the one that will try to use fewer calories as possible. So complexity will be the enemy.
The law of simplicity will apply to a few aspects of the brand. When a brand is trying to explain too much, we do everything; the customer might think that it is a convenient brand to go the other options aren’t available, but it indeed won’t be regarded as an expert brand.
If you think of the cardiologist, you trust that would know better than your GP about the heart. Small businesses, I’m also guilty, have FOMO (fear of missing out). We don’t want to close doors because we struggle to find customers in the first place. But here’s the truth. I have recently started my positioning as a Brand designer instead of a Brand, Graphic and digital designer. This decision isn’t stopping me designing a brochure or a website. What is doing is giving credibility that I will create with a brand in mind, which is an extra benefit I can offer.
Marketers will say the opposite. They will fit as much as possible because their function is to attract as many customers as possible. While branding is about nurturing and represent a company.
Law 2: The law of the end-user
Business owners or brand managers often forget this law. I always have to do the exercise of getting into the end user’s shoes.
Taste is something that we all have, and it’s very personal. One of the feedback I get most times is “I don’t like it”.
When you’re branding, you have to remember that the end-user is the one that will ultimately take action. Branding is not for the company’s owner is for the client. And with that in mind, you have to appeal to them as well as fulfil their expectations.
You must know who your audience persona is. And your customer cannot be everybody because not everybody will need your services.
Law 3: The law of get-out-there
Many times I design a brand with its website, and after a few months then my client says should we do SEO? We are not getting any visits to our website.
Branding is to nurture your clients, as I mention. But it would be best if you got out and make yourself known. The natural way to do is create buzz, for example, if your business is a new type get coverage in the news. There are other ways, more time consuming but talking to events, or networking. There are ways to get people to know who you are.
When you become a well-known brand, then advertising can help to keep it to the front of the mind of potential clients.
Don’t expect people to come to you if you don’t make yourself visible. Using law 2, and understanding where your end-user hangs out or what they read will help you to get yourself in front of them.
Law 4 of branding: The law of category
Who wons the category of drinks? Possibly Cocacola. But you can go deep down this category and be a Gut-healthy drink leader if you were a Kombucha company.
Belonging to a category is essential and is the base of positioning. Getting into the category means that when your customers think I’m thirsty (they think Coca-Cola), but I want something healthier (Innocent smoothy), something that will help my gut would be great (Kombucha).
A lot of people won’t confess that they go for the number one brand in the category; their rational brain will say that they choose a product because of something else. But the truth is that we think if this is number one, must be the best.
Law 5: The law of promise
I am the best brand designer in London. You are possibly thinking now: yeah, right! This is what everybody says from themselves. And you are right.
Promises need to be set on expectation as well as actions. Your brand promise should be something that you can prove. And something that when your client has finished using your product or service will say too. FedEx promises “Peace of mind.” Ryanair won’t promise “the best fight experience”, they so promise “cheap flights.”
Law 6: The law of the word
I say “Car: Security”, what you say? Possibly Volvo is your answer. Volvo owns the name. Branding has this power, the power of owning a word inside a category.
Let’s go further. What would you pass me if I need a tissue to blow my nose? Most likely a Kleenex, even if it’s another brand. And that is the ultimate goal. It is not owning a word but become the word.
Branding itself is about words. Your brand name is a word.
Law7 of branding: The law of fitting
This law applies to the branding that you don’t see as well as the branding that you see.
Branding is about fitting like a globe into the customer’s lives.
Law 8: The law of colour
Insurance logos usually are blue. The meaning of blue comes from the blue sky, even when it’s cloudy, there is a blue sky above. It is that feeling reliability.
Now if you start a new insurance business, what colour would you use? Just because the business industry is blue doesn’t mean you also have to be. You could be orange, the opposite of blue, because you do things differently from the rest. This would stand you out from the norm and show the potential customers that you are different.
Colour is one of the most expressive ways of a brand. It will evoke a lot of emotions, and it will make you stand out or blend.
Law 9: The law of consistency
Reputation is not an innate attribute is something you build over the years, most likely decades. Apple didn’t create a logo, and then everybody loved it and became the desired object.
It took consistency over the years to become who they are today. Consistency doesn’t mean you need to repeat, means you have to behave in a particular manner and look in a certain way through the years, evolving in a subtle way that looks like you are reliable.
Consistency is the art of finding who is your real you and being in the right place, with the right look saying the right thing at the right time. (read my LinkedIn article: The power of brand)
Law 10 of branding: The law of re-brand
Re-brand is not something I would recommend to do often. It’s a strategy that needs to be done with a plan and a reason. Re-branding can dilute your essence, and if you look like a new brand, you are starting from scratch.
I recently re-branded from Pixel and ink. My strategy is to address things. My clients knew me by my name, not my brand, and also I don’t have a big brand follow community in which I would damage the reputation.
Re-brand is ok if you have the right reasons, for example, these are the reasons I did so.