Our client Bid Serious received rave reviews recently from penny auction blog PennyAuctionWatch.com. In the review, Bid Serious is praised for having “the most creative and informative video”, along with its site design. We’re extremely happy to hear the hard work, from branding to design to development to multimedia animation, is attracting attention with its creativity and simplified user interface. More importantly, we’re glad Bid Serious is getting the recognition they deserve.
The primary purpose of a brand is to differentiate your business from the competition by explaining the value proposition of your company. For example, what makes an iPhone different from an Android phone? Their main difference is the operating system followed by other sub factors such as the support system offered by each company or the “openness” within each operating system. Some choose the iPhone because it is faster and providse additional support; while others choose the Android because it provides an open source platform where developers are given more freedom and therefore can design some pretty great apps.
Ever wondered why when given a choice, some people continue to buy a certain product? For example, Bonnie, Business Development Manager at Softway Solutions, always buys Mrs. Baird’s bread; while David Solis, Proposal Writer at Softway Solutions, always buys Express shirts and nothing else; and I, myself, always buy Gain detergent with no questions asked.
Society usually builds loyalty to a brand because it continuously experiences positive encounters with that brand and, as a result, tends to buy that brand’s product every time without thinking twice about the competition.
Developing a recognizable brand can either be accomplished through a visualization or auditory strategy. The visualization strategy, where a brand identity is associated with a logo, helps consumers identify who you are without having to see your name. For example, who is the golden arches, the half bitten apple, the swoosh, Col. Sanders, or a yellow happy face? McDonalds, Apple, Nike, KFC, and Walmart.
On the other hand, with an auditory strategy, phrases are developed and words are associated with brands so that their consumers can easily identify the brand with those words and phrases. Here are some examples: “You Are in Good Hands”, “Buta Bum Bum I’m Loving It”, “Dress for Less”, and “Sports and Outdoors – the Right Stuff the Right Price”? Allstate, McDonalds, Ross and Academy.
Did you know that your brand has a value to it? For example, BMW paid £40m only for the Rolls-Royce name and “RR” logo. In 2009, an article in USA Today reported that Coca Cola was worth $68.73 billion. If business is good, then the longer a company has been in business, the more the brand of the company is worth. Think about it: how much is your brand worth?
Developing brands take time, persistence and most definitely differentiation. If you have not developed a brand for your business, contact a Softway Solution’s brand specialist to create a strategy to help you take advantage of all the benefits of having a brand.
Many business owners have a misinterpretation of creating a brand. Some business owners think brand development is about creating a logo and that is it. Well, that is WRONG! Developing a brand involves many steps, from preparing to maintaining the brand. In this post, we will review 5 essential steps to develop a valuable brand.
Conducting research involves learning about the company strategies, visions, goals, and mission statement. These will help define the voice or personality of the organization. Researching also involves interviewing key individuals in management to help understand how they operate the business. Once information from the company has been gathered, the next step is to learn about the marketplace, which is comprised of competitors, industry, and customer. Researching the competition involves identifying who the competitors are and how they currently position themselves. Researching the industry means defining the maturity, standards and the legalities of the industry. Finally, researching the customer implies working to understand how current and future customers see your company.
Step 2: Brand Strategy
Brand Strategy is the process of defining what you want to get out of developing the brand. Do you want people to continuously buy your brand? Or do you want people to be aware of your brand? Brand strategy also defines how you want to be positioned and viewed such as innovators, industry leaders, or employee focused, to name a few, by other stakeholders in the market.
Step 3: Design Identity
In this step, designing the identity involves designing the logo for the brand. Designing the logo is not about drawing, rather it includes deciding the color scheme, typography (where necessary), shape, energy and scale of the logo. In this stage, you may also develop a tag line for your business.
Step 4: Create Touch Points
Creating brand touch points is similar to marketing your brand. Where and how do you plan on sharing your brand? What venues do you plan on utilizing to increase your brand awareness? Will you be utilizing advertising, promotions, public relations or direct marketing strategies?
Step 5: Brand Management
Brand management is a long term commitment to develop a brand. Brand management includes making sure to always convey the same message across different marketing platforms. Brand management also involves monitoring how your brand is being developed, perception by others, who is speaking of your brand, what is being said of the brand, and where your brand is accepted.
Brand development is no easy task and it does not develop quickly. There are many essential steps to be put in place over a long period of time in order to build a successful brand. To get started with developing your brand, contact a Softway Solutions brand specialist to help get you started.
Branding has different meanings to different kinds of people. For example, visual experts look at branding in a more visual form, such as logo design; while strategic experts look at branding in a more analytically way, such as the personality of the brand. Visual experts will have a thorough understanding of what the brand logo stands for, such as color, design or shape elected for the logo. Strategic experts will have a thorough understanding of the brand’s personality, such as descriptive words or company goals and structure aligned with the brand’s personality. Although one perspective is not necessarily better than the other, in this blog post we have chosen to discuss the visual form of branding. Listed below are three topics any brand specialist should be able to discuss when speaking about a newly designed logo:
Personal preference should not dictate the color of any logo. The color of a logo should rather identify with the type of industry you are in and target audience. For example, a standard blue may mean security and health care, other hues of blue have different connotations. Make sure your brand specialist can tell you why certain colors were chosen for the logo design.
Your industry or what you trying to convey can impact the shape and arrangement of your logo. For example, Softway’s upcoming logo conveys sharp geometric angles to resemble a high tech firm; and our logo is a made up of many shapes to convey our diverse range of services. To test the knowledge of your brand specialist, ask for the meaning of different shapes and how he or she elected to arrange the logo.
Energy in the logo means how busy or simple the logo is. For example, if your audience is seniors then your logo should be simple. If your audience is children then a busy logo would be more suitable.
These are just three things to consider when choosing a logo. Remember, the logo you choose today will follow you for many years and will convey a certain message to your audience. Thus, make sure your brand specialist designs a logo suitable for your business rather than your preference. To understand more about logo design contact Softway Solutions at www.softwaysolutions.com or 281.914.4381.
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